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The Ionians were one of the tribes of ancient Greece along with the Aiolians , Dorians and Achaeans . Their settlement area was mainly central Greece ( Attica with Athens , Euboia ). In the course of the Ionian colonization , they settled, possibly as early as the 11th century BC. BC, also the coasts of southwest and west Asia Minor. Due to their geographical location and military strength, the Ionic influence in Asia Minor was in the 7th century BC. BC compared to other Hellenes so large that Asian peoples Greece as Ioniaknow (compare the words for "Greece" and " Greek ": Yamanni in the Assyrians , Jawan in the Hebrew Bible , Yavana in the Indians andيونان / Yūnān ,يوناني / Yūnānī in Arabic and Persian and Yunanistan , Yunanlı and Yunan in Turkish ).

Ionic migration and colonization

see ionic colonization

Development of Ionia

The Ionian homeland became a springboard for colonists of various origins. So it was not the common ethnic affiliation that established the later Ionianism, but the common history of emigration and the common emigration country. The cult, which was based on Ion (3) as the tribal father, and the peculiarities that were carried along with it, created identity. Later common dialects and ways of life were added, which only developed in the new homeland. While the remaining Ionians considered their tribe small and insignificant and were ashamed of its name, the emigrants, according to Herodotus (1,143), were proud of their Ionianism. This is expressed not least by the elite Ionian League and the common federal shrine, the Panionion . Until the 5th century BC The awareness of the common tribal affiliation, also politically, remained an important factor into BC. The First Attic League was based, as it were, on the Ionian system and started with an all-ionic claim. Athens' position of power clearly benefited from this.

" Ionia " - that was the common settlement area in Asia Minor, not the small Attica. Already in the 7th century BC The most important cities and islands had united to form the Dodekapolis , the community of twelve. Colophon , Ephesus , Miletus , Priene as well as Samos and Chios were among them. The Ionian Federation was not ready to accept any further members.

Persian supremacy

Around 550 BC Chr. Had Lydian king Croesus almost all of Asia Minor brought under his rule and asked the Greek cities under a mild rule. But as early as 547/46 BC The Lydian Empire fell to the Persians . The Ionian cities, but not the islands, were now subject to tribute. As long as the thriving economy that had made the Ionian cities prosperous was not compromised, Persian rule was not viewed as a burden. On the contrary: the new masters were first and foremost customers, and after all Persia was dependent on the Greek ports to conduct its trade in the west of the empire. However, the Persian campaigns reaching into the Black Sea region and Egypt cut off Ionia from the most important trade routes. Only now was resistance to Persian tyranny formed . The Ionian Rebellion of 500/499 BC BC to 494, crushed by Persia, was the first military encounter between Greeks and Persians.


Once again in bloom in the Hellenistic period, the Ionians are considered to be the main bearers of Greek culture .

Ionic natural philosophy

Representatives of the Ionic philosophy included:

See also