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Byzantium


 

Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul are three names given to the city throughout its history. According to the legend, the legendary founder of the city of Byzantium was Byzas from Megara.


Byzas was looking for a new land for his family and his flowers. He asked the Delphic oracle for advice. The oracle advised him not to settle until he found the land of the blind. He told him to build his city just opposite the blind. The oracle was referring to the Chalcedonians, a Greek colony established earlier on the Asiatique side. Byzas set sail. When he was sailing thru the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea at the point of the Bosphorus where three sides were surrounded by water, he decided that the Calcedonians must have been blind not to have chosen this great location. So Byzas built his city on this point in 650 B.C. It was called Byzantium.

  

Byzantium was an independent city with its own government, the favourable location of Byzantium,which controlled the sea routes from the Aegean to the Black Sea.
Byzantium was an important center for trade and commercial. The city was taken by Darius 512 B.C. and remained under Persian control from 479 to 444 B.C. after the expulsion of the Spartan General Pausanias.
Byzantium later became a  voluntary ally of Athens, following two centuries  the city frequently changed hands between Athens and Sparta. In the year 179 B.C. the city was captured by the combined forces of Rhodes, Pergamum and Bithynia. In 1710 B.C. Byzantium was captured by the Romans and remained a Roman province until 325 A.D.
 

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