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Nicaea

Νικαία).


1.

A celebrated city of Asia, situated on the eastern side of Lake Ascania (Isnik) in Bithynia, built (about B.C. 300) by Antigonus, king of Asia, and originally called Antigonea; but Lysimachus soon after changed the name into Nicaea, in honour of his wife. Under the kings of Bithynia it was often the royal residence; and under the Romans it continued to be one of the chief cities of Asia; and at the time of the Byzantine emperors it was a great military outpost of Constantinople against the Turks. It fell in A.D. 1330, being taken by the Turk Orchan, the son of Ottoman. The great double walls of the ancient city still exist, and there are ruins of an aqueduct, a theatre, a gymnasium, and the two moles of the ancient harbour. It is famous in ecclesiastical history as the seat of the great Oecumenical Council which Constantine convoked in A.D. 325, chiefly for the decision of the Arian controversy, and which drew up the Nicene Creed. See Stanley's History of the Eastern Church (1861). The modern name is Isnik (εἰς Νίκαιαν).


2.

A fortress of the Epicnemidian Locrians on the sea, near the pass of Thermopylae, which it commanded.


3.

The modern Nizza or Nice; a city on the coast of Liguria, to the cast of the river Var; a colony of Massilia, and subject to that city.

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