Erythrai Ancient City

The Ancient City of Erythrai is located in the northeast of Çeşme, on the Aegean Sea, in the Ildır neighbourhood.

According to Pausanias, Erythrai was founded by Erythros, the son of the Cretan Rhadamanthys was named after him. In the city, which was initially ruled by the kingdom, then the Basileus us (kings) chosen by the people became dominant.

History of the Ancient City

The city, where the people of the Lycians, Carians and Pamphylians, was under the control of the Ionian colonists who were led by Kleopos (or Knopos), the descendant of the legendary King Kodros of Athens. Erythrai, who was ruled by tyrants for a short time in the 7th century BC, was first exposed to the invasions of Lydia (Lydia) and then the Persian Empire in the 6th century BC.

The city joined the Ionian Uprising with eight ships, and after the Persian occupation, the city changed between Athens and the Spartans. The city, which was a member of the Athenian-Delos Naval Union, was separated from this unit as probably 453 BC and began to help Sparta in 412 BC during the Peloponnesian War. He then agreed with both Athens and the Persians.

Only in 334 BC, the city was able to achieve its independence thanks to Alexander the Great. In 280 BC he encountered the Galatian influences. Then he was dominated by the Kingdom of Pergamum. It was one of the developed cities of the Asian province during the Roman period. However, it started to lose its importance towards the end of this period. In 1366, the area under Turkish control was first named as Erythre, Rhtyrai, Lythri, but from the 16th century onwards, the area was called as Ilderen and Ildırı.

Ancient City Ruins

The excavations in this area were discovered by Professor Dr Ekrem Akurgal. During this excavation, the Temple of Athena, dated to the 7th century BC and mentioned by Pausanias, could be revealed. The temple was damaged in 540 BC, and it was renovated in 530 BC. Apart from the walls supported with square towers, the ruins of the terrace walls can be seen around the acropolis in the south of the city. During the excavations, the first north of the acropolis, which dates back to the 3rd century BC, has been carved into the hillside. The aqueducts in the south are dated to the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) period.

The Hellenistic mosaic near the village coffee is made of pebble stone. Hellenistic villa (2nd century BC) and Roman villas (2nd century AD) are the other building that remain. The walls of andesite and limestone, which translate the land’s history, are well preserved and are approximately 5 km long. From the three different inscriptions found in the ancient city, it was understood that the walls could be dated to the end of the 4th century BC and the beginning of the 3rd century BC.

Where is Erythrai Ancient City?

It is located in Ildır neighbourhood, which is located in the northeast of the city centre in Çeşme, the town of İzmir. İzmir-Çeşme highway to deviate from Barbaros Street Village Road is 12 km After passing through the village Barbaros Bay Gerence Erythrai direction you can reach the ancient city.

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