Μυρίνα (in Ancient Greek)
Ancient Myrina was located on the Beriki Tepe hill, on the left bank of the Pytikos River.
|Location||Aliağa, Izmir Province, Turkey|
It is said to have been founded by one Myrinus before the other Aeolian cities, or by the Amazon Myrina. Artaxerxes gave Gryneium and Myrina to Gongylus, an Eretrian, who had been banished from his native city for favoring the interests of Persia.
Myrina was a very strong place, though not very large, and had a good harbor. Pliny the Elder mentions the fame of its oysters and that it bore the surname of Sebastopolis; while, according to Syncellus, it was also called Smyrna. An inscription (Bulletin de correspondance hellenique, V, 283) tells us that Myrina formed part of the Kingdom of Pergamon in the 3rd century BC. For some time Myrina was occupied by Philip V of Macedon; but the Romans compelled him to evacuate it, and declared the place free. Under Roman rule, Myrina was part of the Roman province of Asia Prima. It twice suffered severe earthquakes; first in the reign of Tiberius, on which occasion it received a remission of duties on account of the loss it had sustained; and a second time in the reign of Trajan. The town was restored each time, and continued to exist until a late period. It was the birthplace of Agathias, a Byzantine poet and historian of the 6th century. Myrina minted coins in Antiquity, some of which survive.
The site of Myrina was discovered at the mouth of the river that was the ancient Pythicos, whose alluvia have covered what was the city's harbour. Excavations (1880-1882) brought to light about four thousand tombs, dating from the last two centuries BC, in which were found numerous objects representing the divinities of the Greek pantheon; children's toys, reproductions of famous works, etc.: most of these may be seen today in the Museum of the Louvre. Archaeologist Dorothy Burr Thompson carried out a study of the 117 Hellenistic terracotta figures from Myrina in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Under Roman rule, Myrina was part of the Roman province of Asia Prima and its bishopric was a suffragan of the capital's Metropolitan see of Ephesus. The names of some of its bishops are known: Dorotheus, 431 AD; Proterius, 451; John, 553; Cosmas, 787.
It still existed as a residential see in the 14th century, but was suppressed.
It is vacant, having had the following incumbents, of the lowest (episcopal) rank :
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