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PHOKAIA (Foça) Turkey.

City on a small peninsula inside a gulf NW of Smyrna, the farthest N of the Ionian cities and in the Aiolian region. The Phokaians, directed from Athens, according to ancient authors (Nicol. Damasc. FGrH II, 1.35.2, frg. 51; Paus. 7.3.10; Strab. 14.633; Hdt. 1.146), settled on land given them by the people of Kyme. The 9th c. monochrome gray pottery found there may indicate that, like Kymians, these first inhabitants of Phokaia were Aiolians. According to Pausanias, Ionians from Teos and Erythrai settled there, perhaps in one of the earliest movements of the Ionian expansion. Indeed, the Protogeometric pottery probably indicates that the Ionians had lived at Phokaia at least since the end of the 9th c. B.C. From this it might be deduced that the city was accepted into the Panionion after the Ionians settled in the area at this early date.

The Phokaians were famous navigators, employing 50-oared vessels. They traded with Naukratis in Egypt and, in association with Miletos, they founded Lampsakos, at the N entrance to the Dardanelles, and Amisos (Samsun) on the Black Sea. But Phokaia's major colonies were in the W Mediterranean, especially Elea (Velia) on the W coast of Lucania in S Italy, Alalia in Corsica, Massalia (Marseilles) in France, and Emporion (Ampurias) in Spain.

The city wall mentioned by Herodotos (1.163) has disappeared. It was a defense against the Persians, and financed by King Argonthonius of Tartessos in Andalusia. In 546 B.C., however, the Persians captured Sardis and soon devastated most of the cities in W Asia Minor, including Phokaia. Many of the inhabitants emigrated to their Mediterranean colonies. Although some of them seem to have returned, there was no revival of the golden age of the first half of the 6th c. The Phokaians could send only three ships to the battle of Lade in 494; but owing to their naval skill, the command of the entire Hellenic fleet was given to Dionysios of Phokaia.

The city was a member of the Delian League during the 5th c. and paid a tribute of two talents, but in 412 Phokaia rebelled and left the League. During the Hellenistic period it was ruled first by the Seleucids and then by the Attalids, and in 132 B.C., although it participated in Aristonikos' uprising against the Romans, the city was saved from destruction by the help of Massalia. Pompey gave Phokaia its independence. In the Early Christian era, the city became the center of a diocese, and in A.D. 1275 the Genoese, who were mining alum there, fortified the town with a castle.

Phokaia was also famous for its coinage, made of electrum, and for its purple dye. Telephanes of Phokaia was a sculptor for Darius and Xerxes in the 5th c. B.C., and according to Vitruvius (7 Praef. 12) Theodoros of Phokaia wrote on the Tholos at Delphi and was probably the builder of it (beginning of the 4th c. B.C.).

In ancient times a temple stood on the highest point of a rocky platform at the end of the peninsula, where the secondary school now stands. Excavations have yielded many fragments of bases, columns, capitals, and architectural terracottas which may have been part of the Temple of Athena mentioned by Xenophon (Hell. 13.1) and Pausanias (2.31.6; 7.5.4). Constructed of fine white porous stone, the building seems to have been erected in the second quarter of the 6th c. B.C., and restored about the end of the same century after its destruction by the Persians. The architectural and other finds are in the Izmir Museum.

The rock monument N of the asphalt road, 7 km E of Foça, was not built but was carved out of the rock, like the tombs found in Lycia, Lydia, and Phrygia. The pattern of a door on the facade also appears on Lydian works in the vicinity; but on the other hand, the monument follows the Lycian custom in having two stories, with the upper one in the form of a sarcophagus. The burial chamber, however, was on the ground floor, and the presence of a stepped element between the two floors is indicative of Achaemenid influence. The building must have been erected in memory of a minor king, and therefore during a time when non-democratic Persian rulers dominated the region. There were tyrants close by at Larisa during the 5th and 4th c., and the Phokaian monument may have been that of a tyrant who ruled a small area in the 4th c. B.C.

The tomb called Şeytan Hamami (the Devil's Baths), in Foça itself, is carved out of rock like some of the Lydian tombs. The Greek sherds found in this grave date from the end of the 4th c.


F. Sartiaux, De la nouvelle à l'ancienne Phocée (1914); id., CRAI (1911) 119ff; (1914) 6ff; J. Keil, RE XXI, 444-48; E. Akurgal, Anatolia 1 (1956) 3ff; id., Die Kunst Anatoliens (1961) 17, 180, 283; id., Ancient Civilizations and Ruins of Turkey (1973); E. Langlotz, Die kulturelle und künstlerische Hellenisierung der Küsten des Mittelmecres durch die stadt Phokaia (1966).


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