City in Bithynia, across the Bosporus from Istanbul. The site appears to have been originally occupied by Phoenicians and Thracians; the Greek city was founded by Megarian colonists led by Archias in 685 B.C., 17 years before Byzantium. Since they overlooked the far superior site a mile or so across the water, Chalkedon became known as the city of the blind. As a member of the Delian Confederation the city paid a tribute varying between nine talents and three, and in 416 B.C., as an independent city, Chalkedon attacked and defeated the Bithynians (Diod. Sik. 12.82.2). It passed to the Persians in 387 B.C., but was liberated by Alexander and remained free until Philip V subjected it for a short time. After his defeat the city obtained freedom and an alliance from Rome, and became wholly Roman when in 74 B.C. Nikomedes IV bequeathed his kingdom to Rome. In the following year Aur. Cotta, barricaded in Chalkedon, was attacked and decisively defeated by Mithridates. A free city under the Empire, Chalkedon was raided and plundered by Scythians during the reign of Valerian (Zosim. 1.34). The coinage extends from the early 5th c. B.C. to the 3d c. A.D.
The site is described by Dionysios Byzantios (GGM II, 93, fr. 67). It stood on a peninsula close above a river also called Chalkedon, with a harbor on either side of the isthmus, E and W, and an oracular shrine of Apollo. The river is the stream, now mostly built over, which flows into Moda Bay; the city stood on the higher ground between the Kadikoy boat station and Moda Point. The harbors have filled up and the isthmus has disappeared. Remnants of the ancient city were still to be seen in the 16th c., but nothing remains today. Some Greek sherds have been found on Moda Point, and a few fragments of ancient wall are said to have been visible until recently, but nothing more. (G. E. BEAN)
Info: Princeton Encyclopedia
(Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, from Perseus Project)