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A city of Arcadia, on the Alpheus, the name of which was mythically derived from the τράπεζα, or altar, on which Lycaon was said to have offered human sacrifices to Zeus. At the time of the building of Megalopolis, the inhabitants of Trapezus, as was alleged, rather than be transferred to the new city, migrated to the shores of the Euxine, and their city fell to ruin (Paus.viii.3.2; Apollod. iii.8.1; 127).


Now Tarabosan, Trabezun, or Trebizond); a colony of Sinopé, at almost the extreme east of the northern shore of Asia Minor. The city derived its name either from the table-like plateau on which it was built, or because emigrants from the Arcadian Trapezus took some part in its settlement (Paus.xiii.27.4). The former is the more likely statement, since there is no reason why the main body of colonists from Sinopé should have given it the name of another town. After Sinopé lost its independence, Trapezus belonged, first to Armenia Minor, and afterwards to the kingdom of Pontus. Under the Romans, it was made a free city, probably by Pompey, and, by Trajan, the capital of Pontus Cappadocius. Hadrian constructed a new harbour; and the city became a place of first-rate commercial importance. It was also strongly fortified. It was taken by the Goths in the reign of Valerian; but it had recovered, and was in a flourishing state at the time of Justinian, who repaired its fortifications (Procop. Aed. iii. 7). In the Middle Ages it was for some time the seat of a fragment of the Greek Empire, called the Empire of Trebizond.

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.8.1
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.127
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.3.2
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