Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Lampsacus

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A titular see of Hellespont, suffragan of Cyzicus. The city is situated in Mysia, at the entrance to the Hellespont, opposite Callipolis, in a region known as Bebrycia, which seems to indicate an establishment of Bebryces from Thrace. It was probably called Pityussa prior to its colonization by the Ionian cities of Phocaea and Miletus. The elder Miltiades, when he had been established in possession of Thracian Chersonesus, declared war against the inhabitants of Lampsacus, who made him prisoner, and released him only in submission to the threats of Croesus. During the Ionian revolt Lampsacus fell into the power of the Persians. The "great king" gave its territory to Themistocles that he might supply himself with its wine, which was very famous; but the city itself continued to be governed by native tyrants. After the battle of Mycale (479 B.C.), Lampsacus joined the Athenians, but revolted after the unsuccessful expedition to Sicily; being unfortified, however, it was easily recaptured by the fleet of Strombichides. After the death of Alexander, it was forced to defend itself against the attacks of Antiochus of Syria. It voted a golden crown to the Romans and became their ally. Its prosperity continued under the empire; gold and silver staters of Lampsacus are extant, and its coins of the imperial period range from Augustus to Gallienus. The city possessed a fine piece of sculpture by Lysippus, representing a lion couchant, which was carried off by Agrippa to grace the Campus Martius at Rome It was the home of many famous men, e.g. the historian Charon, Anaximenes the orator, Adimantus, and Metrodorus, a disciple of Epicurus who himself lived at Lampsacus for three years. It must be added that the city was also notorious for the obscene worship that was paid to Priapus. Its name has been conjecturally introduced into the Vulgate (I Mach., xv, 23) in place of the Greek name Sampsace, or Sampsame, in the list of the cities to which the letter of the consul Leucius was sent; and this correction is an excellent one, since no city was known by the name of Sampsace or Sampsame.

St. Trypho, martyred at Nicaea, was, according to the legend, buried at Lampsacus. Its first known bishop was St. Parthenius, under Constantine. In 364 the see was occupied by Marcian, a Semi-Arian or Macedonian; in that year there was held at Lampsacus a council of bishops the majority of whom belonged to that party. Marcian, summoned to the (Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, in 381, refused to retract. Other known bishops of Lampsacus were Daniel, who assisted at the Council of Chalcedon (451); Harmonius (458); Constantine (680), present at the Council of Constantinople; John (787), at Nicaea; St. Euschemon, a correspondent of St. Theodore the Studite, and a confessor of the Faith for the veneration of images, under Theophilus. The See of Lampsacus is mentioned in the "Notitiae episcopatuum" until about the twelfth or thirteenth century. Lampsacus is now a village of about two thousand inhabitants, the chief place of a caza in the sanjak of Bigha; it is called in Greek Lampsaki, and in Turkish Lepsek.

Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography, s. v., LEQUIEN Oriens Christianus, I, 771.

S. Pétridès.