1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abdera (Thrace)

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For works with similar titles, see 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abdera.

ABDERA, a town on the coast of Thrace near the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. Its mythical foundation was attributed to Heracles, its historical to a colony from Clazomenae in the 7th century b.c. But its prosperity dates from 544 b.c., when the majority of the people of Teos migrated to Abdera after the Ionian revolt to escape the Persian yoke (Herod. i. 168); the chief coin type, a gryphon, is identical with that of Teos; the coinage is noted for the beauty and variety of its reverse types. The town seems to have declined in importance after the middle of the 4th century. The air of Abdera was proverbial as causing stupidity; but among its citizens was the philosopher Democritus. The ruins of the town may still be seen on Cape Balastra; they cover seven small hills, and extend from an eastern to a western harbour; on the S.W. hills are the remains of the medieval settlement of Polystylon.

Mittheil. d. deutsch. Inst. Athens, xii. (1887), p. 161 (Regel); Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions, xxxix. 211; K. F. Hermann, Ges. Abh. 90-111, 370 ff.