The Foundation of Prousa (Bursa)


Bursa region, was dominated by many colonies until the Bithynian state was founded in the 4th century BC According to the famous History of Herodot, in those days the only existing city in this region was Cius/Gemlik. The foundation of Cius city dates back to 12th century BC. Apamea/Mudanya city is thought to be founded in the 10th century BC. Apollonia/Gölyaz› situated on an island of Ulubat Lake is thought to be founded earlier thanthe 6th century BC. After the Lydian sovereignty of Krezus/kroisos (BC 561-546), Bursa encountered with Persian reign. Bursa region was ruined very much during these wars. Dedalses fought against Persians and founded an independent Bithynian state in Bursa region. The son of Dedalses, Botiras and his son Bas/Byas (BC 378-328) were regarded as the first kings of Bithynia kingdom. Antique Miletopolis was founded in the 2nd century BC at M.Kemalpafla near Melde Hill, and antique cities of Basilinopolis in Orhangazi, Pythopolis in Sölöz village, Otroia in Yeniflehir, Adriani in Orhaneli, Kremastis in Karacabey, Daskylium in Eflkel, Plai in Çekirge, Brillos in Kurflunlu, and Niceae in ‹znik were founded in 356. Bursa was recognized as a city and surrounded by walls during the term of Bithynian king Prusias I (BC 232-192). Carthagian king Hannibal had taken refuge to Bursa after he was defeated in the war against the king of Rome. Upon the great hospitality he was shown by Prusias I, Hannibal has foun- FROM PRUSA TO BURSA 18 The art works unearthed from Il›p›nar Tumulus ded Bursa to honour him. The city’s name derives from the name of the Bithynian king. The first obvious settlement findings near the city indicate BC 2500-2700. A woman sculpture and an “ostotek” was found belonging to the period of Uluda¤ Bursa (Prusa ad Olympium), dating back to the the reign of Prusias I, according to the archaic sources. Emperor Justinianus (527-565) constructed new bathhouses in Pythia (Çekirge). Vaulted rooms were found inside the fortress in 1935. The ground mosaic found at Yer Kap› inside the fortress is among one of the significant archaelogical remnants. Tophane harbors mosaics belonging to a chapelle and a monastery as well. Prusa (Bursa) was an insignificant city administrated by Nikaia (‹znik) between 1204-1261. Bithynia kingdom passed to Rome in BC 74, and existed under the rule of Rome for many years. Bursa and its surroundings, first ruled by Rome and then the Byzantium, were called Bithynia Principality or Kingdom even during the reign of Ottomans. Today, the richest Byzantine period tombs and various architectural pieces, ceramics, coins are all being exhibited in Bursa Archaelogical Museum. Turks seized Bursa in 1326 during the term of Orhan Bey. Unfortunately no monument belonging to Roman or Byzantine period has been survived to date. Bursa has manifested many advances during the period of first 200 years of Ottomans, decorated by various architectural buildings and has become a centre of science with its famous medreses (schools). Külliye of Hüdavendigar (began to be constructed during the term of I.Murat), Külliye of Y›ld› r›m (constructed by Bayez›d I), Yeflil Külliye (construction began during the term of Mehmet I and ended during the term of Murat II), are the great complexes which had influenced the development of Bursa and survived till this day.