In Antiquity

Gurzufskoye Sedlo
"Ancient Chersonesos"of Strabo
"Another Harbor of the Chersonesites"
Kalos Limen
Roman strongholds
The Sanctuary on the Isthmus of the Saki Lake
Symbolon Limen

In the Middle Ages


"There was also one more fortress of Eupatorion established by Diophantos when he was a commander from Mithradates. This is a cape approximately fifteen stadia [ca. 2649 m] fare from a wall of the Chersonesites, which makes a very large bay facing the town. Above this bay an estuary is located, which has salt-works..." (Strabo, VII, 4, 7; trans. G. A. Stratanovsky)

That is what the famous Hellenic geographer and historian Strabo, who lived at the turn of the eras, informs about this place. It is likely that the same fortress is mentioned in the decree of Chersonesos in honor of military commander Diophantos, who helped this city in the late II century BC by crashing the Scythians, Taurians, and Roxolanians, who menaced the dwellers of Chersonesos. This fortress received its name (Greek eupatorion means "of noble origin") probably after the Pontic king Mithradates VI Eupatores, who was the patron of Diophantos.

Different scholars located this Eupatorion at different places on the ancient Crimea map. They were searchin for the site of the fortress in the vicinity of Chersonesos, at the place of present-day Sevastopol, in the area of Inkerman or Balaklava. D. S. Rayevskiy has recently supposed that the remains of the ancient Eupaterion were located in the western part of the Crimean peninsula, on the outskirts of the present town of Saki, and now are known as Kara-tobe site of some ancient town. There, archaeological excavations have uncovered the Scythian settlement, which was replaced with ancient Greek fortress in the late II century BC. There are two inscriptions, in ancient Greek language, uncovered at this place. As S. Y. Vnukov put it, one of these inscriptions was a "trophy," that is to say, stele, which was erected by the Chersonesites and the Pontians in commemoration of their victory over the Scythians. Let us remember that the decree in honor of Diophantos states that the Pontic king Mithradates VI Eupatores (certainly not personally but through his celebrated military commander) was the first who raised a trophy over the Scythians!

...After the Crimea was annexed by Russia in the late 18th century, several new cities were founded. Catherine II ordered these cities to be called after the ancient Greek settlements, which existed in the peninsula in former times. The present-day Yevpatoriya acquired its name in this way. But they could not omit mistakes: there really was an ancient Greek and then Scythian city at the place of modern Evpatoriya, but it most likely was called Kerkinitis.

© N. Khrapunov.

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