Pontus-Bithynia. Others maintain that only the seaboard was included in the province, the inland cities being constituted self-governing, “protected” communities. The latter view is more in conformity with Roman policy in the East, which did not usually annex countries till they reached (under the rule of client princes) a certain level of civilization and order, but it is difficult to reconcile with Strabo’s statements (p. 541 sqq.). In any case, during the years following 40 b.c. all inland Pontus was handed over, like north-east Paphlagonia, to native dynasts. The Pontic possessions of Deiotarus (d. 40 b.c.) were given with additions (e.g. Cabira) in 39 b.c. to Darius, son of Pharnaces, and in 36 b.c. to Polemon, son of a rhetorician of Laodicea on the Lycus. The high-priest of Comana, Lycomedes, received an accession of territory and the royal title. The territories of Zela and Megalopolis were divided between Lycomedes, the high-priest of Zela and Ateporix, who ruled the principality of Carana (later Sebastopolis). Amasia and Amisus were also given to native princes.
After the battle of Actium (31 b.c.) Augustus restored Amisus as a “free city” to the province of Bithynia-Pontus, but made no other serious change. Polemon retained his kingdom till his death in 8 b.c., when it passed to his widow Pythodoris. But presently the process of annexation began and the Pontic districts were gradually incorporated in the empire, each being attached to the province of Galatia, then the centre of Roman forward policy. (1) The western district was annexed in two sections, Sebastopolis and Amasia in 3–2 b.c., and Comana in a.d. 34–35. To distinguish this district from the province Pontus and Polemon’s Pontus it was henceforth called Pontus galaticus (as being the first part attached to Galatia). (2) Polemon’s kingdom, ruled since a.d. 38 by Polemon II., grandson of the former king, was annexed by Nero in a.d. 64–65, and distinguished by the title of Pontus polemoniacus, which survived for centuries. [But the simple name Pontus, hitherto commonly used to designate Polemon’s realm, is still employed to denote this district by itself or in conjunction with Pontus Galaticus, where the context makes the meaning clear (e.g. in inscriptions and on coins).] Polemoniacus included the sea-coast from the Thermodon to Cotyora and the inland cities Zela, Magnopolis, Megalopolis, Neocaesarea and Sebasteia (according to Ptolemy, but apparently annexed since 2 b.c., according to its coins). (3) Finally, at the same time (a.d. 64) was annexed the remaining eastern part of Pontus, which formed part of Polemon’s realm but was attached to the province Cappadocia and distinguished by the epithet cappadocicus. These three districts formed distinct administrative divisions within the provinces to which they were attached, with separate capitals Amasia, Neocaesarea and Trapezus; but the first two were afterwards merged in one, sometimes called Pontus mediterraneus, with Neocaesarea as capital, probably when they were definitively transferred (about a.d. 114) to Cappadocia, then the great frontier military province.
With the reorganization of the provincial system under Diocletian (about a.d. 295), the Pontic districts were divided up between four provinces of the dioecesis pontica: (1) Paphlagonia, to which was attached most of the old province Pontus; (2) Diospontus, re-named Helenopontus by Constantine, containing the rest of the province Pontus and the adjoining district, eight cities in all (including Sinope, Amisus and Zela) with Amasia as capital; (3) Pontus Polemoniacus, containing Comana, Polemonium, Cerasus and Trapezus with Neocaesarea as capital; and (4) Armenia Minor, five cities, with Sebasteia, as capital. This rearrangement gave place in turn to the Byzantine system of military districts (themes).
Christianity was introduced into the province Pontus (the Ora pontica) by way of the sea in the 1st century after Christ and was deeply rooted when Pliny governed the province (a.d. 111–113). But the Christianization of the inland Pontic districts began only about the middle of the 3rd century and was largely due to the missionary zeal of Gregory Thaumaturgus, bishop of Neocaesarea.
See Ramsay, Histor. Geogr. of Asia Minor (1890); Anderson and Cumont, Studia pontica (1903 et seq.); Babelon and Reinach, Recueil des monnaies d’Asie min., t. i. (1904); H. Grégoire, “Voyage dans le Pont” &c. in Bull. de corres. hell. (1909). (J. G. C. A.)
PONTUS DE TYARD (c. 1521–1605), French poet and member of the Pléiade (see Daurat), was seigneur of Bissy in Burgundy, where he was born in or about 1521. He was a friend of Antoine Héroet and Maurice Scéve, and to a certain extent anticipated Ronsard and Joachim Du Bellay. His Erreurs amoureuses, originally published in 1549, was augmented with other poems in successive editions till 1573. On the whole his poetry is inferior to that of his companions, but he was one of the first to write sonnets in French (the actual priority belongs to Melin de St Gelais). It is also said that he introduced the sestine into France, or rather reintroduced it, for it was originally a Provençal invention. In his later years he gave himself up to the study of mathematics and philosophy. He became bishop of Châlons-sur-Saône in 1578, and in 1587 appeared his Discours philosophiques. He was a zealous defender of the cause of Henry III. against the pretensions of the Guises. This attitude brought down on him the vengeance of the league; he was driven from Châlons and his château at Bissy was plundered. He survived all the members of the Pléiade and lived to see the onslaught made on their doctrines by Malherbe. Pontus resigned his bishopric in 1594, and retired to the château de Bragny, where he died on the 23rd of September 1605.
His Œuvres poétiques may be found in the Pléiade française (1875) of M. Ch. Marty-Laveaux.
PONTYPOOL, a market town in the northern parliamentary division of Monmouthshire, England, 8 m. N. of Newport, served by the Great Western, London & North-Western, and Rhymney railways. Pop. of urban district (1901), 6126. It is beautifully situated on an acclivity above the Afon Lwyd, a tributary of the Usk. Its prosperity is due to its situation on the edge of the great coal- and iron-field of Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire. The earliest record of trade in iron is in 1588, but it was developed chiefly in the beginning of the 18th century by the family of Hanbury, the proprietors of Pontypool Park. Pontypool was formerly famed for its japanned goods, invented by Thomas Allwood, a native of Northampton, who settled in the town in the reign of Charles II., but the manufacture has long been transferred elsewhere. The town and neighbourhood contain large forges and iron mills for the manufacture of iron-work and tin-plate. Water communication is afforded with Newport by the Monmouthshire Canal. On the south-east of Pontypool is the urban district of Panteg, including Griffithstown, with a population (1901) of 7484.
PONTYPRIDD, a parish, market town, and urban district, in the eastern parliamentary division of Glamorganshire, Wales, situated on the Taff at its junction with the Rhondda, on the Taff Vale railway, and on the Glamorganshire Canal, 12 m. N.N.W. from Cardiff, 12 S. from Merthyr-Tydhl, and 169 by rail from London, It is also connected with Newport by a Great Western line 181 m. long. Pop. (1901), 32,316. It receives its name from a remarkable bridge of one arch spanning the Taff, erected in 1755 by William Edwards, a self-taught mason. The bridge is a perfect segment of a circle, the chord being 140 ft., and the height at low water 36 ft. A three-arched bridge was erected close to it in 1857. The town is built at the junction of the three parishes of Llanwonno, Llantwit Fardre and Eglwysilan, out of portions of which Glyntaff was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1848, and from this Pontypridd was carved in 1884. The urban district was constituted into a civil parish in 1894. The church of St Catherine, built in 1868, enlarged in 1885, is in early Decorated style; other places of worship are the Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The principal secular buildings are a masonic hall, town-hall built above the market, free library (1890), county intermediate school (1895) and court-house. Near the town is a far-famed rocking-stone 91 tons in weight, known as the Maen Chwyf, round which a circle of small stones was set up in the middle of the 19th century under the direction