Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Theopompos of Myndos

While running a series of web searches in preparation for a new page for the blog I came across a reference to Theopompos of Myndos who fought with Lysander at Battle of Aegospotami in 405 BC.

Several of the books and websites associated with the area mention Alexander of Myndos, Apollonius of Myndos, Botryas of Myndos, and Eusebius of Myndos but this is the first time I had come across Theopompos.

A statue of Theopompos is listed as being a part of Lysander’s monument at Delphi dedicated to the victory of the Spartans over the Athenians in the last battle of the Peloponnesian war (Stuart Jones, H, Pg 136)1

The dedication is mentioned by Pausanias, a Greek traveller and geographer from the 2nd century AD. (Pausanias 10.9.7)

What I find interesting is that Theopompos is the second recorded seafaring Myndian who predates Mausolus’ synoecism of the Lelegian towns and the rebuilding of Myndos at what is now Gümüşlük. With the absence of any obvious evidence of a harbour associated with the original Lelegian hill top settlement of Myndos on Bozdağ, Prof Mustafa Şahin (Uludağ University), who has excavated finds predating the synoecism at Gümüşlük, has proposed that the harbour and surrounding area may have been inhabited prior to the construction of Mausolus’ Myndos.

Stuart Jones, H. 1895. Select Passages from Ancient Writers Illustrative of the History of Greek Sculpture. London: Macmillan and Co

1 comment:

  1. I’ve deleted the reference to Theopompos being a Trierarch, although he may have held the position the translation of Pausanias’ description of the monument (Stuart Jones, H, Pg 135) uses the phrase “... portraits of all who assisted Lysander at the victory...”

    The dedication at Delphi consisted of 37 bronze statues, 4 of which depicted the gods, then there are those dedicated to Lysander, Hermon his helmsman, Abas his diviner plus several other Spartans as a result Theopompos is one of less than 30 non Spartan leaders who were celebrated

    Most sources suggest that Lysander had approximately 180 ships i.e. the fleets were equally matched and it is recorded that the Athenian fleet consisted of around 180 ships (each with a crew of 200 including officers and marines), you wonder what feat Theopompos and his crew performed during the battle to warrant his inclusion in the commemorative dedication.