Trapezus), a city of Asia Minor, situated on the Black Sea, near its south-eastern angle.
The position which was occupied by the Hellenic and medieval city is a sloping table of ground (whence the original name of the place, Trapezus, the "Table-land"), which falls in steep rocky precipices on the two sides, where two deep valleys, descending from the interior, run parallel at no great distance from one another down to the sea.
The sea-coast, like the rest of the south shore of the Euxine, was studded with Greek colonies founded from the 6th century onwards: Amisus, a colony of Miletus, which in the 5th century received a body of Athenian settlers, now the port of Samsun; Cotyora, now Ordu; Cerasus, the later Pharnacia, now Kerasund; and Trapezus (Trebizond), a famous city from Xenophon's time till the end of the middle ages.
These three districts formed distinct administrative divisions within the provinces to which they were attached, with separate capitals Amasia, Neocaesarea and Trapezus; but the first two were afterwards merged in one, sometimes called Pontus mediterraneus, with Neocaesarea as capital, probably when they were definitively transferred (about A.D.
Miletus especially was at an early period one of the most important commercial cities of Greece; and in its turn became the parent of numerous other colonies, which extended all around the shores of the Euxine and the Propontis from Abydus and Cyzicus to Trapezus and Panticapaeum.