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MYNDOS (Gümüşlük) Turkey.

Carian city 18 km W of Bodrum. This, however, was not the site of the original Lelegian town of Myndos, which was a small place paying one-twelfth of a talent in the Delian Confederacy and contributing one ship to the fleet of Aristagoras about 500 B.C. (Hdt. 5.33). That is probably to be located at Bozdağ, a modest Lelegian site on a hilltop about 3 km to the SE, where there remains a circuit wall and the foundation of a tower. According to Strabo (611) Mausolos incorporated six of the Lelegian towns in Halikarnassos, but “preserved” Syangela and Myndos. In fact he refounded Myndos on a much larger scale on a new site at Gümüşük; the old site was later remembered as Palaimyndos (Plin. HN 5.107; Steph. Byz. s.v. Myndos). The new city claimed in Roman times to have been colonized, like Halikarnassos, from Troezen, but this is palpably false.

Unsuccessfully attacked by Alexander, Myndos later passed into the hands of the Ptolemies, and about 131 B.C. was temporarily occupied by Aristonikos. In 43 it sheltered the fleet of Cassius. Under the Empire, though Myndians are frequently found abroad, the city seems to have been less prosperous than most of the cities of Asia. Coinage begins in the 2d c. B.C., but Imperial coins are rare.

The harbor at Gümüşük;, sheltered from the prevailing NW wind by a headland, is one of the best on the coast; a small island in the mouth leaves only a narrow entrance passage. The city wall was originally some 3.5 km long, enclosing the headland as well as a large area on the mainland, but the headland portion has disappeared since the 19th c. On the mainland it still stands in large part, in regular ashlar 3 m thick; on the more vulnerable SE side it is strengthened with towers. Another wall runs down the spine of the headland; this also is about 3 m thick, but built of larger blocks less regularly fitted. It has been called the Lelegian wall, but this is plainly a misnomer; its masonry is not Lelegian in style, nor was this the site of the Lelegian town. It appears to belong to an earlier scheme of fortification.

Nothing survives of the other ruins seen by early travelers, including a theater and a stadium. Even in antiquity a large part of the area enclosed was unoccupied (Diog. Laert. 5.2.57). Rock cuttings may be seen in various places on the hillside, and a few tombs have been noticed outside the walls. Inscriptions are remarkably scarce.


C. T. Newton, Halicarnassus, Cnidus and Branchidae II (1863) 574-78; W. R. Paton, JHS 8 (1888) 66; 20 (1900) 80; G. Guidi, Annuario 4-5 (1921-22) 365-67; G. E. Bean & I. M. Cook, BSA 50 (1955) 108-12; G. E. Bean, Turkey beyond the Maeander (1971) 116-19.


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