Pontes, an ancient division of Asia Minor, so named from its situation on the S. shore of the Pontus Euxinus, bounded N. E. by Colchis, S. E. and S. by Armenia Minor, Cappadocia, and Galatia, and W. by the fiver Halys, which separated it from Paphlagonia. The Iris and the Thermodon flowed through it into the Eux-ine. Among its towns were Trapezus (Tre-bizond), Crasus, Cotyora, Poleuronium, and Amisus, all on the coast. It was mountainous in the east, where the Chalybes had famous iron mines, and very fertile in the west and along the coast. The fruit of Pontus was renowned. It was the home of the Amazons, was visited by the Argonauts, and Greek colonies were established upon its coast as early as the 7th century B. C. Originally and under the Persians it formed part of Cappadocia. In the early part of the 4th century B. C. Ario-barzanes, the son of Mithridates, a Cappado-cian satrap, rebelled, and made himself king of the coastland, which was henceforward designated as Pontus by Greek writers. In the reign of his son Mithridates the kingdom acquired political importance, and after the death of Alexander secured its independence.
Under Mithridates the Great (VI., 120-63 B. C.) it was subdued by the Romans and dismembered (see Mithridates), the eastern part being given again to its earlier savage owners, and the western annexed to Bithynia. A portion was subsequently made a sovereignty under Polemo, and the whole became a Roman province, A. D. 67. It is now embraced in the Turkish vilayets of Trebizond and Sivas.