ancient maritime town on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, opposite modern Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally a Megarian colony founded in the early 7th century BC on a site so obviously inferior to that of Byzantium (Istanbul) on the opposite shore that it was accorded the name of the "city of the blind." In its early history it shared the fortunes of Byzantium, vacillated long between Spartan and Athenian interests, and was bequeathed to the Romans by Attalus III of Pergamum (133 BC). It was partly destroyed by the Pontic king Mithradates VI but recovered under the Roman Empire, despite frequent ravages of barbarian raiders. In AD 451 it was the seat of the Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church. The Turks used the site as a quarry for building materials (including chalcedony) for Constantinople. It is now a district of Istanbul.
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