Greek city occupying
the Karantinnaia Hill area of the modern town of
Theodosia (Feodosiia). It was founded by Miletian
colonists in the second half of the 6th c. B.C., possibly
on the site of a pre-Greek settlement. Theodosia emerged
as a commercial rival of Pantikapaion in the E Crimea
and, by the late 5th c. B.C., began to issue its own coins.
In the first half of the 4th c. B.C., it was conquered by
the Spartocid ruler Leucon I and incorporated into the
Bosporan state. The city experienced its heyday as an
international trading center in the 4th-3d c. B.C. when
it exported to Greece huge quantities of Bosporan grain
obtained from the enslaved natives of the surrounding
areas. The harbor, at this time capable of accommodating
up to 100 ships, rivaled that at Pantikapaion. The city
probably suffered from the conflicts between the Bosporan state and the Crimean Scythians in the 2d c.
B.C., and later in the century it was seized by rebellious
slaves. After the forces of Mithridates Eupator ended
the rebellion, Theodosia came under his rule but subsequently joined the revolt against him. The city was
in part apparently destroyed ca. 2d c. A.D. but by the
3d c. had recovered. It survived the collapse of the
Bosporan state in the 4th c. and became one of the early
mediaeval Byzantine towns of the Crimea.
Although Theodosia is mentioned by many ancient
sources (Strab. 7.4
; Demos. Lacrit
. 31-34; Lept
Ulp. Schol. a Demos. Lept
. 33; Arr. 30; Anon., Peripl.
77 (51), 78 (52); App. Hist. Rom
. 12. 108)
and was one of the major centers of the N Black Sea
in ancient times, the only excavations at the site have
been exploratory. These have been impeded by a thick
mediaeval stratum as well as by modern buildings and
construction projects. Most of the earlier finds from
Theodosia were obtained by chance during the pre-1914
construction of a new harbor.
A necropolis containing burial mounds with many
cremation graves of the 5th-4th c. B.C. was excavated
in the mid 19th c.
E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks
(1913) 555-60; M. I. Rostovtsev, Skifiia i Bospor
251-53 = M. Rostowzew, Skythien und der Bosporus
(1931) 227-30; N. S. Barsamov & A. Polkanov, Feodosiia:
Proshloe goroda i arkheologicheskie pamiatniki
B. Zeest, “Razvedochnye raskopki v Feodosii,” KSIIMK
37 (1951) 185-90; id., “Raskopki Feodosii,” KSIIMK
51 (1953) 143-48; D. B. Shelov, “Vozniknovenie Feodosii,” Numizmaticheskii Sbornik
2 [Trudy Gosudarstvennogo Istoricheskogo Muzeia 26] (1957) 19-26; C. M. Danoff, Pontos Euxeinos
(1962) 1131-32 = RE
Suppl. IX; V. M. Korpusova, “Pro naselennia khory antychnoi Feodosii,” Arkheologiia
6 (1972) 41-51.
T. S. NOONAN