Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bithynia is the name by which the country that occupies the N.W. corner of Asia Minor was known to antiquity. It is said to have been called Bebricia in remote times until colonised by the Bithyni, a Thracian tribe. Though nominally subject in succession to Assyria, Lydia, Persia, and Macedonia, the native chiefs appear to have enjoyed considerable independence, and Nicomedes I. (278-250 B.C.), the founder of Nicomedia (Ismid). established a dynasty which struggled for some years against the rival kingdom of Pontus, and ultimately surrendered its territory to Rome (74 B.C.). Pliny the Younger was proconsul in 103 A.D. Prusias I., one of these sovereigns, sheltered Hannibal, and gave his name to the city of Broussa, destined to be the capital of the Ottoman Turks before the capture of Constantinople. Bithynia as a Roman province was bounded E. by the Parthenius (Bartan) river, and S.W. by the Rhyndaeus, having an extensive const-line on the Euxine and the Propontis, where the Greek colonies of Chalcedon, and Heraclea Pontica (Erekli) were early established. Nicaea, which played so important a part in Church history, was then the rival of Nicomedia. The whole tract is intersected by offshoots of the Mysian Olympus (6,400 ft.) and the Ala Dagh range, but the valleys are exceedingly fertile. Towards the Bosphorus the ground is hilly rather than mountainous, and is densely wooded with valuable timber. The Sangarius (Sakaria) is the chief river, but there are many small and rapid streams. At the fall of the empire, the Oghusian Tartars held the province (1231 A.D.) for a time, but it finally passed into the hands of the Turks in 1327.