The Kingdom of Pontos, conquered by the Roman General Pompey, became a Roman province in 63 B.C. The Romans allowed the Greek cities to retain their autonomy, so Pontos was able to keep its ethnic character and culture. General Pompey gave the Tauris Peninsula (the Cimmerian Bosporos with the Crimea and the straits of Kerch), as a gift to Pharnaces II (63-47 B.C.), son of Mithridates VI.
Pompey restructured the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. He divided Asia Minor into four provinces: Asia, Cilicia, Bithynia, and Pontos. Pontos was subdivided into Cappadocia Pontos, Polenion Pontos (Eastern Pontos), and Galatia Pontos (Western Pontos.) The Eastern Pontos was named in honour of the King Polemon, who ruled from 36 to 8 B.C. The Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.) joined Pontos with Cappadocia. Later, two provinces were formed: Pontos province and Bauhinia province.
Pontos flourished as a Roman province, especially under the rule of Emperor Adrian (117-13c8 A.D.), who was a great admirer of Greek culture. He visited Trapezounta in 124 A.D. and built a harbour to protect ships from dangerous winter storms. This allowed Trapezounta to develop into an important center of commerce in the East.
Three major Roman roadways linked the City of Trapezounta with other cities of the eastern provinces. One of these roads led west along the shores of the Euxeinos Pontos. Another led east across the Phasis River towards the Caspian Sea and the Caucasos mountains. The third road led south over the high mountains towards Armenia and the river banks of the Euphrates River. There, the third road divided and headed in two directions; one to the valley of Araxi and Persia, the other towards the Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Syria.
During the times of the Emperor Diocletian (284-305 A.D.) and his successors, Pontos was divided into 3 provinces: (1) Diospontos, which Constantine the Great (324-337 A.D.) renamed Elenopontos after his mother Eleni.
Elenopontos included the western part of Pontos, up to the river Thermodon, with .the city of Amasya as its capital, and the cities of Zela, Slnope and Amlsos, (2) the Polemon Pontos, which included the eastern plains of the Thennodon River, with Neocaesarea as the capital, and included the cities of Komana, Polemon, Kerasounta, and Trapezounta, (3) Armenia Minor, which included the lands of the upper Euphrates all the way to Sevastea (Sivas) and Nikopolis (the capital was Sevastea) and included the cities of Nikopolis and Kolonia.
These were the political divisions that Pontos underwent until 535 A.D., during the rule of Emperor Justinian.
During the rule of the Roman Empire, Christianity spread throughout Pontos, at first because of Andreas the Apostle, who is believed to have been the first teacher of Christianity in Pontos. Thus, with the baptismal tub and baptism, a new Christian-Greek nation began. Baptism introduced many non-Greeks into Christianity and Greek civilization.
During the years of the Roman conquests, at about the beginning of the 4th century A.D., Pontos enjoyed its greatest years of progress and glory and a long period of peace.
The harbour of Trapezounta was used as a port for the naval vessels of the Roman war fleet, from the ruling years of Nero (54-68 A.D.) until the rule of Adrian (117-138 A.D.). The Emperor Adrian then transferred the naval base from the Euxeinos Pontos to Cyzicos at the Marmara Denizi (Propontis).
Zela is located about 50 km. south of Amasya and 70 km. west of Tokat. At Zela of Pontos, in 47 B.C., Julius Caesar won a decisive victory over King Farnaces II, King of the Cimmerian Bosporos. King Farnaces was the son of Mithridates VI, who attempted to restore the Kingdom of Pontos.
Here, Julius Caesar, after his decisive victory over Farnaces II, sent a message to the Roman Senate with the following famous words: "Veni, vidi, vici." Translated into English, it is, "I came, I saw, I conquered."
Constantine Hionides, M.D. (Trapezus 1988)
Pontian Association of Montreal, "Efxinos Pontos" - Σύλλογος Ποντίων Μόντρεαλ, "Έυξεινος Πόντος" - 5879 Park Avenue, Montreal, H2V 4H4, 514 271-0709
Pontian Chronicle A brief timetable of events that Shaped Pontian History Page 181 - "The Pontian Question in the United Nations" Michalis Charalambidis Published by Pontian Society of Thessaloniki <<Euxinos Leschi>>
Πόντος από τον Θεοφάνη Μαλκίδη Μέρος της ομιλίας του Θ. Μαλκίδη στην εκδήλωση του Συλλόγου Ποντίων Νταχάου για την ημέρα μνήμης της γενοκτονίας του Ποντιακού Ελληνισμού. Γερμανία 19 Μαΐου 2002.