In direct translation Ancient Greek, this name means "Signal Harbor" or "Harbor of Symbols".
Plinius the Elder (I century AD) called it "port". This probably was an ancient name of the Bay of Balaklava, "...harbor with narrow entrance, where the Taurians... usually assembled their predatory bands in order to attack those who fled to that place for refuge…" (Strabo Geogr. 7. 4. 2). This harbor was convenient because of its location at the very approach to Chersonesos and its ability to provide an effectively shelter for ships in case of storms. In result, it repeatedly became a place of the events, the memory of which was kept in the history of the Crimea. Treacherous Bosporians left their ships there when they tried to take Chersonesos by deception during the reign of the king Asandros - the city owed its salvation from the spirit of Gykia only. When the Romans arrived to the Crimea, they set up their camp and built a fortress and a temple of Jupiter Dolichenus on the coast of this harbor. They stayed there for almost two hundred years being the protectors of the peace in Chersonesos. Few centuries later, the deposed emperor of Byzantium Justinian II Noseless arrived to the Signal Harbor. He was waiting for his adherents hiding themselves in Chersonesos, there he was thinking over the plan of revenge and preparing the campaign which would give him the imperial throne back. But the crown boded him bad, and in few years Justinian said farewell not only to his nose, but also to his life.
© N. Khrapunov.