Sites & cities that bear the name of Sestos


Today in : Greece
First trace of activity : ca. 8th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 14th century C.E
Recorded names : Σηστός, Sestus, Ṣāṣah?, Choiridokastron

Description : Sestos (Greek: Σηστός, Latin: Sestus) was an ancient city in Thrace. It was located at the Thracian Chersonese peninsula on the European coast of the Hellespont, opposite the ancient city of Abydos, and near the town of Eceabat in Turkey. In Greek mythology, Sestos is presented in the myth of Hero and Leander as the home of Hero. Sestos is first mentioned in Homer's Iliad as a Thracian settlement, and was allied with Troy during the Trojan War. The city was settled by colonists from Lesbos in c. 600 BC. In c. 512, Sestos was occupied by the Achaemenid Empire, and Darius I ferried across from the city to Asia Minor after his Scythian campaign. In 480, at the onset of the Second Persian invasion of Greece, Xerxes I bridged the Hellespont near Sestos. In 479 BC, after the Greek victory at the Battle of Mycale, Sestos was besieged by Athenian forces led by Xanthippus. The Greek siege was resisted by a joint force of Persian soldiers and the city's native inhabitants and endured the whole winter, however, food supplies were inadequate as the siege was unexpected, and the city's garrison suffered from famine. The garrison subsequently capitulated and the Persian soldiers were imprisoned. Artayctes, the Persian governor of Sestos, had escaped, but was captured and crucified. However, Athenian influence over Sestos lapsed briefly, according to Plutarch, as Cimon retook the city in a second campaign at some point between 478 and 471. Sestos became a member of the Athenian-led Delian League, and was part of the Hellespontine district. The city contributed a phoros of 500 drachmas annually from 446/445 to 435/434, after which Sestos provided 1000 drachmas until 421/420. At Sestos, a 10 per cent tax was levied on westbound, non-Athenian, merchant grain ships. The city served as a base for the Athenian fleet until it was occupied by Spartan forces led by Lysander in 404, during the Peloponnesian War. Sestos' population was briefly expelled and replaced by Spartan settlers, but the city's native inhabitants were permitted to return to the city soon after. During the Corinthian War, Sestos was occupied by Athenian forces led by Conon in 393, and the city came under the control of Ariobarzanes, Satrap of Phrygia. In 365, an attack on Sestos by Cotys I, King of Thrace, was repelled with the aid of Timotheus, for which Athens was awarded with Sestos and Krithotai in the same year. A cleruchy was established at Sestos in 364, but the city was conquered by Cotys I after a surprise attack in 360, and a Thracian garrison was established. The Athenian general Chares seized Sestos in 353 and carried out andrapodismos whereby the male population was killed and women and children were enslaved; the city was repopulated by Athenian cleruchs.

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