Chersonesus (Ancient Greek: Χερσόνησος, romanized: Khersónēsos; Latin: Chersonesus; modern Russian and Ukrainian: Херсоне́с, Khersones; also rendered as Chersonese, Chersonesos), in medieval Greek contracted to Cherson (Χερσών; Old East Slavic: Корсунь, Korsun) is an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula. Settlers from Heraclea Pontica in Bithynia established the colony in the 6th century BC.

St. Vladimir's Cathedral overlooks the extensive excavations of Chersonesus.
Shown within Sevastopol
Alternative nameChersonese, Chersonesos, Cherson
LocationGagarin Raion, Sevastopol
Coordinates44°36′42″N 33°29′36″E
Part ofNational Preserve "Khersones Tavriysky"
Area30 ha (74 acres)
BuilderSettlers from Heraclea Pontica
Founded6th century BC
AbandonedAround 1400 AD
PeriodsClassical Greece to Late Middle Ages
CulturesGreek, Roman, Hunnic, Byzantine
Site notes
Excavation dates1827
ManagementThe National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos
Official nameAncient city of Tauric Chersonese
Part ofAncient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (v)
Inscription2013 (37th Session)
Area42.8 ha (0.165 sq mi)
Buffer zone207.2 ha (0.800 sq mi)

The ancient city is located on the shore of the Black Sea on the outskirts of present-day Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, where it is referred to as Khersones. The site is part of the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos. The name Chersonesos in Greek means "peninsula" and aptly describes the site on which the colony was established. It should not be confused with the Tauric Chersonese, a name often applied to the whole of the southern Crimea.

During much of the classical period Chersonesus operated as a democracy ruled by a group of elected Archons and a council called the Demiurgoi. As time passed, the government grew more oligarchic, with power concentrated in the hands of the archons. A form of oath sworn by all the citizens from the 3rd century BC onwards has survived to the present day.[1][2] In 2013 UNESCO listed Chersonesus as a World Heritage Site.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Chersonesus, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.