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Gongylos portrait.jpg
Likely portrait of one of the Gongylid rulers, from a 5th century coin of Pergamon. [1]
Native name
Allegiance Standard of Cyrus the Great (White).svg Achaemenid Empire
Battles/wars Second Persian invasion of Greece in 479 BCE
Possible coinage of Gongylos, with Apollo on the obverse, and Gongylos wearing the Persian cap on the reverse, as ruler of Pergamon for the Achaemenid Empire. Pergamon, Mysia, circa 450 BCE. The name of the city PERG ("PERG"), appears for the first time on this coinage, and is the first evidence for the name of the city. MYSIA, Pergamon. Mid 5th century BCE.jpg
Possible coinage of Gongylos, with Apollo on the obverse, and Gongylos wearing the Persian cap on the reverse, as ruler of Pergamon for the Achaemenid Empire. Pergamon, Mysia, circa 450 BCE. The name of the city ΠΕΡΓ ("PERG"), appears for the first time on this coinage, and is the first evidence for the name of the city.
Turkey relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location of Pergamon and nearby Gambrium, Palaegambrium, Myrina and Grynium, where the Gongylids ruled.

Gongylos, from Eretria in Euboea, was a 5th-century Greek statesman who served as an intermediary between the Spartans and Xerxes I of the Achaemenid Empire, and was a supporter of the latter. [2] [3]

Eretria Place in Greece

Eretria is a town in Euboea, Greece, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow South Euboean Gulf. It was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th century BC, mentioned by many famous writers and actively involved in significant historical events.

Euboea The second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete

Euboea or Evia is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete. The narrow Euripus Strait separates it from Boeotia in mainland Greece. In general outline it is a long and narrow island; it is about 180 kilometres (110 mi) long, and varies in breadth from 50 kilometres (31 mi) to 6 kilometres (3.7 mi). Its geographic orientation is from northwest to southeast, and it is traversed throughout its length by a mountain range, which forms part of the chain that bounds Thessaly on the east, and is continued south of Euboea in the lofty islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos.

Sparta City-state in ancient Greece

Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.

After the defeat of the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 479 BCE, Gongylos was forced to flee and take refuge in the Achaemenid Empire. [4] There, Xerxes granted him the territory of Pergamon in Asia Minor from circa 470-460 BCE as a reward. [2] His descendants ruled over the city until at least 400 BCE, forming the Gongylid dynasty of satraps. [4] Gongylos was one of the several Greek aristocrats who took refuge in the Achaemenid Empire following reversals at home, other famous ones being Hippias, Demaratos, and Themistocles. [3] In general, those were generously welcomed by the Achaemenid kings, and received land grants to support them, and ruled over various cities of Asia Minor. [3]

Second Persian invasion of Greece Invasion during the Greco-Persian Wars

The second Persian invasion of Greece occurred during the Greco-Persian Wars, as King Xerxes I of Persia sought to conquer all of Greece. The invasion was a direct, if delayed, response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece at the Battle of Marathon, which ended Darius I's attempts to subjugate Greece. After Darius's death, his son Xerxes spent several years planning for the second invasion, mustering an enormous army and navy. The Athenians and Spartans led the Greek resistance. About a tenth of the Greek city-states joined the 'Allied' effort; most remained neutral or submitted to Xerxes.

Pergamon ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey

Pergamon, Pergamos or Pergamum, was a rich and powerful ancient Greek city in Aeolis. It is located 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the modern coastline of the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus and northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey.

Satrap Ruler of a province in ancient Persia

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy; and the word also came to suggest tyranny, or ostentatious splendour.

According to Xenophon (Anabasis, 7.8.8-17), when he arrived in Mysia in 399, he met Hellas, the widow of Gongylos and probable daughter of Themistocles, [5] who was living at Pergamon. His two sons, Gorgion and Gongylos the younger, ruled respectively over the cities of Gambrium and Palaegambrium for Gorgion, and Myrina and Grynium for Gongylos. Xenophon received some support from the descendants of Gongylos for his campaign into Asia Minor, as well as from the descendants of Demaratos, a Spartan exile who also had become a satrap for the Achaemenids, in the person of his descendant Prokles. [4] [6]

Xenophon Classical Greek philosopher, historian, and soldier

Xenophon of Athens was an ancient Greek philosopher, historian, soldier, mercenary, and student of Socrates. As a soldier, Xenophon became commander of the Ten Thousand at about 30, with noted military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge saying of him, “the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior.” He established the precedent for many logistical operations and was among the first to use flanking maneuvers, feints and attacks in depth. He was among the greatest commanders of antiquity. As a historian, Xenophon is known for recording the history of his time, the late-5th and early-4th centuries BC, in such works as the Hellenica, which covered the final seven years and the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, thus representing a thematic continuation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War.

Mysia Historical region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor

Mysia was a region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor. It was located on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara. 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 Propontis on the north. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Mysians, Phrygians, Aeolian Greeks and other groups.

Themistocles Athenian statesman

Themistocles was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower-class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he convinced the polis to increase the naval power of Athens, a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece he fought at the Battle of Marathon and was possibly one of the ten Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle.

It is thought that the Greek dynasts of Pergamon were punished following the Peace of Antalcidas in 386 BCE for their support of the Greeks against the Achaemenids. [4] However, by the mid-4th century BCE, the Achaemenid satrap Orontes again allowed the people of Pergamon to settle on the acropolis of their city. [4] This lasted until the conquests of Alexander the Great, when Pergamon became part of the Macedonian Empire. [4]

Peace of Antalcidas peace treaty

The King's Peace, also known as the Peace of Antalcidas, was a peace treaty guaranteed by the Persian King Artaxerxes II that ended the Corinthian War in ancient Greece. The treaty's alternate name comes from Antalcidas, the Spartan diplomat who traveled to Susa to negotiate the terms of the treaty with the king of Achaemenid Persia. The treaty was more commonly known in antiquity, however, as the King's Peace, a name that reflects the depth of Persian influence in the treaty, as Persian gold had driven the preceding war. The treaty was a form of Common Peace, similar to the Thirty Years' Peace which ended the First Peloponnesian War.

Orontes I Armenian noble

Orontes I or Yervand I was an Armenian ruler of the Orontid Dynasty who ruled as satrap of the Achaemenid Empire between 401 BC – 344 BC. The Persian version of the name is Auruand which meant "Great Warrior" in the Avestan language. It is likely this was a special title given by the Persian king, though this seems to have become a hereditary title in that family.

Acropolis Defensive settlement built on high ground

An acropolis was in ancient Greece a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground—frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense. Acropolis became the nuclei of large cities of classical antiquity, such as ancient Athens, and for this reason they are sometimes prominent landmarks in modern cities with ancient pasts, such as modern Athens. Perhaps the most famous acropolis is the Acropolis of Athens, located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the Parthenon.

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Philiscus of Abydos

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  1. CNG: MYSIA, Pergamon. Mid 5th century BC. AR Diobol (11mm, 1.72 g, 10h).
  2. 1 2 3 Dreyfus, Renée (1996). Pergamon: The Telephos Friez from the Great Altar; [exhibition, The Metrolopitan Museum of Art, New York, N. Y., 16 January - 14 April 1996...]. University of Texas Press. p. 104. ISBN   9780884010890.
  3. 1 2 3 Miller, Margaret C. (2004). Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN   9780521607582.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Dignas, Beate; Smith, R. R. R. (2012). Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World. OUP Oxford. pp. 120–122. ISBN   9780199572069.
  5. Harvey, David; Wilkins, John (2002). The Rivals of Aristophanes: Studies in Athenian Old Comedy. ISD LLC. p. 199-201. ISBN   9781910589595.
  6. Roller, Duane W. (2018). Cleopatra's Daughter: and Other Royal Women of the Augustan Era. Oxford University Press. p. 29. ISBN   9780190618841.