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Erytrai (Ildırı) Ancient City

The name of Ildırı village was Erythrai in ancient period. It is thought that Erythrai is derived from Erythros, which means “red’’ in Greek, and Erythrai is used as “Red City’’ because its town soil is in red color. According to another assumption, the city was named after Erythros, son of Rhadamanthes, the first founder of Crete. Findings found in the city show that there has been a settlement in this region since the first Bronze Age. During the second colonization, the city was under the rule of Knopos, a descendant of Kadros who is the King of Athens. The city, which was initially ruled by the kingdom, was later ruled by the Basileus, a descendant of the king, but chosen by the people. They joined the religious and political unity of the Panionion founded by the Ionian cities.  The city lived with Pythagoras for a short period of tyranny and gained importance with the millstones it produced and sold out.
Erythrai, came into the hands of Lydia, and later of the Persians.  Like the other Ionian cities against the Persian yoke, the city participated in the uprising. In 334 BC, it gained independence by Alexander  along with other Ionian cities. Erythrai, who changed in many hands as a result of the turmoil after the death of Alexander, passed into the hands of the Kingdom of Pergamon (Bergama). In 133 BC, it gained the status of a free city within the Roman Empire. During this period, it gained fame with its wine, goats, mill stones and female soothsayers called Sibyl and Herophile. In 1st century BC, due to the earthquakes, wars and the looting of the Roman commanders, the great destruction occurred in the region and it started to be known as Ilderen and Ildırı after the 16th century.

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