Hermonassa [Гермонасса]. (Map: Greek colonies on northern Black Sea coast.) An ancient Greek city (see Ancient states on the northern Black Sea coast) located on the Taman Peninsula near the present-day site of Taman, a village in Krasnodar krai, founded in the 6th century BC by Ionians and probably by Aeolitians as well. After Phanagoria, it was the second most important economic center of the Asiatic side of the Bosporan Kingdom. Hermonassa's economy was based on agriculture, fishing, and trade. The Huns destroyed the city in the 4th century AD and in the 10th century AD the Kyivan Rus’ city of Tmutorokan arose on the site. In the 12th century it was an Italian trading port, known as Tamatarxa, Matarxa, or Matriga. Significant archeological excavations conducted since the 1950s have uncovered a frieze from the temple of Aphrodite and, from the 4th century BC, a buried treasure of gold Bosporan coins and a necropolis containing a marble sarcophagus shaped in the form of a Greek temple.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine