Halicarnassus (hălˌĭkärnăˈsəs) [key], ancient city of Caria, SW Asia Minor, on the Ceramic Gulf (now the Gulf of Kos) and on the site of the modern city of Bodrum, Turkey. Halicarnassus was Greek in origin, but there were Carian inhabitants. Except for a brief period in the 5th cent. B.C., the city was not intimately concerned with Greek affairs. As a Persian vassal it was ruled by tyrants and participated in Xerxes' invasion of Greece (480 B.C.), but after the expulsion of the tyrants (460–455) it joined the Delian League. A dynasty of Carian kings in the 4th cent. B.C. was made famous by Mausolus, whose wife, Artemisia, built him a magnificent tomb (see mausoleum), considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Alexander the Great conquered the city (c.334 B.C.). It was the birthplace of Herodotus and of Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
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