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Parium (or Parion; Greek: Πάριον) was a Greek city of Adrasteia in Mysia on the Hellespont. Its bishopric was a suffragan of Cyzicus, the metropolitan see of the Roman province of Hellespontus. The ruins of the ancient city of Parion are located on the territory of modern Turkish village of Kemer, in Çanakkale Province, on the coast of the Marmara Sea. 

Category:         Ancient City

Civilisation       Greek /Asia Minor



Historical overview: 

Parion, also called Parium, was a Greek city located on the border of historical lands of Troad and Mysia. In ancient times, Parion functioned as an important harbor for the surrounding settlements. The origin of the town's name has not yet been scientifically explained, but there is a tradition that it comes from Paris, the son of the Trojan king Priam.

The city was founded probably about 3,000 years ago as a colony by settlers from Eretria (Greek polis from the island of Euboea) and the island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. Parion was a member of the Delian League. In the city, there were defensive towers, and at least four temples.

In the Hellenistic period, it came under the control of Lysimachus - one of diadochi of Alexander the Great. After his death, the city was taken over by the Attalid from Pergamon. As a part of the Pergamon Kingdom, Parion was handed over to the Romans by the will of Attalos III in 133 BC.



              Parion 280-275 BC silver tetradrachm head of Herakles Zeus aetophoros with sceptre     

Antique coins from Parion testify to its great importance and advanced minting facilities. The most interesting picture, visible on the coins from the Hellenistic period, is the coat of arms. It depicts the so-called gorgoneion i.e. the head of the Gorgon - a terrible mythological beast with sharp fangs, and hair in the form of poisonous snakes. In ancient times, gorgoneion served as an apotropaic amulet, reversing evil charms. The relation between the city of Parion and the Gorgon is not fully understood, most likely it was chosen as the emblem of the city to reverse bad intentions and repel attacks against the city. Perhaps it had to do with military power represented by Parion.

Where Does the Name Parion Come From?

There are also rumors about where the name of the city came from. It is said that its name may have come from Paros because it was founded by Parosians, or it may have come from Paris, the son of King Priam, one of the most important actors of the Trojan War.

Sent from Troy by his father Priamos, Paris is likely to be the city where he spent his childhood and youth, then the beauty contest on Mount Ida and the starting point of a process that extends to the Trojan War.

family grave

Family Grave

mother and child tombs 2000 years roman era.jpg

The graves of a mother and child


Strabon, one of the important historians of the Antiquity, mentions Parion in his work called Geographika:

             “The city of Parion is by the sea and has a larger port than Priapus, and the city's territory increases at Priapus' detriment; because the Parionians were patronized by Attalos, to whom Priapos' lands were dependent, and thus, with the permission of the Pergamon kings, they took a large part of the lands of the Priapos. Here, the legend that the Ophiogens (Snake-born) belong to the snake tribe is told. Ophiogen men are said to treat the wounds of those bitten by snakes by stroking them continuously, transferring the venom to their own bodies and relieving fever and pain. Legend has it that the true founder of the tribe is a hero who turned from a snake to a human. It is probable that it was from the Libyan Psyls who had some influence in their tribe. Parion was founded by the Miletians.”

coins of roman era

Roman Coins and artifacts found in the ancient city


The Acts of the martyr St. Onesiphorus prove that there was a Christian community there before 180. Other saints worthy of mention are: St. Menignus, martyred under Decius and venerated on 22 November; St. Theogenes, bishop and martyr, whose feast is observed on 3 January; Basil the Confessor, bishop and martyr in the eighth century, venerated on 12 April.

Le Quien  mentions 14 bishops, the last of whom lived in the middle of the fourteenth century. An anonymous Latin bishop is mentioned in 1209 by Innocent III  and a titular bishop in 1410 by Eubel 

At first a suffragan of the Archbishopric, Parium became an autocephalous archdiocese as early as 640  and remained so till the end of the 13th century. Then the Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus made it a metropolis under the title of Pegon kai Pariou.

In 1354 the residential see of Pegae and Parium (the Latin forms of both names) were suppressed, the incumbent metropolitan receiving in exchange the See of Sozopolis in Thrace. "Acta patriarchatus Cons This was the end of the residential see.

The see is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.

Bronze amphora from Parion - Çanakkale Archaeological Museum.jpg
parion grave Stele

Bronze Amphora & a stele depicting a family from Parion

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