The Kingdom of Pontus

Source of the name Samsun ‘Amisos’

Amisos Royal Tombs
Amisos Royal Tombs

Although it has been suggested that the name Samsun comes from the Greek word “Amisos”, there is a stronger possibility that the origin of this word dates back to the pre-Greek period. It is accepted by Greek historians that the word in question is not Greek but Palaskic. Amisos name is not given by the Greeks who come to the region by sea, Amasia is a word that originates from Anatolia is more likely. When the Roman Emperor Pompeius came to Amisos in 64 BC, he changed the name of the city to Pompeiopolis, but this name was not permanent and the name Amisos remained valid in the following periods.

The emergence of the name “Samsun” which we use today is after the Turks’ dominance. XII and XIII. Samsun is used in the Turkish sources in the centuries, while the Western sources on the same date “Sampson” is recorded. There is no doubt that the words Samsun and Sampson were bonded from Amisos. It is seen that the word Samsun is used in Ottoman sources even if there are spelling differences. However, the name of the city was called Samsun in this period, but the name “Canik” was used as the starboard. The city, which was turned into a province by administrative arrangement in the Republican era, is still called “Samsun” today.

Samsun Before the Turks

It is understood from the local excavations that the Gaskas were the first people of Samsun. They came together with those who came here before and established a small city at the mouth of Mert River. The Gaskas then came under Hittite rule and vanished. Thus Samsun became a Hittite city. Hittites BC It was destroyed by Phrygians in 1200 years.

In some ancient Greek sources it is written that the warrior women called Amazon in and around Samsun lived and never brought foreign men into their lands. It is claimed that the Amazons lived today in the plains of Çarşamba and Terme.

After the Phrygians, it is seen that the Kemmer people appeared on the stage of history in the Eastern Black Sea coastline. The Cimmerians who seized this region plundered Trabzon and Sinop. After defeating the Lydian king Giges Cimmerians, the Miletians, one of the maritime tribes of the Aegean, came to Amisos and settled.

Because of the Anatolian domination, the King of Lydia, Croesus and the Persian emperor Kurus BC. In 546, they fought in the south of the city of Amisos. After the defeat of Croesus in this war, both Anatolia and Amisos came under Persian rule. The Persian Emperor Darius, who came to Amisos to prepare for a great expedition, did not like the location of the city and rebuilt the city in Toramantepe, three kilometers to the west, which was later called “Black Samsun”. At one point Amisos was captured by the Greek king Pericles, again taken by the Persians and this domination BC. It lasted until 331.

After Alexander the Great defeated the Persians, the city of Amisos came under the domination of Macedonians. After the death of Alexander the Persian king Metredat BC. In 255 Amasya, Sinop and Amisos’u seized in this region established a state called the Pont Kingdom. As a matter of fact, the king tombs in Amasya belong to the kings of this state.

B.C. In 64, the city of Amisos came under Roman rule. Under Roman rule, the commercial importance of the city of Amisos began to increase. This commercial development enabled the city to prosper and after a while Christianity spread in Amisos.

After the Roman Empire was divided into two, Amisos became the ruler of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. During this period, Amisos became a bishop center. The wars that began between the Byzantines and the Muslim Arabs also affected Amisos. Indeed, the Emir of Malatya Omer b. The city of Amisos was taken in 863 during a raid to Anatolia by Abdullah. However, Omar b. The Byzantine army defeated Abdullah took it back and remained under Byzantine rule until the city was conquered by the Turks.


Amazons are legendary female warriors who lived in the 1200 BC. They lived in the city of Themiskyra which they established on the shores of Thermodon (Terme Stream).

It is said that women cut their right breasts as a child so that they can pull their bows well and that they are called “Amozon”, which means “breastless”.

In Greek mythology, the Amazons are mentioned as the children of Ares, the god of war, and the benevolent Harmonia (Aphrodite). The surplus product that emerged from the predatory life of the nomadic hunter and gatherer and the start of agriculture brought abundance and abundance to the societies. Abundance is symbolized by the woman, so the Goddess of Fertility Kybele has emerged.

The transition to settled life affected the place of women in society and increased the prestige and effectiveness of women. The rise in the status of women has led to a maternal lifestyle in some societies over time.

The Amazons are the representatives of this main masculinity in Anatolia, which has taken the form of a warrior. Because they symbolize the importance given to women, they worship the Mother Goddess Kybele.

Interesting philosophies of the Amazons have been repeated strikingly in various sources. It is rumored that in their daily lives, they have men with them as workers and servants, and they are with the men they have taken captive in wars to sustain their generations, and then they kill them. It is known that in order to be with a man in their rituals, they should kill at least three men and they will cripple, kill or give to their fathers, and girls will feed on horse milk and manna and grow strong. They are related to the Temple of Artemis, which is one of the 7 wonders of the world, and it is told in the legends that the Amazons made or nuned the temple and adorned them with breasts cut into the temple. In the figures of the Greek art of the Amazons, they are seen wearing a light shirt that is tied down with a ribbon over their hips and lowering their right shoulders, wearing a Greek helmet on their heads, leaving their arms, legs and feet naked. When they are dressed like Asians, it is stated that they cover their bodies tightly up to their necks and wear some kind of swimsuit on their legs and wear a Phrygian cap on their heads. The amazons cover only a saddle instead of saddles on horses. They used to shoot beautiful arrows on the horse and throw spears.

Amazons, interesting and attractive warrior women of history, have been the subject of fine arts throughout history.

In the 5th century BC, an Efeste contest was opened to erect an Amazon statue. The statues of the Amazon women, prepared by the artists participating in this competition, have survived to the present day. The most famous of these works are the “Wounded Amazon” statues in the Berlin and Doma Capitolune museums and the “Amasone Mattei” statue in the Vatican. Rubens’ famous “Amazon warrior” is also one of the most well-known works.

The Kingdom of Pontus
The Kingdom of Pont

These gold trappings (dead gifts), the archaeological works made of pottery, glass and marble, showing the wealth of life in Amisos, the male tomb, one of the highest rulers of the Pontus Kingdom, the other tombs of his wife and his wife and It is thought to belong to his daughter. Earth, glass, metal and marble artifacts found in the tomb are dated to the 4th century BC.

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