To the Interpretation of Dion. Byz. 32: a Forgotten Episode of the Greek Colonization?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Russian State University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameISTORIYA

In the work of Dionysius of Byzantium “Sailing through the Bosporus” (32), it is said that there was a tomb of the certain Megarian hero Hipposthenes on the northern shore of the Horn Bay; the reality of this topographic object allows us to consider that character as a historical person. Other sources do not report anything about the Hipposthenes the Megarian, however, the Spartan athlete of the same name, a six-time Olympian winner, is well known, to whom a temple was even dedicated in Sparta, where, according to some prophecy, he was revered on a par with Poseidon (Paus. III. 13. 9; 15. 7; V. 8. 9). The presence of the sanctuary of Poseidon with an oracle on the southern bank of the Horn (Dion. Byz. 9), coupled with the message of Constantine Porphyrogenitus about the participation in the founding of Byzantium, along with the Megarians and Boeotians, also the Lacedaemonians (De themat. II. 1. 43—45 Pertusi) allows us to presumably reconstruct at the end of the VII century B. C. — beginning of the VI century B. C. a certain episode associated with the withdrawal of an additional contingent of colonists to Byzantium, in which the Spartan Hipposthenes was involved. He died or was killed in the course of these events, covering his name with truly immortal glory, for which he received extraordinary honors both in his homeland and in Byzantium.

KeywordsThe Great Greek colonization, Byzantium, Dionysius of Byzantium, Ktisissage, Sparta, athlete Hipposthenes
Publication date15.03.2023
Number of characters76959
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