Marmara Ereğlisi (Ancient Perinthos) ,Turkey

Colonists from the island of Samos founded Perinthos (modem Marmara Ereğlisi) in 602 BCE. Around 570/60 the people of Perinthos engaged in war with the Megarians, who had built the cities of Byzantium and Selymbria to the east of Perinthos; they were fighting for their commercial interests. Paionians coming from the region of the Strymon River captured Perinthos during the sixth century. In 511 the Persian King Darius I, during his futile campaign against the Scythians, succeeded in seizing the city, although not without suffering heavy casualties during a long siege led by his General Megabazos.

In 476/5 Kimon of Athens liberated Perinthos and put an end to Persian hegemony in Thrace. Perinthos was a member of the Delian League (its membership is first attested for 452/1) and thus participated in the Peloponnesian War on the side of the Athenians. The city was forced by Alkibiades to join the league again in 410, after defecting the previous year. Perinthos was also a member of the Second Athenian Confederacy between 377 and 357.

Philip II of Macedon set out to besiege Perinthos around the summer of 340. In the middle of the following year, however, he raised what was an unsuccessful siege and made his way back to Macedonis. Later on, after he defeated the Greeks, Perinthos became a member of the League of Corinth.

Perinthos came under the authority of Lysimachos in 323, following the death of Alexander lll, the Great. In 281 the city came under the control of the Ptolemies and subsequently fell to the power of the Seleucids between 255 and 220. Perinthos and Byzantium became allies against king Antiochos II Theos by signing a treaty. In 202 the city came under the control of King Philip V of Macedon, who stationed a garrison there. He, however, withdrew from the city Perinthos 5163 in 197, under pressure from the Romans. Afterwards the Seleucid King Antiochos III Megas invaded the city. Following the defeat of Antiochos III in 189 by the Romans and their Pergamene allies, the city remained under the authority of the Attalids until the kingdom of Pergamon was bequeathed to the Romans, and was then incorporated into the province of Macedonia in 133. The city eventually became the capital of the newly established province of Thrace, founded by Claudius in 46 CE.

The city supported Septimius Severus throughout his power-struggle with Pescennius Niger. As a consequence of this allegiance, the city was awarded several privileges, such as being twice attributed the title of neokoros (temple guardian).

In 286 Diocletian renamed the city “Herakleia” after Heradius, the byname of Maximianus, who was his associate in power. Diocletian also ordered the opening of a mint at Herakleia in 293. In 297 the city became the capital of the new province of Europa, until Byzantium was refounded as Constantinople and became the capital.

The city suffered considerable destruction during the years 359-460 and was only restored during Justinian’s extensive reconstruction in the sixth century.



Asgari, N. (1986) “Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi) Araştırmaları IX. Turk Tarih Kongresi

(Ankara 21-25. 9. 1981), vol. 1: 451-8.Ankara.


Robert, L. (1974) “Des Carpathes a Ia Propontide. VIII. De Perin the a Apamee, Cyzique et Claros.” Studii Clasice 16: 61-80.


Sayar, M. H. (1998) Perinthos-Herakleia und Umgebung: Geschichte, Testimonien, grieclrische und lateinische Inschrifterr. Vienna.


Schonert-GeiB, E. (1965) Die Munzpriigung von Perinthos. Berlin.