Tyras (aka Tira, Tiras) [Тирас, Тіра, Тірас]. (Map: Greek colonies on northern Black Sea coast.) An ancient Greek city-state (see Ancient states on the northern Black Sea coast) on the right bank of the Dnister Estuary at the site of present-day Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. It was established in the 6th century BC by colonists from Miletus. By the 4th century BC it was a prosperous trading center, which even minted its own coinage. Its government was in the hands of five archons, a senate, a popular assembly and a registrar. The types of its coins suggest a trade in wheat, wine and fish. Tyras was sacked in the mid-1st century BC by the Getae, but it revived. It was rebuilt by the Romans and by the early 2nd century AD it was an important outpost on the frontier of the Roman Empire. In the late 3rd century it was destroyed by the Goths. The site was repopulated much later by the Tivertsians and Ulychians and named Bilhorod. Some preliminary archeological work was done at the site in 1927–32. Systematic excavations under the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR commenced in 1945.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]