Klazomenai

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{god, call, give}
{city, large, area}
{land, century, early}
{church, century, christian}
{island, water, area}
{war, force, army}
{food, make, wine}
{area, part, region}
{city, population, household}
{mi², represent, 1st}
{language, word, form}

Klazomenai (also spelled Clazomenae, Greek: Κλαζομεναί, modern-day Kilizman in Urla near İzmir in Turkey) was an ancient Greek city of Ionia and a member of the Ionian Dodecapolis (Confederation of Twelve Cities), it was one of the first cities to issue silver coinage.

Contents

Location

Klazomenai is located in modern Urla (Vourla in Greek) on the western coast of Anatolia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of İzmir, at about 20 miles west of İzmir. The city was originally located on the mainland, but probably during the early fifth-century Ionian Revolt from the Persians, it was moved to an island just off the coast, which Alexander the Great eventually connected to the mainland with a causeway. The location of the city-around a harbour, backed by a coastal plain and low hills to the south provided a number of locations for settlement, and as such, settlements did shift from location to location over time. This can be shown by the island of Karantina, located to the north of the settlement area-which became settled at certain points in the history of Klazomenai.

Mythology

The principal god of the city was Apollo. According to myth, swans drew the chariot in which Apollo every year flew south from his winter home in the land of the Hyperboreans. But Klazomenai was also home to large numbers of swans, and it is thought that the verb klazo was used to describe the call of the wild birds. The swan on the obverse is both an attribute of Apollo and a pun on the name Klazomenai.

Ancient times

Though not in existence before the arrival of the Ionians in Asia, its original founders were largely settlers from Phlius and Cleonae. It stood originally on the isthmus connecting the mainland with the peninsula on which Erythrae stood; but the inhabitants, alarmed by the encroachments of the Persians, removed to one of the small islands of the bay, and there established their city. This island was connected with the mainland by Alexander the Great by means of a pier, the remains of which are still visible.

During the 5th century it was for some time subject to the Athenians, but about the middle of the Peloponnesian War (412 BC) it revolted. After a brief resistance, however, it again acknowledged the Athenian supremacy, and repelled a Lacedaemonian attack. In 387 BC Klazomenai and other cities in Asia were taken over by Persia, but the city continued to issue its own coins.

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