Where is Panionion?
HISTORY : The central part of the West Anatolia shore between İzmir and Bargylia Bays, with Samos [Sisam) and Chios [Sakız) Islands, form the region which is called lonia. Besides, this term is mostly used for a bigger part of West Anatolia with the islands around. The names of twelve islands which were informed by Heredotos are: at south, Milet, Myus and Priene; at the center, Ephesus, Kolophon, Teos and Lebedos; at north, Erythrai, Klazomenai, Phokaia, Samos and Chios Islands.
The twelve lon cities which also include Old Izmir city, formed a politically aimed union called Panionion. It is impossible to suppose that Panionion was founded later than the 9th century because Izmir joined the union in the early 8th century B.C. The Panionion Union gathered together at a sacred place imputed to Poseidon Heliconios, at Güzelçamlı region, at the of Mykale mountain.
During the digs in 1957-1958, G. Kleiner found a building that was to be an altar. Kleiner proved that this altar belongs to the late 6th century B.C. This building was formed as an 11 runged theatre, carved on the outside of the rock; and was used as the meeting place for the lonion city senators. Since the first day of the Panionion, a central organization was formed, vvhich provided the development of the lon cities. According to this organization lonians created one of the most brilliant cultures of the world history; they also extended their settlement and impression by political union.
The most brilliant period of lonion cities began at the second half of the 7th century, after the foundation of the colonies. It reached the top of its development during the golden age at 600-545 B.C. At this period, the cultural innovation of the Near East, passed through to centers. lonia of this period, guided the not only for positive sciences and philosophy, also for architecture and sculpture.
After the defeat of Lydian King Croisos against Acamonid King Cyros, Persian Commander Harpagos captured most of the West Anatolian cities [545 B.C). There was just one Ionian city-state to be totally free; this was Samos vvhich vvas governed by Tiran Polycrates.
Ploycrates was mudered in 522 B.c., by Persian Governor Oroites of Menderes Magnesia. From then, semi-free state Milet gained the leadership from Samos. In addition, Ionians couldn't oppose a state system formed due to the enforcement of tirans with the influence of Persians.
So in 499 B.C. , the rebellion, which was managed by Milet, ended with destruction of Sardes. After a short time Persians realized their first attack by destroying 353 ships of the lonion navy in open sea of the small island of Lade. Today this place is a small hill surrounded by claylike soil brought by Menderes River.
Persians, later, burned Milet city in 494 B.C.The attack of Athens and Eretria to Sardes with Ionians, caused the retortion of Persians by destructing Athena Acropol in 480 B.C. Inaddition, the next year, in 479 B. C, when Persians won their last victory in Plataea, Ionians defeated the Persian navy in Mykale, with the migrations from continental-Greek.So Ionian cities gaine their liberty again.
Due to DELOS union formed at the same year, West Anatoliakept its liberty as an ally of Athens till 412 B.C. Until the era of Alexander the Great at the next century, lonion cities mostly stayed under Persian domination or control.
At the Roman period, lonia gathered into Asia Province.
During this period, lonion cities had brilliant days and became effective on the birth of Christianity and Byzantium art with the other cultural centers of Anatolia.