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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. 33; Ulp. Schol. a Demos. Lept. 33; Arr. 30; Anon., Peripl. Ponti Euxini 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 (1925) 251-53 = M. Rostowzew, Skythien und der Bosporus (1931) 227-30; N. S. Barsamov & A. Polkanov, Feodosiia: Proshloe goroda i arkheologicheskie pamiatniki (1927); I. 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.


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    • Strabo, Geography, 7.4
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