Miletus


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Miletus

(mīlē`təs), ancient seaport of W Asia Minor, in Caria, on the mainland not far from Sámos. It was occupied by Greeks in the settlement of the E Aegean (c.1000 B.C.) and became one of the principal cities of Ionia. From the 8th cent. B.C. it led in colonization, especially on the Black Sea. The Milesians were strong enough to resist the Lydian kings and were not molested by the Persians. In 499 B.C., however, they stirred up the revolt of Ionian Greeks against Persia; the Persians sacked the city (494 B.C.). Although less flourishing, Miletus remained an important seaport until the harbor silted up early in the Christian era. Miletus produced some of the earliest Greek philosophers, including Thales and Anaximander. The site was excavated by German archaeologists.

Miletus

 

an ancient city in Ionia at the mouth of the Maeander River in Asia Minor.

Greeks first appeared in Miletus in the 16th century B.C. In the 14th century it was an important Achaean city with massive walls. Around the beginning of the first millennium B.C. a new wave of Greeks, the lonians, settled in Miletus. According to ancient tradition, lonians from Attica led by Neleus, son of King Codrus of Athens, settled there circa 1100 B.C. From the eighth to sixth centuries Miletus was a polis (city-state) and an important trade, artisan, and cultural center. It played a major role in the settling of Greeks on the shores of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Colonists from Miletus founded Cyzicus, Sinope, Abydos, Istrus (Istria), Olbia, Panticapaeum, Theodosia, and numerous other cities. In the sixth century B.C. Miletus engendered the Miletian, or Ionian, school of natural philosophy (Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes). The logographer Hecataeus lived in Miletus.

Miletus reached the zenith of its glory during the tyranny of Thrasybulus (c. 610–600 B.C.). In the middle of the sixth century B.C. the city came under Persian rule. Circa 500 B.C. Miletus headed a revolt of Ionian cities against Persian sovereignty. After its defeat in 494, the city was destroyed by the Persians. In 479 its restoration was begun, and in 478 it became a member of the Delian League. Between 411 and 402 B.C., Miletus acquired a gridiron plan (Hippodamian plan) and became one of the best examples of ancient city construction. After the Peloponnesian War (431–04 B.C.), Miletus again fell under Persian rule. In 334 B.C. it was captured by Alexander the Great, and in 129 B.C. it came under Roman rule. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods Miletus preserved its commercial importance and played a major cultural role.

Systematic excavations of Miletus have been conducted intermittently by German archaeologists (T. Wiegand and others) since the early 20th century. The findings have revealed that the center of Miletus comprised three agoras: the northern agora with a bouleuterion (175–164 B.C.), a sanctuary to Apollo of Delphi (sixth century B.C.), and other buildings; the southern agora; and the western agora with an Ionic temple of Athena (fourth century B.C.). Several thermae, among them the Baths of Faustina (second and third centuries A.D.), have also been discovered.

REFERENCES

Kobyiina, M. M. Milet. Moscow, 1965.
Milet: Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen…, vols. 1–17. Edited by G. Kleiner, T. Wiegand, et al. Berlin, 1906–68.
Freeman, K. Greek City-States. London, 1950.
Kleiner, G. Alt-Milet. Wiesbaden, 1966.

Miletus

an ancient city on the W coast of Asia Minor: a major Ionian centre of trade and learning in the ancient world
References in periodicals archive ?
In ancient Greece, Thales of Miletus discovered he could produce electrical sparks by rubbing amber with a cloth.
In his chapter on the diversity of the poleis, for example, he explores how contact with Oriental knowledge possibly inspired the early philosophers of Miletus, such as Thales and Anaximander, to adapt such knowledge to the Greek problem of finding a proper balance for a culture of free men.
A large inscription confirms as much: the overall topic is said to be 'Trojan', while the literary subjects range from the 'Ilioupersis [destruction of Troy] according to Stesichorus, the Iliad by Homer, the Aethiopis by Arctinus of Miletus, and the Little Iliad as told by Lesches of Pyrrha'.
The first thinker who is known to have posed questions about the origin, causes and sense of manifestational world attempting to find a rational answer was Thales of Miletus, man with great practical gift which is listed among seven sages by Greek tradition.
Greaves 2004 collects evidence of worship of Aphrodite in both Miletus and its colonies.
Hagia Sophia, or Aya Sofya was designed by the Greek professor of geometry Anthemios of Tralles and one of the main Byzantine Greek architects Isidoros of Miletus in 532-537.
Troy, Miletus, Ephesus, Constantinople, Sardis, southeastern Isauria, and Cilicia are some of the locations of towns, monuments, baths, and other archaeological sites described.
The typical pattern of the school of Miletus was to propose an underlying element that could explain the world that philosophers experienced around them.
From this study it emerges that Istrus rejected the Lesbian setting of the myth, placing it in Miletus instead, and discounted the scholiast's interpretation of Iliad 1.
In the case of Irish Tales, this is all the more pronounced by Gildon's dedication, which misunderstands the "Milesian Race" of the text as referring to the Greek Aristides of Miletus rather than the commonplace Gaelic claim to ancestry from the Spanish Milesius.
The resort town of Bodrum is one of the most attractive enclaves on TurkeyOs South Aegean coast and is within a few hours of such ancient ruined cities as Didyma, Miletus, Priene and Ephesus.