A short visit to the ancient Priapos.

January 10, 2017

We visited the ruins of the ancient Priapos in the southern coast of Marmara sea in December 2015. It was a very brief visit, almost fleeting, since the evening was about to become night. However the place attracted our attention so we wanted to know more about it. This is the result of our modest visit and subsequent investigation.


 Photo 1.- The beautiful bay of Karabiga, seen from the vicinity of the ancient city of Priapos, in the light of the sunset. Photo courtesy of El Prisma de Lara.


Priapos ancient site is located next to the small Turkish town of Karabiga, inside a wide bay with beautiful views (photo 1). The last rays of sun are perching on the rickety walls when we finally reach them, dyeing them with an intense orange hue. These walls belong to an urban city wall flanked by square towers which, although nowadays is very badly damaged, once had to be really powerful judging by the great size of the towers (photo 2) and the enormous thickness of the masonry works (photos 3 and 4). We cross a part of the perimeter of the city wall, which is closest to us. We know that there are remains of housing structures inside the site but the night is falling on us and no longer gives more time. It has been a lightning visit but very interesting. It's time to find out a bit about the history of this ancient city.


 Photo 2.- Ruins of a tower belonging to the Late-Byzantine wall of Pegai / Priapos.


The city of Priapos was founded on the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara, the ancient Propontis of the classic texts, at the end of the fourth century BC. by settlers of Cyzicus or Miletus. Its name comes directly from the god Priapus, protector of the fertility, the crops and the animals, whose cult began at a remote time in this area of the Hellespont, extending later to all the Hellenic east. Alexander the Great defeated the Persian army for the first time very close to this city of Priapos, in the banks of the Granicus river (May, 334 BC). Once the outcome of the battle was known, Priapos immediately opened the doors to the macedonian conqueror without opposing the least resistance.