, Eth. Πριήνιος
), an Ionian city, near the coast of Caria, on the southeastern slope of Mount Mycale, and on a little river called Gaeson, or Gaesus.
It had originally been situated on the sea-coast, and had two ports, one of which could be closed (Scylax, p. 37
), and a small fleet (Hdt. 6.6
); but at the time when Strabo wrote (xii. p. 579) it was at a distance of 40 stadia from the sea, in consequence of the great alluvial deposits of the Maeander at its mouth.
It was believed to have been originally founded by Aepytus, a son of Neleus, but received afterwards additional colonists under a Boeotian Philotas, whence it was by some called Cadme. (Strab. xiv. pp. 633, 636; Paus. 7.2.7
; Eustath. ad Dionys.
825; D. L. 1.5. 2
But notwithstanding this admixture of Boeotians, Priene was one of the twelve Ionian cities (Hdt. 1.142
; Aelian, Ael. VH 8.5
; Vitruv. [p. 2.669]
4.1), and took a prominent part in the religious solemnities at the Panionia. (Strab. xiv. p.639
It was the native place of the philosopher Bias, one of the seven sages.
The following are the chief circumstances known of its history.
It was conquered by the Lydian king Ardys (Hdt. 1.15
), and when Croesus was overpowered by Cyrus, Priene also was forced with the other Greek towns to submit to the Persians. (Hdt. 1.142
It seems to have been during this period that Priene was very ill-used by a Persian Tabules and Hiero, one of its own citizens. (Paus. l.c.
) After this the town, which seems to have more and more lost its importance, was a subject of contention between the Milesians and Samians, when the former, on being defeated, applied for assistance to Athena (Thuc. 1.115
The town contained a temple of Athena, with a very ancient statue of the goddess. (Paus. 7.5.3
; comp. Plb. 33.12
; Plin. Nat. 5.31
There still exist very beautiful remains of Priene near the Turkish village of Samsoon;
its site is described by Chandler (Travels,
p. 200, &c.) as follows: “It was seated on the side of the mountain, flat beneath flat, in gradation to the edge of the plain.
The areas are levelled, and the communication is preserved by steps out in the slopes.
The whole circuit of the wall of the city is standing, besides several portions within it worthy of admiration for their solidity and beauty.” Among these remains of the interior are the ruins of the temple of Athens, which are figured in the Ionian Antiquities,
p. 13, &c. (Comp. Leake, Asia Minor,
pp. 239, 352; Fellows, Asia Min.
p. 268, &c.; Rasche, Lex. Num.
4.1. p. 55; Eckhel, Doctr. Rei Num.
vol. ii. p. 536.)
|COIN OF PRIENE.|