(Vize) Thrace, Turkey.
The home of
the mythological king Tereus (Plin. HN
It was the capital city of the last Thracian dynasty of
the Odrysian line, the center of the client kingdom of
the Astai, which lasted until A.D. 44 (Strab. 7. frag.
The ancient site, still occupied by the modern town,
lies somewhat N of a line between Adrianople and
Constantinople, on the present N highway through Turkish Thrace. Substantial remains of fortifications still
rise along the W and S sides of the acropolis. The earliest
parts of the wall circuit have been dated to the Hellenistic period. The appearance of the main gateway is known
from a coin of the time of the emperor Caligula (Syll.
. IV; Fitzwilliam Museum, No. 1662). It
shows an arched opening between two round towers
and suggests that a freestanding model of a quadriga
may have stood over the arch. Numerous curved seat
blocks in and around the acropolis are evidence of a
Reused blocks from Classical buildings can be seen
in many houses of the modern town, and traces of a
large building of Roman date were found (1938) in
the quarter called Kaledibi, but no specific identifications
can be made. At some distance from the citadel, on
Çömlekçi Tepe, a villa of the 2d-3d c. was found. The
discovery of numerous inscriptions has facilitated the
reconstruction of the complicated family relationships
in the last generations of the dynasty of Rhoemetalces.
Four km S of the town, along the banks of the
river (Anadere or Boğazköy Deresi), a group of nine
grave tumuli have been investigated. Tumulus A, the
most important of the group, contained the barrel-vaulted chamber tomb of a wealthy and distinguished
personage, quite probably one of the kings of Bizye. The
tomb is a rectangle (4.62 x 3.12 m). The side walls rise
1.18 m to the springing of the vault, which at its center
is 2.74 m above the floor. A large doorway (1.40 x
1.17 m) was sealed by an even larger stone slab, attached to the door frame with heavy iron staples. The
tomb had not been robbed. Inside the burial chamber,
a stone sarcophagus (more than 2 x 1 m) was fitted with
a heavy stone lid, also attached by iron staples. The
sarcophagus contained the ashes of the deceased and a
rich assortment of articles in gold, silver, and bronze.
In the remainder of the tomb there were bronze vessels and lamp stands and a large number of ceramic
vessels. The walls of the chamber were covered with
painted stucco which had been seriously damaged by
damp and earthquakes. Sufficient evidence was preserved
to permit a complete restoration of the tomb in the
Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
To the E of the city, a rock shrine sacred to the
local Thracian divinities was uncovered in 1963. It consists of a rock temple, an altar and a sacred precinct,
which can probably be dated to the 6th c. B.C.
M. Christodoulos, Perigraphe istoriographike tes Eparkhias Saranta Ekklesion
Th. Lakidis, Istoria Bizyes kai Medeias
(1899); R. M.
Dawkins & A.J.B. Wace, “Inscriptions from Bizye,”
12 (1905-6) 175-83; R. M. Dawkins, “The modern
carnival in Thrace,” JHS
26 (1906) 191-206I
Kalinka, “Altes und neues aus Thrakien,” ÖJh
(1926) Beiblatt, 118-27; “Haberler,” Belleten
; “Archäologische Funde aus der Turkei,” AA
(1939) 175; A. Müfid Mansel, “Trakya Hafriyati. Les
fouilles de Thrace,” Belleten
4 (1940) 89-139IP
Dirimtekin, “Vize et ses antiquités,” Annual of the Aya
5 (1963) 26-36I
; 6 (1965) 17-18; N.
Firatli, “Brief archaeological news, Finds in Thrace,”
Annual of the Archaeological Museums of Istanbul
T. S. MACKAY