or Eth. Φωκαεύς
), the most northern of the Ionian cities in Asia Minor, was situated on a peninsula, between the Sinus Cymaeus and the Sinus Hermaeus, and at a distance of 200 stadia from Smyrna. (Strab. xiv. p.632
; Plin. Nat. 5.31
; Pomp. Mela, 1.17.)
It was said to have been founded by emigrants from Phocis, under the guidance of two Athenian chiefs, Philogenes and Damon. (Strab. l.c.
p. 633; Paus. 7.3.5
The first settlers did not conquer the territory, but received it as a gift from the Cumaeans.
The town, however, did not become a member of the Ionian confederacy until it placed princes of the line of Codrus at the head of the government.
It had two excellent harbours, Naustathmus and Lampter, and before the entrance into them was situated the little island of Baccheion, which was adorned with temples and splendid buildings (Liv. 38.22
); and owing to this favourable position, and the enterprising spirit of its inhabitants, the town soon rose to great eminence among the maritime cities of the ancient world. Herodotus (1.163
, &c.) states that the Phocaeans were the first Greeks who undertook distant voyages, and made themselves acquainted with the coasts of the Adriatic, and the Tyrrhenian and Iberian seas; and that they were the first to visit Tartessus. Arganthonius, king of the Tartessians, became so attached to them as to try to prevail upon them to quit Ionia and settle in his own dominions; but on their declining this, he gave them a large sum of money to fortify their own city against the Persians. The Phocaeans accordingly surrounded their city by a wall of several stadia in circumference, and of a very solid construction.
In the war of Cyrus, Phocaea was one of the first towns that was besieged by the army of Cyrus, under the command of Harpagus. When called upon to surrender, the Phocaeans, conscious of being unable to resist the enemy much longer, asked and obtained a truce of one day, pretending that they would consider his proposal.
But in the interval they embarked with their wives and children and their most valuable effects, and sailed to Chios.
There they endeavoured by purchase to obtain possession of the group of islands called Oenussae, and belonging to the Chians; but their request being refused, they resolved to sail to Corsica, where twenty years before these occurrences they had planted the colony of Alalia.
Before setting out they landed at Phocaea and put the Persian garrison to the sword. They then bound themselves by a solemn oath to abandon their native country; nevertheless, however, one half of their number, unable to overcome their feelings, remained behind.
The rest proceeded to Corsica, where they were kindly received by their colonists. Soon they became formidable to the neighbouring nations by their piracy and depredations, so that the Tyrrhenians and Carthaginians united to destroy their power. The Phocaeans succeeded indeed in defeating their enemies, but their loss was so great that they despaired of being able to continue the contest, and proceeded to Rhegium, in the south of Italy. Not long after their arrival there, they were induced to settle at Elaea or Velia, in Lucania, which, in the course of time, became a flourishing town. Among the numerous colonies of the Phocaeans the most important was MASSILIA
in the south of France, and the most western MAENACA
in Hispania Baetica.
After the emigration of half the population, Phocaea continued to exist under the Persian dominion; but was greatly reduced in its commerce and prosperity, as we may infer from the fact that it furnished only three ships to the fleet of the revolted Ionians at the battle of Lade; but their commander was nevertheless the ablest man among the Ionians. (Hdt. 6.11
After these events Phocaea is little mentioned (Thuc. 1.13
; Hom. Hymn. 1.35
; Scylax, p. 37
); but some centuries later, in the war of the Romans against Antiochus, when Phocaea was besieged by a Roman fleet, Livy (37.31
) describes the place as follows:--“Tile town is situated in the inmost recess of a bay; its shape is oblong, and its walls enclose a space of 2500 paces; they afterwards unite so as to form a narrower wedge: this they themselves call Lampter, and it is about 1200 paces in breadth.
A tongue of land running out into the sea a distance of 1000 paces, divides the bay nearly into two equal parts, and forms on each side of the narrow isthmus a very safe port.
The one towards the south was called Naustathmus, from its being able to contain a great number of ships, the other was situated close to the Lampter.” On that occasion the town was taken by the Romans, after a desperate resistance, and given up to plunder by the praetor Aemilius, though the inhabitants had voluntarily opened their gates.
The town with its territory, however, was restored to the inhabitants by Aemilius. (Liv. l.c.
32; Plb. 22.27
, comp. 5.77, 21.4; Liv. 38.39
At a still later period the Phocaeans offended the Romans by supporting the cause of Aristonicus, the claimant of the throne of Pergamum; and they would have been severely punished had not the inhabitants of Massilia interceded in their behalf. (Justin, 37.1
; Strab. p. 646.)
The existence of Phocaea can be traced throughout the imperial period from coins, which extend down to the time of the Philips, and even through the period of the Lower Empire. (Hierocl. p. 661.) From Michael Ducas (Ann.
p. 89) we learn that a new town was built not far from the ancient city by some Genoese, in A.D. 1421.
This latter, situated on the isthmus mentioned by Livy, not far from the ruins of the ancient city, is the place now called Foggia Nova:
the ruins bear the name of Palaeo Foggia.
p. 96; Arundell, Seven Churches,
p. 294; Hamilton, Researches,
ii. p. 4; Eckhel, Doctr. Num.
ii. p. 53, &c.; Rasche, Lex. Rei Num.
3.2, p. 1225, &c.; Sestini, p. 83; Thisquen, Phocaica,
Bonn, 1842, 8vo.)
Another town of the same name in the peninsula of Mount Mycale, in Caria, is mentioned by Stephanus B. (s. v.).
|COIN OF PHOCAEA.|