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Capital of ancient Phrygia, situated where the river Sangarius is crossed by the main route westward from the Anatolian plateau to the sea (the Persian ‘Royal Road’). Gordium became the main Phrygian centre in the 8th cent., at the end of which it reached its greatest prosperity under King Midas 2. The site had massive fortifications and impressive palace buildings, and many richly furnished tumuli were built around it in the 8th to 6th cents., including one which has been identified as the tomb of Midas himself. Gordium was destroyed by the invading Cimmerians in the early 7th cent. but recovered, only to lose importance under Persian domination. It was visited by Alexander 2 the Great (333), who cut the famous ‘Gordian Knot’.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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