Erythrae or Erythrai ( _el. Ἐρυθραί) later Litri, was one of the twelve Ionian cities of Asia Minor, situated 22 km north-east of the port of Cyssus (modern name: Çeşme), on a small peninsula stretching into the Bay of Erythrae, at an equal distance from the mountains Mimas and Corycus, and directly opposite the island of Chios.

In the peninsula, excellent wine was produced. The town was said to have been founded by Ionians under Knopos, son of Codrus. Never a large city, it sent only eight ships to the Battle of Lade. The Erythraeans were for a considerable time subject to the supremacy of Athens, but towards the close of the Peloponnesian War they threw off their allegiance to that city. After the battle of Cnidus, however, they received Conon, and paid him honours in an inscription, still extant.

Erythrae was the birthplace of two prophetesses--one of whom, Sibylla, is mentioned by Strabo as living in the early period of the city; the other, Athenais, lived in the time of Alexander the Great.

The ruins include well-preserved Hellenistic walls with towers, of which five are still visible. The acropolis (280 ft) has the theatre on its northern slope, and eastwards lie many remains of Byzantine buildings.

By the mid. 18th century and up to early 20th century, Litri was a considerable place and port, extending from the ancient harbour to the acropolis. The smaller coasting steamers call, and there was an active trade with Chios and Smyrna.

The archaeological site is situated within the settlement zone of the present-day Turkish village of Ildırı. The site was explored in depth in the 1960s by Professor Ekrem Akurgal, leading to precious discoveries, but has been left somewhat unattended since.

ee also

*List of traditional Greek place names


External links

* [ History of Erythrae] Created by Dale E. Landon, Professor Emeritus of History, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
* [ The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites]
* [ Encyclopaedia Britannica Concise]
* [ View Erythrai in Google Earth ]

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