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Ionia lies in central Western Anatolia (Asia Minor) on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The region is rather small and mountainous unsuited for agriculture but excellent for seafaring. Greek settlement took place in the 11th to 10th Centuries B.C. despite hostilities with the native Luwians (Indo-European people related to the Hittites and Lycians). After resisting fairly well to the Cimmerian invasion, the Ionians were gradually conquered by the Lycian Kingdom, and later by the Persian Empire. Ionia was freed by Alexander but became a contested prize for the Hellenistic kings, until the last king of Pergamum bequeathed his land to Rome. Ionia offered the world countless philosophers and men of science, and a fabulous school of art.
|The ruins of Erythrai are north of the town Ildiri in the Cesme district of Izmir Province, Turkey. The city did not lie exactly on the coast, but some little distance inland, and had a harbor on the coast named Cissus. Erythrae was never a large city, but was renowned for its wine, goats, timber, and millstones, as well as its prophetic sibyls, Herophile and Athenais. The Erythraeans were for a considerable time subject to the supremacy of Athens. About 453 B.C. Erythrae, refusing to pay tribute, seceded from the Delian League. A garrison and a new government restored the union, but late in the Peloponnesian War, in 412 B.C. it revolted again with Chios and Clazomenae.|