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A pentapolis, from the Greek words penta 'five' and polis 'city(-state)' is geographic and/or institutional grouping of five cities.
Significant historical cases
- in the biblical Holy Land, the word, occurring in Wisdom, x, 6, designates the region where five cities — Sodom, Gomorrha, Segor (A. V., Zoar), Admah and Zeboim — united to resist the invasion of Chedorlaomer (Genesis, xiv), and of which four were shortly after utterly destroyed.
- the medieval Pentapolis on the Adriatic coast of the Italian Peninsula, atypically, was actually a duchy east of Tuscany and north of the duchy of Spoleto, including the port cities (West to East) of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Sinigaglia and Ancona. It was part of the core of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. Later, after the fall of the Exarchate, it was transformed into the March of Ancona
- the Doric - or Dorian Pentapolis: Kos, on the island of the same name in the Aegean Sea; Cnidus, in Caria on the west coast of Asia Minor; Lindus, Ialysus and Camirus, all three on Rhodes.
- the Pontic Pentapolis: Apollonia, Callatis, Mesembria, Odessos, and Tomis, all on the Euxeinos Pontos.
- The Western Pentapolis: five main Greek colonies that came to be in the Roman province of Libya Superior, the western part of Cyrenaica until Diocletian's Tetrarchy reform in AD 296 (now Libya). The most important was Cyrene and its port Apollonia, Ptolemais (the next capital after Cyrene's destruction by an earthquake), Barca (the later Arab provincial capital Barka) and Berenice (modern Benghazi); also known as the Pentapolis inferior ('lower P.'). This is the Pentapolis that is referenced in the official title of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
- The Cinque Ports in England - the five being Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich. Sometimes, though seldom, referred to as the English Pentapolis.
Pentapolis of modern world
- The National Capital Region (NCR) consists of five cities, namely, Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida and Faridabad.
- Pentapolis (North Africa)
- Monopoli (meaning only city)
- Tripolis (meaning three cities)
- Tetrapolis (meaning four cities)
- Doric Hexapolis (meaning six Doric cities in the eastern Aegean)
- Heptapolis (meaning seven cities)
- Decapolis (meaning ten cities)
Sources and references
- many occurrences in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
- Westermann Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte ('Great Atlas of World History', in German)