Ancient history

Kingdom of Pontus

Pontus was the name given by the Greeks to the northeastern area of ​​Asia Minor bordering the Black Sea, but the borders of the region often changed as did the names of the bordering kingdoms. Its only real border, intangible and essential, was then that which bordered the Black Sea. It was not until the constitution of the Kingdom of Pontus (301 - 36 BC) that the region became more clearly demarcated. Territorial unity was based on the feeling of solidarity between the inhabitants and loyalty to the same dynasty founded by Mithridates I.

In the 4th century, its capital was Amasya. The kingdom superficially undergoes Greek cultural influence but retains Persian structures (priests and nobles). In 183 BC. AD, Sinope is annexed to the kingdom and becomes its new capital. During its maximum extension, under Mithridates VI Eupator, the Kingdom of Pontus will extend from Cappadocia to Cilicia, Colchis and part of Armenia. After the defeat of Mithridates VI Eupator against Pompey, the destiny of the kingdom is unclear:administration of the coasts by Rome directly and of the hinterland by client princes? After 40 BC. J.-C., the Bridge is again in the hands of local dynasts. Under the Roman Empire, the western part of the kingdom was annexed into two sections:Sebastopolis-Amasya and Comania. In 64 AD. AD, all of Pontus was annexed and had three capitals:Amasya, Neocesarea and Trapezos (Trebizond).

In addition to mines and state properties, taxes were the main income of the sovereigns; the taxes paid by the poor in the interior were hardly taken into account. Merchants, craftsmen, fishermen, shipbuilders thronged the coast; wood felled in the mountains was transformed, vines, olive trees and fruit trees were cultivated there. The pastures allowed the breeding of horses and cattle. The main trading centers were the Greek cities of Amasya, Amastris and, above all, Sinope, a rich and prosperous city, home of the famous Diogenes.

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