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Miletus Ancient City

Coordinate: 37º31’49.75’’K 27º16’31.52’’D Height: 10 m

Miletus located near the sea on a peninsula in ancient times, had four ports being a coastal city. It was a strong city state thriven by 90 colonists spread to Black Sea and Mediterranean in 7th and 6th century B.C. Miletus, supporting Battle of Lade with 80 ships against Persians, lost its navy in result of the victory of Persians, and it was burnt and destroyed in 494 B.C. It could never meet its old strength again after this event.

It became a major trade and art center during Hellenistic period after taken over by Alexander the Great in 34 B.C. It continued to be one of the few metropolitans in Asia state during the rule of Rome in 133 B.C, however, it lost its importance in 3rd century A.D. due to the devolution on sea trade because of the movement of the coast which Miletus owed its wealth.

Seats of the theater reclining to the slope which was in the coast in ancient times in the west of the Miletus are 30 meters high. 5000 seated theater built in the 4th century B.C. was developed to a capacity of 15.000 seats in Roman period.

Ruins in the south of the theater belong to Baths of Faustina. It appears that the baths were built Faustina II, wife of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.) according to the inscriptions in the bath.

In the east of the Baths of Faustina, Southern Agora (Market Place) in size of 164 meters to 196 meters was located. This courtyard surrounded by columned galleries in four sides was built in 2nd century B.C.


Some changes had been made during the Roman period, a magnificent door was built in its modest entrance. Architectural pieces of this gate, which’s base ruins still can be seen, were taken to the Berlin State Museum.

There was 100 meters long and 38 meters wide ceremonial road with sidewalks in the north of Agora. This road opened to the port gate which gave access to the city. Miletus was established in the south of this gulf where the port was because of the convenient position for defense. Narrow entrance of the gulf could be closed with a chain in dangerous situations. Two lion statues in the both sides of the entrance 

protecting the port still stand in their place. The gulf is called Gulf of Lions because of these statues.