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Tauropolus

by Dr Alena Trckova-Flamee Ph.D.

Tauropolus was occasionally mentioned as one of the sons of the wine-god Dionysus and his wife Ariadne from the family of Minos in Crete. He was the brother of Oenopion, Thoas, Staphylus, Euanthes, and Latramys. Similar to his brothers, he too was one of the leaders of the Helladic tribes, which colonized the north-eastern Aegean region.

It was said that Tauropolus received from his uncle Rhadamanthys (who was a rightful lawmaker in Crete) the area of Chersonesos in Thrace. This was a fertile land and an important strategic location, as well as a trade center near the Hellespont (Gallipoli Peninsula, presently Gelibolu in Turkey). Tauropolus did not originate from Chersonesos but he came to his new land probably from the south. His name Tauropolus (from the Greek word tayropolos, which can be translated as driving bulls or running after the bulls not killing them) was perhaps associated with some of his activities.

It is a historical fact that the region of the Thracian Chersonesos was an important trade center, where the first city was founded by merchant settlers from Miletos and Klazomenai in the seventh century BCE. Later on it was colonized by inhabitants from the island of Mitilene, but the tyrant Peisistratus sent Athenian colonists there and they took for some time their hegemony over this peninsula.


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