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Ancient Region of Anatolia

Location North-western Anatoliamarker
Biggest city Pergamon
Roman province Asia

Mysia (Μυσία) was a region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor or Anatoliamarker (part of modern Turkeymarker). It was located on the south coast of the Sea of Marmaramarker. It was bounded by Bithynia on the east, Phrygia on the southeast, Lydia on the south, Aeolis on the southwest, Troad on the west and by the Propontismarker on the north. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Mysians, Phrygians, Aeolian Greeks, and other groups.


The precise limits of Mysia are difficult to assign. The Phrygian frontier was fluctuating, while in the northwest the Troad was only sometimes included in Mysia. The northern portion was known as Mysia Minor or Hellespontica, while the southern was called Major or Pergamene.

Land and elevation

The chief physical features of Mysia are the two mountainsMount Olympusmarker at (7600 ft) in the north and Mount Temnus in the south, which for some distance separates Mysia from Lydia and is afterwards prolonged through Mysia to the neighbourhood of the Gulf of Adramyttium. The major rivers in the northern part of the province are the Macestus and its tributary, the Rhyndacus, both of which rise in Phrygia, and, after diverging widely through Mysia, unite their waters below the lake of Apolloniatis about from the Propontis. The Caïcus in the south rises in Temnus, and from thence flows westward to the Aegean Seamarker, passing within a few miles of Pergamon. In the northern portion of the province are two considerable lakes, Artynia, or Apolloniatis (Abulliont Geul), and Aphnitis (Maniyas Geul), which discharge their waters into the Macestus from the east and west respectively.

Cities in Mysia

The most important cities were Pergamon in the valley of the Caïcus, and Cyzicus on the Propontis. The whole sea-coast was studded with Greek towns, several of which were places of considerable importance; thus the northern portion included Parium, Lampsacus and Abydosmarker, and the southern Assosmarker, Adramyttiummarker. Further south, on the Eleatic Gulf, were Elaeamarker, Myrina and Cymemarker.


A minor episode in the Trojan War cycle in Greek mythology has the Greek fleet land at Mysia, mistaking it for Troymarker. Achilles wounds their king, Telephus, after he slays a Greek; Telephus later pleads with Achilles to heal the wound. This coastal region ruled by Telephus is alternatively named Teuthrania in Greek mythology, and was previously ruled by a King Teuthras. In the Iliad, Homer represents the Mysians as allies of Troy, with the Mysian forces led by Ennomus (a prophet) and Chromius, sons of Arsinous. Homeric Mysia appears to have been much smaller in extent than historical Mysia, and did not extend north to the Hellespont or the Propontis. Homer does not mention any cities or landmarks in Mysia, and it is not clear exactly where Homeric Mysia was situated, although it was probably located somewhere between the Troad (to the northwest of Mysia) and Lydia/Maeonia (to its south).

There are a number of Mysian inscriptions in a dialect of the Phrygian language, in a variant of the Phrygian alphabet. There are also a small number of references to a Lutescan language indigenous to Mysia in Aeolic Greek sources.

Ancient bridges

The remains of several Roman bridges can still be found:

See also


  1. Titchener, J.B. (1926), Synopsis of Greek and Roman Civilization, Cambridge MA

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