Anatolia (= "Asia Minor") is a peninsula bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west.


1   History


The name Anatolia derives from the Greek ἀνατολή (anatolḗ) meaning “the East” or more literally “sunrise”, comparable to the Latin derived terms “levant” and “orient”

1.1   Ionia


15th-century map showing Ionia.

Ionia is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia.

The name Ionian comes from Greek language Ἰόνιον (πέλαγος). Its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios (Ἰόνιος) was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it.

Ionia proper comprised a narrow coastal strip from Phocaea in the north near the mouth of the river Hermus (now the Gediz), to Miletus in the south near the mouth of the river Maeander, and included the islands of Chios and Samos. It was bounded by Aeolia to the north, Lydia to the east and Caria to the south.

Heraclitus of Ephesus was born in Ionia.

1.2   Miletus


Miletus (Turkish: "Milet") was a flourishing commercial city in which there was a large slave population and a bitter class struggle between the rich and poor among the freee population. [1] Similar conditions prevailed in most of the Greek cities of Anatolia at the times of Thales. [1]

Before the Persian invasion in the middle of the 6th century BC, Miletus was considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities.

The cities of Ionia important economic and political developments during the seventh and sixth centuries. At first, political power belong to a land-owning aristocracy, but this was gradually replaced by a plutocracy of merchants. They in turn were replaced by a tyrant, who (as was usual) achieved power by the support of the democratic party. [1]

The kingdom of Lydia, to the east of the Greek coast towns, remained on friendly terms with them until the fall on Nineveh_ (612 BC). This left Lydia free to turn its attention to the West, but Miletus usually succeeded in preserving friendly relations, especially with Croesus_, the last Lydian king, who conquered by Cyrus_ in 546 BC.

There were also important relations with Egypt_, where the king depended upon Greek mercenaries, and had opened certain cities to Greek trade. The first Greek settlement in Egypt was a fort occupied by a Milesian garrison; but the most important, during the period 610-560 B.C., was Daphnae_.

The most famous scholar from Miletus is the Hippodamos who had created the famous grid plan; Hippodamos developed a new city plan which is formed by parallel and perpendicular streets crossing each other in a grid-like rectangular blocks. This city plan first applied to Miletus city and had used in new cities and colonies which were founded by Roman military.

1.3   Rhodes


Colossus of Rhodes, imagined in a 16th-century engraving by Martin Heemskerck.

2   The Ionian School

3   References

[1](1, 2, 3) Bertrand Russel. 1945. The History of Western Philosophy.