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.
295), the Pontic districts were divided up between four provinces of the dioecesis pontica: (1) Paphlagonia, to which was attached most of the old province Pontus; (2) Diospontus, re-named Helenopontus by Constantine, containing the rest of the province Pontus and the adjoining district, eight cities in all (including Sinope, Amisus and Zela) with Amasia as capital; (3) Pontus Polemoniacus, containing Comana, Polemonium, Cerasus and Trapezus with Neocaesarea as capital; and (4) Armenia Minor, five cities, with Sebasteia, as capital.
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