Aeolis

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Ancient Region of Anatolia
Aeolis (Αἰολίς)
Aeolian city of Smyrna
Location Western Anatolia
State existed: 8th-6th centuries BC (as Dodecapolis)
Language Aeolic Greek
Biggest city Smyrna
Roman province Asia
Location of Aeolis within Anatolia

Aeolis (Ancient Greek: Αἰολίς, Aiolís) or Aeolia (/ˈli.ə/; Αἰολία, Aiolía) was an area that comprised the west and northwestern region of Asia Minor, mostly along the coast, and also several offshore islands (particularly Lesbos), where the Aeolian Greek city-states were located. Aeolis incorporated the southern parts of Mysia which bounded it to the north, Ionia to the south, and Lydia to the east.

Geography[edit]

Aeolis was an ancient district on the western coast of Asia Minor. It extended along the Aegean Sea from the entrance of the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles) south to the Hermus River (now the Gediz River). It was named for the Aeolians, some of whom migrated there from Greece before 1000 BC. Aeolis was, however, an ethnological and linguistic enclave rather than a geographical unit. The district often was considered part of the larger northwest region of Mysia.

History[edit]

Greek settlements in western Asia Minor, Aeolian area in dark red.

According to Homer's description, Odysseus, after his stay with the Cyclopes, reached the island of Aeolia, who provided him with the west wind Zephyr.

In early times, by the 8th century BC, the Aeolians' twelve most important cities were independent, and formed a league (Dodecapolis): Cyme, Larissa (also called Phriconis), Neonteichos, Temnus, Cilla, Notion, Aegiroessa, Pitane, Aegae, Myrina, Gryneion, and Smyrna.[1]

The most celebrated of the cities was Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey), but in 699 BC, Smyrna became part of an Ionian confederacy. The remaining cities were conquered by Croesus, king of Lydia (reigned 560-546 BC). Later they were held successively by the Persians, Macedonians, Seleucids, and Pergamenes. [2]

Attalus III, the last king of Pergamum, bequeathed Aeolis to Rome in 133 BC. Shortly afterward, it was made part of the Roman province of Asia. At the partition of the Roman Empire (395 AD), Aeolis was assigned to the East Roman (Byzantine) empire and remained under Byzantine rule until the early 15th century, when the Ottoman Turks occupied the area.

Natives of Aeolis[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Herodotus. The Histories: 1.149.
  2. ^ Each of the cities minted coins in the own names, using different gods, animals and objects as identifying city badges. See asiaminorcoins.com - ancient coins of Aeolis

References[edit]

  • Pierluigi Bonanno, Aiolis. Storia e archeologia di una regione dell’Asia Minore alla fine del II millennio a.C., USA, 2006

External links[edit]