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Abydos

Abydos lies on the Asian shores of the Dardanelles across the Gallipoli peninsula, at 6 kilometers north of Canakkale city. The site was an ancient city and a titular see of Troas in Asia Minor, suffrage of Cyzicus in the Hellespont province. It was situated at the narrowest point of the Hellespont in order to better control the passage and collect the toll from people crossing this strait, thus making it a wealthy city throughout the centuries.

Abydos first became a Greek colony around the 7th century BC. In 513 BC the Persian king Darius captured the city and collected high taxes. In 447 BC Abydos became a member of the Attic-Delos Maritime League to stand against the Persians. During the Peloponnesian War between Athenians and Spartans, the Spartan commander Lysandros made Abydos a state-center of Sparta. During the times of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC it became a part of Macedonia. Later, it was controlled by the Kingdom of Pergamum in the 3rd century BC and then by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. During the Byzantine period the city became a christian site, until the arrival of the Turks in the 15th century.

Abydos is famous since it's mentioned in several legends and historic facts. For example, as mentioned in Homer's Iliad, it was the spot where Leander (Leandros) swam over to Sestus (near today's Eceabat town in Thrace) to visit his mistress, Hero. Herodotus mentions the Persian king Xerxes built here the famous bridge of boats (around 480 BC) on which he crossed with his troops to a promontory on the opposite European shore on the way to Greece and then torched it to make sure that there was no return for his army. Also, Alexander the Great used this section (around 334 BC) to pass into Anatolia during his campaign against the Persians.

Today, nothing much left from Abydos except few remainings of the walls which are hardly noticable. No excavations have been made yet in the site.

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