Link Between Greek Colonies: Apollonia Pontica and Heraclea Pontica


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SOZOPOL, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that a piece of a document linking the ancient Greek colonies of Apollonia Pontica and Heraclea Pontica has been discovered on the Black Sea island of St. John. The two colonies were situated on the Black Sea coast in what are now the countries of Bulgaria and Turkey, respectively. The decree, drafted by the assembly of Apollonia Pontica and carved into a stone in the third century B.C., described the cordial ties between the two cities. “The citizens of Heraclea [Pontica] became honorary representatives of their own city in Apollonia [Pontica],” said epigraphist Nikolay Sharankov of Sofia University. “They received the right to buy real estate property there and to trade there without additional taxes and duties, not to wait their turn in judicial trials, to be given the floor with priority in the council and the assembly, to occupy the front row seats in the theater, and so on,” Sharankov explained. A copy of the document would have been sent to Heraclea Pontica, he added. The decree is thought to have been displayed in a prominent place in a shrine on the island, and then later reused as building material in the Christian monastery where it was recovered. To read in-depth about a Greek inscription found in Turkey, go to “In Search of a Philosopher’s Stone.”


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