Bursa, Whose City?
Bursa and its surroundings were formerly calledBithynia. The South and west of Uluda¤ wasknown as Mysia. The Bithynians living in the Bursaregion were of Thracian origin. Because it wassituated at the point where Europe meets Asia, therewere various people habitating this area.Before Bithynians, Bebryks were inhabiting there.Then Mysians were migrated tothe area. Due to their adhesion tothracian traditions, Bithynians werecalled as Anatolian thracians mostly.It is now understood from the relateddocuments that the language they wereusing was Thracian as well. However, the influenceof the greek colonies graduallychanged Bithynian paople intoGreeks. Before Bithynians,Bebryk language was spoken inthe region and to the east Mygdon ded Bursa to honour him. The city’s name derivesfrom the name of the Bithynian king. The first obvioussettlement findings near the city indicate BC2500-2700.A woman sculpture and an “ostotek” was found belongingto the period of Uluda¤ Bursa (Prusa adOlympium), dating back to the the reign of PrusiasI, according to the archaic sources.Emperor Justinianus (527-565) constructed newbathhouses in Pythia (Çekirge). Vaulted rooms werefound inside the fortress in 1935. The groundmosaic found at Yer Kap› inside the fortress isamong one of the significant archaelogical remnants.Tophane harbors mosaics belonging to a chapelleand a monastery as well.Prusa (Bursa) was an insignificant city administratedby Nikaia (iznik) between 1204-1261.Bithynia kingdom passed to Rome in BC 74, andexisted under the rule of Rome for many years.Bursa and its surroundings, first ruled by Rome andthen the Byzantium, were called Bithynia Principalityor Kingdom even during the reign of Ottomans.Today, the richest Byzantine period tombs and variousarchitectural pieces, ceramics, coins are allbeing exhibited in Bursa Archaelogical Museum.Turks seized Bursa in 1326 during the term of OrhanBey. Unfortunately no monument belonging toRoman or Byzantine period has been survived todate.Bursa has manifested many advances during the periodof first 200 years of Ottomans, decorated byvarious architectural buildings and has become a language was spoken. To the west, people werespeaking Mysian language. The languages spokenin the region; Phrygian language, Mysia, Mariandyn,Kaukon, were belonging to the Indo-europeanlanguage group’s Thracian-phrygian branch. Theking names of Zipoites and Ziaelas are in Bithynianlanguage. It is doubted if Prusias is Bithynian too.The god names of Papas (Zeus), Papaias (malename), and Papia (female name) are in Bithynian aswell. Location names such as; Bithynion, Prusa,Tataion, Dadastana, and Dableis, are known to beof Bithynian language.It is well known that Byzantines have placed manySerbs and Bulgarians to Bursa and its surroundingsin the 12th century. When Ottomans arrived there,they found orthodox christians of various origins livingin the region.Besides we should emphasize the fact that whenOttomans seized Bursa, the city was confined to theinner side of the fortress. Orhan Gazi carried thecity beyond the fortress and created a new citywhich had been the core of today’s Bursa. Publicbuildings such as schools, hospitals, bridges, cookhouses,caravanserais, bathhouses were constructedand residential areas were formed around these.Thus a tradition of settlement was created and thefoundation of today’s Bursa was constituted.