Olbia (ŏlˈbēə) [key], Ionic Greek colony of Miletus, founded at the beginning of the 6th cent. B.C. It is on the right bank of the Buh River between Mykolayiv and Ochakov, S central Ukraine. The leading Milesian colony and later a republic, its economy centered around handicrafts and trade. Its prosperity resulted especially from the exportation of wheat. The period of its flowering was from the 6th cent. B.C. to the 3d cent. B.C. In the 2d cent. B.C., Olbia was incorporated into the Scythian state of the Crimea. About the middle of the 1st cent. B.C., Olbia was invaded by the Getae and others. By the end of the 6th cent. life in Olbia came to a standstill. Excavations have unearthed towers and city gates from the Hellenic period and parts of a fortified wall and a temple of Apollo from the Roman period.
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