Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Cnidus
CNIDUS, now Tekir, an ancient city of Caria, in Asia Minor, situated at the extremity of the long peninsula that forms the southern side of the Sinus Ceramicus, or Gulf of Cos. It was built partly on the mainland and partly on the Island of Triopion, or Cape Krio, which anciently com municated with the continent by a causeway and biidge, and- is now permanently connected by a narrow sandy isth mus. By means of the causeway the channel between island and mainland was formed into two harbours, of which the larger, or southern, now known as port Freano, was further enclosed by two strongly-built moles that are still in good part entire. The extreme length of the city was little less than a mile, and the whole intramural area is still thickly strewn with architectural remains. The walls, both insular and continental, can be traced throughout their whole circuit ; and in many places, especially round the acropolis, at the north-east corner of the city, they are re markably perfect. Our knowledge of the site" is largely due to the mission of the Dilettanti Society in 1812, and the excavations executed by Mr C. T. Newton in 1857-8. The agora, the theatre, an odeum, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses, a temple of Venus, and a great number of minor buildings have been identified, and the general plan of the city has been very clearly made out. In a temple- enclosure Mr Newton discovered a fine seated statue of Demeter, which now adorns the British Museum ; and about three miles south-east of the city he came upon the ruins of a splendid tomb, and a colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of Pentelic marble, 10 feet in length and 6 in height, which has been supposed to commemorate the great naval victory of Conon over the Lacedaemonians in 394 B.C. (see Architecture, vol. ii. p. 412). Among the minor antiquities obtained from the city itself, or the great necropolis to the east, perhaps the most interesting are tha leaden KaTa.Sto-fj.oi, or imprecationary tablets, found in the temple of Demeter, and copied in facsimile in the appendix to the second volume of Newton s work.
Cnidus was a city of high antiquity and probably of Lacedaemonian colonization. Along with Halicarnassus and Cos, and the Rhodian cities of Lindus, Camirus-, and lalysus, it formed the Dorian Hexapolis, which held its confederate assemblies on the Triopian headland, and there celebrated games in honour of Apollo, Poseidon, and the nymphs. The city was at first governed by an oligarchic senate, composed of sixty members, known as d/Ai/i^ioi/es, and presided over by a magistrate called an upca-rijp ; but, though it is proved by inscriptions that the old names con tinued to a very late period, the c nstitution underwent a popular transformation. The situation of the city was favourable for commerce, and the Cnidians acquired con siderable wealth, and were able to colonize the island of Lipara and founded the city of Corcyra Nigra in the Adri atic. They ultimately submitted to Cyrus, and from the battle of Eurymedon to the latter part of the Peloponnesian war they were subject to Athens. The Romans easily ob tained their allegiance, and rewarded them by leaving them the freedom of their city. During the Byzantine period there must still have been a considerable population ; for the ruins contain a large number of buildings belonging to the Byzantine style, and Christian sepulchres are common in the neighbourhood. Eudoxus, the astronomer, Ctesias, the writer on Persian history, and Sostratus, the builder of the celebrated Pharos at Alexandria, are the most remarkable of the Cnidians mentioned in history.
See Beaufort s Ionian Antiquities, 1811, and Karamania, 1818; Hamilton s Researches, 1842 ; Newton s Travels and Discoveries in the Levant, 1865 ; and Waddington in the Revue Xumismatique, 1851.