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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
HALICARNASSUS was one of the six Dorian colonies on the coast of Caria. Though excluded from the Dorian confederacy (Hexapolis) on account of some ancient dispute (Herod. i. 144), it was a very important city in respect of politics, commerce, literature, and art. It was one of the States to which the Roman Senate sent letters in favour of the Jews in b.c. 139 ( 1Ma 15:23 ). It must therefore have been a free and self-governing city at that time. The decree of the city passed in the first cent. b.c., granting to the Jews religious liberty and the right to build their proseuchai beside the sea (Jos. [Note: Josephus.] Ant . XIV. x. 23), attests the existence of an early Jewish colony in the city; and this was natural, as Halicarnassus was a considerable centre of trade owing to its favourable position on a bay opposite Cos, on the north-west side of the Ceramic Gulf. The city extended round the hay from promontory to promontory and contained, among other buildings, a famous temple of Aphrodite.
The site of Halicarnassus is now called Bodrum ( i.e . ‘fortress’), from the Castle of St. Peter which was built by the Knights of St. John (whose headquarters were in Rhodes), under their Grand Master de Naillac, a.d. 1404.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Halicarnassus'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/h/halicarnassus.html. 1909.