Bithynia

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Bithynia

(bĭthĭn`ēə), ancient country of NW Asia Minor, in present-day Turkey. The original inhabitants were Thracians who established themselves as independent and were given some autonomy after Cyrus the Great incorporated Bithynia into the Persian Empire. After the death of Alexander the Great, the Bithynians took advantage of the wars of the Diadochi to secure freedom from the Seleucids (297 B.C.). They established a dynasty under the leadership of Zipoetes who was succeeded (c.280 B.C.) by Nicomedes I, who founded Nicomedia as the capital of his flourishing state. During his time and the following reigns of Prusias I, Prusias II, and Nicomedes II, wars continued with the Seleucids and with Pergamum. In the 1st cent. B.C., Mithradates VI of Pontus had designs on Bithynia, which was ruled by Nicomedes IV (sometimes confused with Nicomedes III), a client of Rome. When Nicomedes died (74 B.C.) he willed Bithynia to Rome. The last of the wars with Mithradates resulted. Bithynia was an important province of Rome. For some time after Pompey's rearrangement of the empire it was combined with western Pontus as a single province. Pliny the Younger (see under Pliny the ElderPliny the Elder
(Caius Plinius Secundus) , c.A.D. 23–A.D. 79, Roman naturalist, b. Cisalpine Gaul. He was a friend and fellow soldier of Vespasian, and he dedicated his great work to Titus.
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) was governor of the province (c.A.D. 110) under the emperor Trajan. The reign of Hadrian soon after seems to have marked the end of Bithynian prosperity. It was invaded briefly by the Goths (A.D. 298).

Bithynia

 

a genus of invertebrate animals of the class of gasteropod mollusks. There are seven species in the fresh waters of the USSR.

Widely distributed in the European part of the USSR are Bithynia tentaculata (living in various types of standing bodies of water) and B. leachi (in the dried-up reservoirs of river floodlands). Some members of Bithynia are temporary hosts for the parasitic worms trematodes. For example, B. leachi serves as the first temporary host of the parasitic worm Siberian, or cat, fluke (Opisthorchis felineus), which causes the disease opisthorchosis in man. The second temporary host is a fish, from which man is infected with the parasite.


Bithynia

 

a historical province in the northwestern part of Asia Minor (on the territory of modern Turkey). The name derives from a Thracian tribe, the Thines or Bithines, who penetrated to the territory of Bithynia from Europe about 700 B.C. In the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Greek colonies (Astacus, Heraclea, and others) were founded on the shores of Bithynia. In the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., Bithynia was subordinated to Lydia, and from the sixth century to the fourth it was under the Achaeminidae. After the governors of Bithynia successfully repulsed an invasion by troops of Alexander of Macedon in 327 B.C. and defeated the diadoch Lysimachus about 300, one of these governors, Zipoetes, declared Bithynia an independent state in 297 and took for himself the title of king. The Bithynian king Nicomedes I (reigned from 280 or 278 to c. 255) extended the state’s borders and in 264 founded the capital at Nicomedia. In 74 B.C., by terms of the will of the last Bithynian king, Nicomedes IV, Bithynia was transferred to Rome and became a Roman province. In 64 B.C. it was united to Pontus to form the province of Pontus and Bithynia. Bithynia continued to play a significant role in Roman and later in Byzantine imperial economic and cultural affairs. In the 14th century, the Ottoman Turks conquered Bithynia.

REFERENCES

Ranovich, A. Vostochnye provintsii Rimskoi imperii v I-III vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Sōldi, J. “Bithynische Städteim Altertum.” Klio, 1924, pp. 140-88.

T. M. SHEPYNOVA

Bithynia

an ancient country on the Black Sea in NW Asia Minor