Cyrene, the chief city of Cyrenaica, founded in 631 B. C. by Therseans under Battus, around a fountain the native name of which was Cyre , consecrated to Apollo, which supplied the city with water. It was built on a high terrace of the Cyrensean table land, about 9 m. from the coast at Apollonia, which became its port. The road which connected the city with the harbor, a vast necropolis, and ruins of streets, temples, theatres, tombs, and remnants of art, are still visible, the site of the ancient city having been identified with the modern Grennah. In the time of Herodotus Cyrene covered an area equal to the entire neighboring island of Platea (now Bomba). Aristippus, the founder of the Cyrenaio school of philosophy, Carneades, the founder of the New Academy, the poet Callimachus, the astronomer Eratosthenes, and the eloquent bishop Synesius (in the 5th century) were natives of Cyrene.
Rock-cut Temple, Cyrene.