The Bithynie (in Greek old Βιθύνια / Bithýnia ) is an old kingdom in the North-West of the Asia Mineure, currently located in Turkey. It was limited by the Euxine Sea to north, the Paphlagonie in the east, the Galatie and the Phrygie in the south, the Propontide and the Mysie in the west.
Bithyniens are, according to Hérodote and Xénophon, of origin Thrace. They form initially an independent State before being annexed by Crésus, which adds their territory to the Lydie. They pass then under domination Perse, where Bithynie is included in the satrapie of Phrygie.
But as of before Alexandre Large the, Bithynie finds its independence. Nicomède Ier is the first to proclaim king. During its long reign (-278/-243), the kingdom knows prosperity and enjoys a position respected among the small kingdoms of Asia Mineure. However, the last king, Nicomède IV, fails to contain the king Mithridate VI Pont. Restored on the throne by the Roman Empire, it bequeaths by will its kingdom to Rome in -74. Bithynie becomes Roman Province then.
List kings de Bithynie
- -315/-278: Zipoétès Ier, dynaste then King in -297
- -278/-250/-243: Nicomède Ier
- -250/-243/-228: Zélas
- -228/-180: Prusias Ier Cholos
- -180/-168: Prusias II Cynegos
- -149/-127: Nicomède II Épiphanès
- -127/-94: Nicomède III Évergètès
- -94/-74: Nicomède IV Philopatôr
Queen of Bithynie
According to Suétone which tells it in its work ( Vie of Jules César , XLIX, 3), Jules César was called by its soldiers “the queen of Bithynie” because it would have had a homosexual relation in his youth with king de Bithynie, Nicomède IV.
Bithynie Roman province
The principal cities of Bithynie are Nicomédie (current Izmit) and Nicée, which disputes the title of capital according to the time, like Héraclée of the Bridge (or more simply Héraclée), Prussia (current Bursa) and Chalcédoine.
Most famous Bithynien is probably Antinoüs, the lover of the emperor Hadrian. Denys d' Héraclée is also related to the area as well as the empress Cornelia Salonina, wife of the emperor Gallien, who of it would be originating.
Bithynie Byzantine province
During late Antiquity and all Middle Ages, Bithynie was an area of the Byzantine Empire. Many monasteries were founded there and were maintained there.
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