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A Dorian city, founded perhaps c.900 bc, and claiming descent from Sparta, was situated on a long peninsula, in the gulf of Cos, and was a member of the Dorian Hexapolis. Originally set on the SE coast of the peninsula, the Cnidians later moved to a magnificent strategic and commercial site at the cape. The fortifications and two protected harbours may still be seen. Failing in the attempt to convert their peninsula into an island, the Cnidians yielded to the Persians (after 546). After the Persian Wars they joined the Delian League, but warmly espoused the Spartan cause after 413. Cnidus again came under Persian rule by the King's Peace (386). Subjected to Ptolemaic control (see Ptolemy 1 ) in the 3rd cent. and perhaps Rhodian in the early 2nd, Cnidus was a free city under Roman rule from 129 bc. Notable citizens were Ctesias, Eudoxus, and Sostratus (architect of the Pharus of Alexandria). Cnidus was famous for its medical school, its wines, and the Aphrodite of Praxiteles.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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