Halicarnassus or Halikarnassos (modern Bodrum), an ancient Greek city on the southwest coast of Caria, Asia Minor, on a picturesque and advantageous site on the Ceramic Gulf or Gulf of Cos. It originally occupied only the small island of Zephyria close to the shore, now occupied by the great castle of St Peter, built by the Knights of Rhodes in 1404; but in course of time this island was united to the mainland and the city extended so as to incorporate Salmacis, an older town of the Leleges and Carians.
About the foundation of Halicarnassus various traditions were current; but they agree in the main point as to its being a Dorian colony, and the figures on its coins, such as the head of Medusa, Athena and Poseidon, or the trident, support the statement that the mother cities were Troezen and Argos. The inhabitants appear to have accepted as their legendary founder Anthes, mentioned by Strabo, and were proud of the title of Antheadae.
At an early period Halicarnassus was a member of the Doric Hexapolis, which included Cos,