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Destinations Guide

ISMAROS (MRD), Ancient city, RODOPI

Information on the area

Homeric world (4)

Ancient towns


Ismarus was in the land of the Cicones close to the sea and was sacked by Odysseus (Od. 9.40). Near the city there was a wooded grove of Phoebus Apollo, where the priest Maro lived, who had given to Odysseus a goatskin of wine, which the latter gave to the Cyclops Polyphemus (Il. 9. 198).



He was the father of Maro (Od. 9.197).


He was the son of Euanthes and priest of Apollo at Ismarus (Od. 9.197).

Perseus Project

Mythology (7)

Historic figures


Son of Eumolpus, marries the daughter of Tegyrius king of Thrace.Is said to have fled with his father from Aethiopia to Thrace, and from thence to Eleusis.

Gods & demigods


Chione, a daughter of Boreas and Oreithyia, and sister of Cleopatra, Zetes, and Calais. She became by Poseidon the mother of Eumolpus, and in order to conceal the event, she threw the boy into the sea; but the child was saved by Poseidon. (Apollod. iii. 15.2, 4 ; Paus. i. 38.3)

Ancient myths

The adventures of Unysses, Ismaros



Eumolpus, (Eumolpos), that is, " the good singer," a Thracian who is described as having come to Attica either as a bard, a warrior, or a priest of Demeter and Dionysus. The common tradition, which, however, is of late origin, represents him as a son of Poseidon and Chione, the daughter of Boreas and the Attic heroine Oreithya. According to the tradition in Apollodorus (iii. 15.4), Chione, after having given birth to Eumolpus in secret, threw the child into the sea. Poseidon, however, took him up, and had him educated in Ethiopia by his daughter Benthesicyma. When he had grown up, lie married a daughter of Ben thesicyma.; but as he made an attempt upon the chastity of his wife's sister, Eumolpus and his son Ismarus were expelled, and they went to the Thracian king Tegyrius, who gave his daughter in marriage to Ismarus; but as Eumolpus drew upon himself the suspicion of Tegyrius, he was again obliged to take to flight, and came to Eleusis in Attica, where he formed a friendship with the Eleusinians. After tlhe death of his son Ismsarus, however, lie returned to Thrace at the request of king Tegyrius. The Eleusininians, who were involved in a war with Athens, called Eumolpus to their assistance. Eumolpus came with a numerous band of Thracians, but he was slain by Erechtheus. The traditions about this Eleusinian war, however, differ very much. According to sonic, the Eleusinians under Eumolpus attacked the Athenians under Erechtheus, but were defeated, and Eumolpus with his two sons, Phorbas and Immaradus, were slain. (Thuc. ii. 15; Plat. Menex. ; Isocrat. Panath. 78; Plut. Parall. Gr. et. Rom. 20 ; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 854.) Pausanias (i. 38.3) relates a tradition that in the battle between the Eleusinians and Athenians, Erechtheus and Immaradus fell, and that thereupon peace was concluded on condition that the Eleusinians should in other respects be subject to Athens, but that they alone should have the celebration of their mysteries, and that Eumolpus and the daughters of Celeus should perform the customary sacrifices. When Eumolpus died, his younger son Ceryx succeeded him in the priestly office. According to Hyginus (Fab. 46; comp. Strab. vii.), Eumolpus came to Attica with a colony of Thracians, to claim the country as the property of his father, Poseidon. Mythology regards Eumolpus as the founder of the Eleusinian mysteries, and as the first priest of Demeter and Dionysus; the goddess herself taught him, Triptolemus, Diocles, and Celeus, the sacred rites, and he is therefore sometimes described as having himself invented the cultivation of the vine and of fruit-trees in general. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 476; Plin. H. N. vii. .53; Ov. Met. x. 93.) As Eumolpus was regarded as an ancient priestly bard, poems and writings on the mysteries were fabricated and circulated at a later time under his name. One hexameter line of a Dionysiac hymn, ascribed to him, is preserved in Diodorus. (i. 11 ; Suid. s. v.) The legends connected him also with Heracles, whom he is said to have instructed in music, or initiated into the mysteries. (Hygin. Fab. 273; Theocrit. xxiv. 108; Apollod. ii. 5.12.) The difference in the traditions about Eumolpus led some of the ancients to suppose that two or three persons of that name ought to be distinguished. (Hesych. s. v. Eumolpidai; Schol. ad Oed. Col. 1051; Phot. Lex. s. v. Eumolpidai.) The tomb of Eumolpus was shewn both at Eleusis and Athens. (Paus. i. 38.2.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Perseus Encyclopedia

Ancient literary sources (1)

Perseus Encyclopedia

Information about the place (4)

Present location

Agios Georgios

On the top of the Mt. Ismaros (h. 461m.), there is a prehistoric acropolis, an enclosure and parts of its Cyclopean walls in a perimeter of 1330m. and megalithic gates. The foritfication was also used during the historic times (classical and byzantine period). To the SE corner of the enclosure, there are foundations of a large building.

Perseus Project index

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


(Ismaros) or Ismara. A town in Thrace, near Maronea, situated on a mountain of the same name, which produced excellent wine. It is mentioned in the Odyssey as a town of the Cicones. The poets frequently use the adjective Ismarius as equivalent to Thracus. Near Ismarus was Lake Ismaris.

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


  A mountain rising on the east of lake Ismaris, on the south coast of Thrace (Virg. El. vi. 30, Georg. ii. 37; Propert. ii. 13. 5. iii. 12. 25 ; Lucret. v. 31, where it is called Ismara, as in Virg. Aen. x. 351.) Homer (Od. ix. 40,198) speaks of Ismarus as a town of the Cicones, on or at the foot of the mountain. (Comp. Marc. Heracl. 28.) The name of the town also appears in the form Ismaron. (Plin. iv. 18.) The district about Ismarus produced wine which was highly esteemed. (Athen. i. p. 30; Ov. Met. ix. 641; Steph. B. s. v.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Archaeological sites (1)


A Sacred Congregation

By David Turner (the site may be Homer's city of Ismaros)

Various locations (1)

Ancient place-names

Ismaris, lake

Homonym of the city that was nearby.

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