previous next

TEOS (Siğacik or Siğacak) Turkey.

City in Ionia 40 km SW of Smyrna. Founded according to tradition (Paus. 7.3.6) by Minyans from Orchomenos, joined later by Ionians and Athenians under the sons of Kodros. Because of its central situation Teos was proposed by Thales as the seat of a common political assembly of the Ionian cities, but this was not done. When Teos fell to Harpagos the citizens, unable to endure the Persian arrogance, sailed in a body to Thrace and founded Abdera (Hdt. 1.168; Strab. 644), but many of them soon returned. The city sent 17 ships to the battle of Lade (Hdt. 6.8). In the Delian Confederacy Teos was assessed at six talents, roughly on a par with Miletos and Ephesos; she revolted after the Sicilian expedition, but was quickly reduced (Thuc. 8.16.20). In 303 B.C. Antigonos was intending to synoecise Teos, which was poor at that time, with Lebedos, and to transfer the Lebedians thither, but Lysimachos took Teos from him in the following year, and instead transferred many Teians and Lebedians to his new foundation at Ephesos. About 200 B.C. Teos was selected as headquarters of the Asiatic branch of the Artists of Dionysos, but dissension caused a move to Ephesos within half a century. In the war against Antiochos III the Romans and Rhodians won a naval victory over the king at Teos (Livy 37.27). Coinage begins in the 6th c. B.C. and continues, with an interruption in the 3d c., down to the time of Gallienus.

The site is on the neck of a peninsula, with harbors to N and S. The N harbor, where the village now stands, is used today; remains of an ancient quay or mole may be seen in the water. It is called by Strabo Gerrhaiidai, by Livy Geraesticus. The S harbor is now deserted and silted up; a line of quay wall survives, with projecting blocks at intervals, pierced with round holes to form mooring stations. Now hardly above the water line, these blocks originally stood 1.5-1.8 m above sea level. The scrub-covered headland W of the city seems to have been unoccupied in ancient times.

The acropolis is on a separate hill halfway between the N and S shores; on its summit are some scanty fragments of polygonal wall. The inhabited city lay between this hill and the S harbor; an area of ca. 0.5 sq. km is enclosed by rectilinear walls of Hellenistic date at right angles to one another. These are poorly preserved, but a short stretch on the W has recently been excavated.

At the S foot of the acropolis hill is the theater, indifferently preserved. The building was originally Hellenistic, but was provided in Roman times with a new stage building; a vaulted gallery runs under the cavea. The stage building, recently cleared, has some puzzling features, in particular horizontal holes pierced through the projecting blocks of the proscenium. The stage is about 4 m deep.

Below the acropolis on the NE are the meager ruins of a large building identified as a gymnasium, and SE of the theater is the odeum. It is fairly well preserved with 11 rows of seats, and is adorned with two tall statue bases of Roman date.

The temple of Dionysos Setaneios, chief deity of Teos, stood just inside the W wall; some of the columns have been reerected. The temple, in the Ionic order, was the work of Hermogenes in the 2d c. B.C. The stylobate is 35 by 19 m; the peristyle has 11 columns by 6, equally spaced, giving a ratio of length to breadth of exactly 2:1. The temenos is trapezoidal. In the 2d c. A.D. the building was restored and rededicated to Hadrian. Adjacent to the temple excavation has revealed a narrow paved street with a central water channel, and a similar one a little to the N.

The blue limestone used at Teos came from a hill beside the present road from Seferihisar to Siğacik. In the 19th c. 15 or 20 huge blocks cut into curious shapes were visible around a small lake less than 1 km to the NW; they seem to have been intended for export as bulk material. One or two are still lying by the lake, and another in the sea at the N harbor.


R. Chandler et al., Antiquities of Ionia (1797-1915) vols. 1 & 4; SIG 344; Y. Béquignon & A. Laumonier, BCH 49 (1925) 281ff; G. E. Bean, Aegean Turkey (1966) 136-46; E. Akurgal, Ancient Civilizations and Ruins of Turkey (1970) 139-42.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: