Cyzicus (sĭzˈĭkəs) [key], ancient city, NW Turkey, at the neck of the Cyzicus Peninsula. Strategically located, it rivaled Byzantium in commercial importance. Founded (756 B.C.) by Greek colonists from Miletus, it was a member of the Delian League. In 410 B.C., Alcibiades defeated a Spartan fleet off Cyzicus, and in 74 B.C. the city withstood a siege by Mithradates VI of Pontus. As a reward for its loyalty, it became a free city under Roman rule. In A.D. 675 the town was pillaged by the Arabs and then used as a base for a siege of Constantinople. There are ruins of a large temple built by Roman Emperor Hadrian and of other public buildings.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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