MAGNESIA AD MAEANDRUM
Ionian city 4 km S of Ortaklar, beside the road to Söke,
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
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.
C. Humann, Magnesia am Maeander
; W. B. Dinsinoor, The Architecture of Ancient
(3d ed. 1950) 274-76; G. E. Bean, Aegean Turkey
(1966) 246-51. (Artemisium)
G. E. BEAN