From Jatland Wiki
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Map of Turkey

Eupatoria (Ancient Greek: Εὐπατορία) and Magnopolis (Ancient Greek: Μαγνόπολις)[1] was a Hellenistic city in the Kingdom of Pontus.



The city was founded by Mithridates VI Eupator just south of where the Lycus flows into the Iris, the west end of the fertile valley of Phanaroea, probably in or near the village of Çevresu, Erbaa district, Tokat Province.[2]

Eupatoria was the crossing-point of two great roads through the Pontus: the east-west from Armenia Minor to Bithynia; and the north-south from Amisus to Caesarea Mazaca. The east-west road followed the valley of the Lycus from Armenia Minor to Phanaroea; it continued over the mountains into the Destek to Laodicea Pontica (modern Ladik), the Halys (Kızılırmak) and the Amnias (Gökırmak) through Paphlagonia to Bithynia; the north-south road went from Amisus (modern Samsun) up the Iris to Amaseia (Amasya), Zela (Zile), up to the Anatolian Plateau and Caesarea Mazaca (Kayseri).[3]

Pompey refounded the city under the name Magnopolis and extended its territory to include the western Phanaroean plain.

Strabo visited the city.

Mention by Pliny

Pliny[4] mentions...We then come to the river Evarchus13, and after that a people of the Cappadocians, the towns of Gaziura14 and Gazelum15, the river Halys16, which runs from the foot of Mount Taurus through Cataonia and Cappadocia, the towns of Gangre17 and Carusa18, the free town of Amisus19, distant from Sinope one hundred and thirty miles, and a gulf of the same name, of such vast extent20 as to make Asia assume the form of a peninsula, the isthmus of which is only some two hundred21 miles in breadth, or a little more, across to the gulf of Issus in Cilicia. In all this district there are, it is said, only three races that can rightly be termed Greeks, the Dorians, the Ionians, and the Æolians, all the rest being of barbarian origin.22 To Amisus was joined the town of Eupatoria23, founded by Mithridates: after his defeat they were both included under the name of Pompeiopolis.

14 On the river Iris. It was the ancient residence of the kings of Pontus, but in Strabo's time it was deserted. It has been suggested that the modern Azurnis occupies its site.

15 In the north-west of Pontus, in a fertile plain between the rivers Halys and Amisus. It is also called Gadilon by Strabo. D'Anville makes it the modern Aladgiam; while he calls Gaziura by the name of Guedes.

16 Now called the Kisil Irmak, or Red River. It has been remarked that Pliny, in making this river to come down from Mount Taurus and flow at once from south to north, appears to confound the Halys with one of its tributaries, now known as the Izchel Irmak.

17 Its site is now called Kiengareh, Kangreh, or Changeri. This was a town of Paphlagonia, to the south of Mount Olgasys, at a distance of thirty-five miles from Pompeiopolis.

18 A commercial place to the south of Sinope. Its site is the modern Gherseh on the coast.

19 Now called Eski Samsun; on the west side of the bay or gulf, anciently called Sinus Amisenus. According to Strabo, it was only 900 stadia from Sinope, or 112 1/2 Roman miles. The walls of the ancient city are to be seen on a promontory about a mile and a half from the modern town.

20 He means the numerous indentations which run southward into the coast, from the headland of Sinope to a distance of about one degree to the south.

21 On examining the map, we shall find that the distance is at least 300 miles across to the gulf of Issus or Iskenderoon.

22 Not speaking the Greek language.

23 A part of it only was added to Eupatoria; and it was separated from the rest by a wall, and probably contained a different population from that of Amisus. This new quarter contained the residence of the king, Mithridates Eupator, who built Eupatoria.

Mention by Pliny

Pliny[5] mentions....In its (Cappadocia) remaining districts there is Melita,8 founded by Semiramis, and not far from the Euphrates, Diocæsarea,9 Tyana,10 Castabala,11 Magnopolis,12 Zela,13 and at the foot of Mount Argæus14 Mazaca, now called Cæsarea.15

8 Which gave name to the district of Melitene, mentioned in c. 20 of the last Book.

9 Near Nazianzus, in Cappadocia, the birth-place of Gregory Nazianzen. The traveller Ainsworth, on his road from Ak Serai to Kara Hissar, came to a place called Kaisar Koi, and he has remarked that by its name and position it might be identified with Diocæsarea. Some geographers, indeed, look upon Diocæsarea and Nazianzus as the same place.

10 Its ruins are still to be seen at Kiz Hisar. It stood in the south of Cappadocia, at the northern foot of Mount Taurus. Tyana was the native place of Apollonius, the supposed worker of miracles, whom the enemies of Christianity have not scrupled to place on a par with Jesus Christ.

11 Some ruins, nineteen geographical miles from Ayas, are supposed to denote the site of ancient Castabala or Castabulum.

12 This place was first called Eupatoria, but not the same which Mithridates united with a part of Amisus. D'Anville supposes that the modern town of Tchenikeb occupies its site.

13 Or Ziela, now known as Zillah, not far south of Amasia. It was here that Julius Cæsar conquered Pharnaces, on the occasion on which he wrote his dispatch to Rome, "Veni, vidi, vici."

14 Still known by the name of Ardgeh-Dagh.

15 Its site is still called Kaisiriyeh. It was a city of the district Cilicia, in Cappadocia, at the base of the mountain Argæus. It was first called Mazaca, and after that, Eusebeia. There are considerable remains of the ancient city.


  1. Strabo, Geography, §12.3.30
  2. S. Lund Sørensen, the "Where East meets West" project, as reported in Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen, Marit Jensen, "Two Pontic Rivers", Cedrus: The Journal of MCRI 3:231-2142 (2015), doi:10.13113/CEDRUS.2015011411
  3. B. C. McGing, The foreign policy of Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontus (Mnemosyne Series: Supplement 89), 1997, ISBN 90-04-07591-7. p. 6.
  4. Natural History by Pliny Book VI/Chapter 2
  5. Natural History by Pliny Book VI/Chapter 3

Back to Jat Places in Turkey/Back to Jat Places in Anatolia