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Άδραμύττιον (in Ancient Greek)
Adramyttium is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Alternate name Adramyttion, Adramytteion, Atramyttion, Adramyteum
Location Ören, Balya, Balıkesir Province, Turkey
Region Aeolis
Coordinates 39°29′52″N 26°56′15″E / 39.49778°N 26.93750°E / 39.49778; 26.93750Coordinates: 39°29′52″N 26°56′15″E / 39.49778°N 26.93750°E / 39.49778; 26.93750
Type Settlement

Adramyttium (Greek: Άδραμύττιον Adramyttion, Άδραμύττειον Adramytteion, or Άτραμύττιον Atramyttion) was an ancient city and bishopric in Aeolis. It was originally located at the head of the Gulf of Adramyttium, on the River Caicus in the Plain of Thebe, 4 kilometres west of the modern town of Burhaniye, but later moved 13 kilometres northeast to its current location and became known as Edremit.


Classical period[edit]

The site where Adramyttium sits was originally settled by Leleges, the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean littoral, and people from the neighbouring region of Mysia.[1] The area was later settled by Lydians, Cimmerians, and Aeolians, who gave their name to the region of Aeolis.[1] The area became part of the peraia (territory) of Mytilene in the eighth century BC,[2] and the city of Adramyttium was founded in the 6th century BC.[1] According to Aristotle, Adramyttium was founded by, and named after, Adramytos, the son of King Alyattes of Lydia.[3] Prior to his ascension to the throne, Croesus, Alyattes' successor, was governor of a district centred on Adramyttium.[4] The fall of the Kingdom of Lydia in 546 BC led Adramyttium to form part of the Persian Empire and was administered as part of the province of Hellespontine Phrygia from the early 5th century BC onward.[3] In 422 BC, Pharnaces, the Satrap (governor) of Hellespontine Phrygia, offered asylum to exiles from the island of Delos, who subsequently settled in the city and was thereafter considered a Greek city.[5] Arsaces, a general subordinate to Tissaphernes, the Satrap of Lydia and Caria, massacred a number of the Delian exiles.[6] The Delians returned to Delos in 421/420 BC when the Athenians permitted them to do so.[3]

Following the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 BC, Adramyttium came under the control of Mytilene.[2] The Ten Thousand, a Greek mercenary force, travelled through Adramyttium during their march along the coast.[7] Mytilene retained control of Adramyttium until 386 BC after which the city formed part of the Persian Empire.[3] During the Great Satraps' Revolt, Ariobarzanes, Satrap of Hellespontine Phygia, joined the revolt against Artaxerxes II in 367.[8] Autophradates, Satrap of Lydia, and Mausolus, Satrap of Caria, besieged Ariobarzanes at Adramyttium in 366 BC.[9] However, the siege of Adramyttium was abandoned following the arrival of Agesilaus II, King of Sparta, in 365.[8] Following his victory at the Battle of the Granicus in 334 BC, Adramyttium came under the control of Alexander the Great.[10] After Alexander's death in 323, his empire was divided at the Partition of Babylon and Leonnatus was appointed Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia.[11]

At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Arrhidaeus succeeded Leonnatus as Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia.[12] In 319 BC, Adramyttium and Hellespontine Phrygia was seized by Antigonus I Monophthalmus, Satrap of Greater Phrygia.[13] Adramyttium and Hellespontine Phrygia remained under the control of Antigonus until the Fourth War of the Diadochi, and the city was taken by force by Prepelaus, a general of Lysimachus, Basileus of Thrace, in 302 BC.[14] Adramyttium and Lysimachus' other Anatolian territory was annexed to the Seleucid Empire after Lysimachus' defeat at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC.[15] An artificial port was constructed at Adramyttium in the early third century BC which subsequently allowed the city to overshadow the neighbouring port of Cisthene.[16]

Adramyttium came under the control of the Attalid dynasty during the rule of Eumenes I, a nominal vassal of the Seleucid Empire, in the mid-third century BC.[17] The alliance between Attalus I, Eumenes's successor, and Rhodes during the Cretan War led Philip V, King of Macedonia, to invade the Kingdom of Pergamon and pillage the countryside surrounding Adramyttium in 201 BC.[18] As an ally of Rome, Pergamon fought in the Roman–Seleucid War against the Seleucid Empire and, in 190 BC, Antiochus III plundered the countryside surrounding Adramyttium, but the appearance of a Roman-Pergamene fleet prevented him from taking the city.[19] In the second century BC, cistophori, the coinage of the Kingdom of Pergamon, were minted at Adramyttium.[20] Attalus III, the last King of Pergamon, bestowed his kingdom to the Romans in his will, [21] and thus, in 133 BC, Adramyttium came under Roman control.[22] The city became part of the province of Asia.[23]

Manius Aquillius, governor of the province of Asia from 129 to 126, rebuilt the road that connected Adramyttium and Smyrna.[24] In the first century BC, a famous school of oratory was located in Adramyttium.[18] Adramyttium was the centre of a conventus iuridicus,[25] and its jurisdiction included the Troad and the western half of Mysia.[26] Adramyttium was also the centre of a conventus civium Romanorum in the second or early first century BC.[27] During the First Mithridatic War, Diodorus, a strategos and supporter of Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, had the members of the city council killed and granted control of the city to Mithridates. Following the completion of the conquest of the province of Asia in 88 BC, Mithridates ordered the execution of all Roman settlers, and, at Adramyttium, the Romans were driven into the sea, where they were slaughtered.[28] At the conclusion of the war, the province of Asia returned to Roman control and Xenocles of Adramyttium, a prominent orator, was sent to Rome to defend the actions of the city during the war. Adramyttium, however, was deprived of its autonomy, and was henceforth obligated to pay regular taxes to Rome.[29]

Whilst en route to Rome, St. Paul departed Caesarea Maritima on a ship from the city of Adramyttium which took the saint to Myra in Lycia.[23] Adramyttium later also became the seat of a portorium.[9] Adramyttium was damaged by an earthquake during the reign of Emperor Trajan, who subsequently rebuilt the city.[30] In 325 AD, the Diocese of Adramyttium was made a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ephesus.[22] Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I in 395, and subsequent division of the Roman Empire into eastern and western halves, Adramyttium became part of the Eastern Roman Empire.[21]

Medieval period[edit]

The administrative reforms of the 7th century led Adramyttium to be administered as part of the Thracesian Theme.[31] In early 715, soldiers of the theme of Opsikion mutinied and travelled to Adramyttium where they proclaimed Theodosius, a praktor (tax-collector),[32] as emperor.[33] However, Theodosius did not wish to become emperor and fled to the mountains, but was found and forced to become emperor at sword-point.[34] Adramyttium later came under the administration of the theme of Samos in the ninth century and became the seat of a tourmarches (commander of a tourma).[31] A tourma of the hinterland of Adramyttium remained part of the Thracesian Theme, but was also based at Adramyttium.[31]

Adramyttium was sacked by Tzachas, a Turkish pirate, in c. 1090 and subsequently rebuilt and repopulated by Eumathios Philokales in 1109.[35] During this period, Adramyttium was used as a base to defend against Italian and Turkish attacks.[35] Upon discovering that Malik Shah, Sultan of Rum, planned to invade in early 1112, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos sent an army to Adramyttium ahead of him as he travelled to the Chersonese peninsula.[36] During the reign of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, Adramyttion formed part of the theme of Neokastra.[37] French crusaders passed through Adramyttium on their march south to Ephesus during the Second Crusade.[38] After the ascension of Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos in 1183, Andronikos Lapardas, sebastos, revolted against the emperor and travelled to Bithynia to join the rebels, however, Lapardas was seized at Adramyttium and imprisoned.[39] Michael Stryphnos, megas doux, levied a fine on the Genoese merchant Cafforio,[40] who subsequently raided the cities of the Aegean Sea, and sacked Adramyttium in 1197.[22]

Following the Fall of Constantinople in 1204 and the formation of the Latin Empire, Emperor Baldwin granted the land between Abydos on the Hellespont to Adramyttium to his brother Henry of Flanders who went on to capture Adramyttium in the winter of 1204-1205.[41] Theodore Mangaphas, a usurper, attempted to seize Adramyttium but was defeated by Henry of Flanders at the Battle of Adramyttium on 19 March 1205.[42] Adramyttium was recovered by the Empire of Nicaea, a successor state of the Eastern Roman Empire, later that year and maintained control of the city until 1211.[43] Henry of Flanders regained Adramyttium in October 1211 after his victory over Emperor Theodore I Laskaris at the Battle of the Rhyndacus.[44] Theodore I subsequently ceded Adramyttium to the Latin Empire in the Treaty of Nymphaeum.[45] During the second period of Latin occupation, a Latin bishop of Adramyttium was appointed and the diocese of Adramyttium was made a suffragan of the archdiocese of Cyzicus.[46] In 1224, Latin territory in Anatolia collapsed and Adramyttium was recaptured by the Empire of Nicaea.[47]

The Treaty of Nymphaeum of 1261 granted the Republic of Genoa trading privileges, such as marketplaces, at Adramyttium, amongst other Aegaen cities.[48] In 1268, the Venetians were granted a concession in Adramyttium.[35] In early 1284, a synod was held at Adramyttium by Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, accompanied by his aunt Theodora and his cousins Anna Palaiologina Kantakouzene and Theodora Raoulaina, with the intention of reconciling with the "Arsenites", supporters of Arsenios Autoreianos, the deposed Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Arsenites who were poorly treated by Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, Andronicus' predecessor who had deposed Arsenius, were declared martyrs and the Arsenites temporarily recognised Gregory II, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, as legitimate patriarch.[49] During the synod, the two factions agreed to settle their dispute by setting fire to separate documents containing their arguments, the undamaged document was said to contain the truth, however, both documents were destroyed in the fire.[50]

Following victory at the Battle of Bapheus in July 1302, Osman I raided the countryside surrounding Adramyttium.[51] The threat of Turkish attacks led the Genoese of Phocaea to seize the Venetian concession in Adramyttium in 1304.[35] The city fell to the Karasid Turks before 1334.[35] The Karasid Beylik, including Adramyttium, was annexed by the Ottoman Beylik in the mid-fourteenth century.[52]


Debate exists as to when Adramyttium moved to its current site at the modern city of Edremit. According to Wilhelm Tomaschek, Adramyttium moved to the site of modern Edremit under Trajan, however, it has been argued that there was no cause for this during Trajan's rule as piracy, the sole cause for such a move, was negligible.[53] Kiepert argued that this move took place in 1109 after the city's destruction in 1093 at the hands of Tzachas, however, scholars note that it is not stated in contemporary sources that the city was rebuilt inland.[53] It has also been argued that the relocation of Adramyttium took place after its destruction by Genoese pirates in 1197.[22]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Karavul et al. (2010), pp. 876-877
  2. ^ a b Constantakopoulou (2010), pp. 240-241
  3. ^ a b c d Hansen & Nielsen (2004), p. 1038
  4. ^ Parke (1984), p. 218
  5. ^ Magie (2015), p. 83
  6. ^ Foster & Lateiner (2012), p. 274
  7. ^ Leaf (1923), p. 307
  8. ^ a b Lendering (2005)
  9. ^ a b Almagor (2012)
  10. ^ Coruhlu (2012), p. 63
  11. ^ Roberts (2007)
  12. ^ Roisman (2012), p. 174
  13. ^ Tritle (2013), p. 130
  14. ^ Magie (2015), p. 89
  15. ^ Will (1984), p. 113
  16. ^ Leaf (1923), p. 267
  17. ^ Picón & Hemingway (2016), p. 34
  18. ^ a b Magie (2017), p. 905
  19. ^ Magie (2017), p. 757
  20. ^ Magie (2017), p. 776
  21. ^ a b Coruhlu (2012), p. 64
  22. ^ a b c d Kiminas (2009), p. 81
  23. ^ a b Mills & Bullard (1990), p. 12
  24. ^ Magie (2015), p. 157
  25. ^ Magie (2017), p. 1060
  26. ^ Magie (2017), p. 1062
  27. ^ Magie (2015), pp. 162-163
  28. ^ Magie (2015), pp. 216-217
  29. ^ Magie (2015), pp. 236-237
  30. ^ Karavul et al. (2010), p. 878
  31. ^ a b c Nesbitt & Oikonomides (1996), p. 23
  32. ^ Kazhdan (1991a)
  33. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 195
  34. ^ Norwich (1988), p. 349
  35. ^ a b c d e Foss (1991)
  36. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 450
  37. ^ Haldon & Davis (2002), p. 97
  38. ^ Hendy (2008), pp. 107-108
  39. ^ Kazhdan & Wharton (1985), pp. 54-55
  40. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 535
  41. ^ Van Tricht (2011), p. 106
  42. ^ Brand (1991a)
  43. ^ Van Tricht (2011), p. 104
  44. ^ Brand (1991b)
  45. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 559
  46. ^ Van Tricht (2011), p. 325
  47. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 569
  48. ^ Kazhdan (1991b)
  49. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 622
  50. ^ Kazhdan (1991c)
  51. ^ Venning & Harris (2006), p. 636
  52. ^ Zachariadou (1991)
  53. ^ a b Leaf (1923), p. 323