Miletus

Miletus was the wealthiest Ionian city in early Greek period. Miletus was the centre of trade and had about 90 colonies. Lydian invasion did not stop this economic and intellectual booming town. Persian and Macedonian destructions were just short pauses for the busy city life. In Roman period, it was still well populated port town. That is why today’s ruins are from Roman period.

Hippodamos who was actually from Miletus planned this town in 5th century B.C. The theatre and baths are best-preserved monuments. The Greek theatre was transformed into a Roman theatre so Miletus is the best site to see Greco Roman type theatre. The other well-preserved structure is the Roman baths. It was called the Baths of Faustina. She was the wife of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (the old emperor of the movie Gladiator). In the frigidarium, or cold plunge, on two sides of the pool, there are the statues of a lion and the River God Meander. Cold river water came from the mouth of the lion and base of the river God. The palestra (sporting ground) is next to the bath lying under field. Actually, the entrance of the baths was from the palestra.

The river Meander supplied water to the houses, baths and fountains but the same river brought the gradual end of the city as well: The silt! The harbor was filled by silt and harbor monuments that used to be by the sea are still there far away from the sea.

The gulf that Miletus was by it became a fresh water lake and island across the city became a hill. The sea is now 8 km away from the site.

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