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Information about the place (10)
The Catholic Encyclopedia
- The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
Magnesia ad Maeandrum
Ionian city 4 km S of Ortaklar, beside the road to Soke, founded by
Aiolians from Magnesia in N Greece, and accordingly not accepted into the Ionian
League. Magnesia was taken by Gyges, King of Lydia, and afterwards suffered heavily
from the Kimmerians; later it fell to the Persians. The city was presented by
Artaxerxes to Themistokles to supply him with bread (Diod. 11.57), and was chosen
by him as his home in his last days. Magnesia was not a member of the Delian Confederacy.
Captured by the Spartan Thibron from the Persians, the city was transferred by
him to a new site under Mt. Thorax, where the village of Leukophrys with a temple
of Artemis had been (Diod. 14.36). The original site is not known. In the Mithridatic
war Magnesia remained loyal to Rome, was rewarded with freedom, and continued
to prosper under the Empire.
Little remains today. Excavations in the 19th c. revealed a large
part of the city center, but the site is inundated annually by the river, the
ancient Lethaios, and everything that was then uncovered is now reburied. Of the
city wall on the hills S of the site, however, two or three courses and a single
tower are still standing. On the SW the wall descends into a swamp, where ten
courses of regular ashlar are preserved under the mud. On the plain the wall is
entirely lost, having been replaced in Byzantine times by the rough wall now standing.
The Temple of Artemis lies in a flat heap near the road. It was built
by Hermogenes in the late 3d c. B.C., replacing an earlier temple which stood
on the spot in Themistokles' time. It is in the Ionic order and stands on a platform
some 67 by 41 m. The peristyle is pseudoperipteral, with 15 columns by 8. The
temple faces W. The plan is remarkable for the number of interior columns: in
the pronaos two in antis and two in the interior, six in the cella, and two in
antis in the opisthodomos. The altar stood before the W front. The temple was
enclosed in an extensive temenos, bounded on the W by the agora.
A number of unidentified buildings were excavated in the agora. At
its SE corner was an odeon, and in the W center of the city stood a Roman gymnasium.
On a wall of a hall in the agora were found some 70 inscriptions recording the
acceptance by various cities of the inviolability of Magnesian territory, and
of an invitation to the newly founded festival of the Leukophryena. This was in
consequence of an epiphany of Artemis about 220 B.C., and a subsequent declaration
by Apollo at Delphi of the sanctity of the city. All this is now buried.
The theater is in the S slope of a hill W of the site. It is small,
with a cavea slightly over a semicircle, and dates from the 3d c. B.C. The stage
building consists of five rooms with a long room at the back approached by steps
on one side; from its front a tunnel led out into the center of the orchestra,
where it branched right and left. The tunnel still exists, but has been filled
in; only a small part of the cavea wall, in regular ashlar, and a few blocks of
the stage building are now visible.
The stadium lay higher up and to the S. It was renovated with marble
in the early Roman period, but the seats are now buried and nothing is visible
but the shape of the hollow in the hill.
The necropolis lay outside the E and W gates of the city. This too
is buried, but there is a well-preserved tumulus grave near Morali railway station.
Magnesia was supplied with water by an aqueduct from the SW, but this
has virtually disappeared.
G. E. Bean, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Ministry of Culture WebPages
Magnesia and Meandrum is located on Ortaklar - Soke Highway, within the borders of Tekin village in Ortaklar quarter of Germencik District of Ayd?n
Perseus Project index
Magnesia on the Meander
Total results: 19
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
Magnesia Ad Maeandrum, a city in the southwest of Lydia, situated on the river Lethaeus, a tributary of the Maeander. It was destroyed by the Cimmerians (probably about B.C. 700), and rebuilt by colonists from Miletus. It was celebrated for its beautiful temple of Artemis, ruins of which still exist.
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
(Eth. Magnes.) A city in Ionia, generally with the addition pros or
epi Maiandroi (ad Maeandrum), to distinguish it from the Lydian Magnesia, was
a considerable city, situated on the slope of mount Thorax, on the banks of the
small river Lethaeus, a tributary of the Maeander. Its distance from Miletus was
120 stadia or 15 miles. (Strab. xiv. pp. 636, 647; Plin. v. 31.) It was an Aeolian
city, said to have been founded by Magnesians from Europe, in the east of Thessaly,
who were joined by some Cretans. It soon attained great power and prosperity,
so as to be able to cope even with Ephesus (Callinus, ap. Strab. xiv. p. 647.)
At a later time, however, the city was taken and destroyed by the Cimmerians;
perhaps about B.C. 726. In the year following the deserted site was occupied,
and the place rebuilt by the Milesians,or, according to Athenaeus (xii. p. 525),
by the Ephesians. Themistocles during his exile took up his residence at Magnesia,
the town having been assigned to him by Artaxerxes to supply him with bread. (Nepos,
Themist. 10; Diod. xi. 57.) The Persian satraps of Lydia also occasionally resided
in the place. (Herod. i. 161, iii. 122.) The territory of Magnesia was extremely
fertile, and produced excellent wine, figs, and cucumbers (Athen. i. p. 29, ii.
p. 59, iii. p. 78.) The town contained a temple of Dindymene, the mother of the
gods; and the wife of Themistocles, or, according to others, his daughter, was
priestess of that divinity; but, says Strabo, the temple no longer exists, the
town having been transferred to another place. The new town which the geographer
saw, was most remarkable for its temple of Artemis Leucophryene, which in size
and in the number of its treasures was indeed surpassed by the temple of Ephesus,
but in beauty and the harmony of its parts was superior to all the temples in
Asia Minor. The change in the site of the town alluded to by Strabo, is not noticed
by any other author. The temple, as we learn from Vitruvius (vii. Pr?fat.), was
built by the architect Hermogenes, in the Ionic style. In the time of the Romans,
Magnesia was added to the kingdom of Pergamus, after Antiochus had been driven
eastward beyond Mount Taurus. (Liv. xxxvii. 45, xxxviii. 13.) After this time
the town seems to have decayed, and is rarely mentioned, though it is still noticed
by Pliny (v. 31) and Tacitus (Ann. iv. 55). Hierocles ranks it among the bishoprics
of Asia, and later documents seem to imply that at one time it bore the name of
Maeandropolis. (Concil. Constantin. iii. p. 666.) The existence of the town in
the time of the emperors Aurelius and Gallienus is attested by coins.
Formerly the site of Magnesia was identified with the modern Guzel-hissar;
but it is now generally admitted, that Inek-bazar, where ruins of the temple of
Artemis Leucophryene still exist, is the site of the ancient Magnesia. (Leake,
Asia Minor, pp. 242, foll.; Arundell, Seven Churches, pp. 58, foll.; Cramer, Asia
Minor, vol. i. pp. 459, foll.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)