It is not known exactly who first settled in Assos. What is known is that the city was settled, and has been inhabited, since the Early Bronze Age.
Homer wrote that the people who lived on the southern shores of Troad were Lelegians and that they made their living as seamen and pirates during the years of the Trojan wars. Strabo also confirms this information and points out that the Lelegians' homeland ranged from Lekton (Baba Burnu) to Mount Ida (Kaz Dagi) and that it included the neighboring territory of Assos. It also claimed that the oldest name of the city was Pedasos and the name Assos was derived from it.
It is written in the Iliad the Elastos, who was killed by Agamemnon, lived in steep Pedasos on the shore of the Satnioeis and that the Lelegian king Altes (his daughter Laothe, whom he gave to Priam with a large dowry, gave birth to Lykaon and Polydoros), who has the father in law of Priam, king of Troy, also dwelt high up in Pedasos. The geographical descriptions of Pedasos conforms to Assos but is the name Assos a later derivation of Pedasos? In Homer's epic although a lot of settlements in Troad are named, the name of Assos is not mentioned. This suggests that the city must have assumed the name Assos during a later century.
Behram, the present name of the area, is a derivation of Makhram, Byzantine official who came to Assos on duty. Yet Strabo tells us that Pedasos, one of the Lelegian cities, was deserted in his days and never inhabited again. So, it is probable that Pedasos and Assos are not the same place since the settlement of Assos has continued uninterrupted since its founding.
The southern Troad where the Mysians of Thrace settled, first became the settlement of the Aiolians, who came through Lesbos in the 7th century B.C. According to Strabo, who informs us after Mysilas and Hellanicos, the Methymnian immigrants from Lesbos, settled in Assos in the meantime. After this date Assos established a satellite community at Gargara, a place some 20 kms. to the east. But Strabo, referring to Demetrios of Skepsis, says that the people of Gargara were semi-barbarians and different from the people of Assos.
Assos was the most powerful and the most important city on the northern shores of the Gulf of Edremit when it was captured by the Lydians in ca. 560 B.C.. It is said that the wealth of Gyges, Alyattes and Kroisos came partly from the rich mineral beds between Atarneos and Pergamon, which were within the sphere of influence of Assos. Strabo also mentions some excavated masses of land where these minerals beds were, a defunct mine and a deserted mining city. Today it is known that this region possesses rich silver and iron beds.
During the Persian hegemony in Western Anatolia (after 546 B.C.), the city remained within the borders of the Persian satrapy. Thus, the only power to which both the city of Assos and Troad had been subject to, changed. The Aegean cities had to wait for Alexander, the king of Macedon, to gain their full independence. Although they had become semiautonomous when the Persians withdrew from the Aegean as a results of their defeat in naval battles at Salamis, Plataia and Mykale by the Hellenes.
The increasing power of Athens in both leadership and in the formation of the Delian
confederacy in the 5th century B.C. provided opportunities for the northwest city-states and especially the coastal cities to participate in the confederacy was formed in 478 B.C.. Assos, along with other cities such as Phokaea (Foça), Samos, Teos (Seferihisar), Pitane, Miletos and Lesbos in the Ionic-Aeolic region, participated in this confederacy as a founding member. Its annual tax payment was one talent.
The Spartans, in compliance with an agreement made in 412 B.C. with Darius II, helped the Persians in regaining their power on the shores of Anatolia. The defeat at Aigospotamos in 405 B.C. after the victory of Lysander (the Spartan commander), over the fleet of Athenians (407 B.C.) with the aim of supporting the Persians, caused the governing bodies which he had organized along the western Anatolian shores to fall under the sovereignty of Persians again.
Following the King's Peace (Peace of Antalkidas) in 387 B.C., Eubolos, a banker, declared himself the king of Assos. But later, his old servant, the eunuch Hermeias, killed him and usurped power.
Hermeias, a student of Plato, was not actually from Assos but from Bithynia. He was also a student and friend of Aristoteles. After becoming a tyrant he formed a confederacy with Erythrai.
He invited Aristoteles to Assos in 348-347 B.C. and married him to his cousin Pythias. Aristoteles stayed in Assos for 3 years and gave lectures at the gymnasium. Along with other Platonists Xenokrates also lived in Hermeias' palace for a while. By doing so Hermeias kept his good relations with Hellas and was invited to the Olympic games by the Eleans.
Hermeias' independency lasted until 345 B.C.. Memnon of Rhodes, a general in the Persian army, tricked Hermeias with a seemingly friendly invitation. Hermeias accepted the invitation, was deceived and taken prisoner. Having been put in fetters he was sent to the capital city of Persia to be interrogated and later to be crucified.
Meanwhile, sly Memnon had stolen his official seal and sent letters to all of the cities that were in solidarity with Assos, bearing the seal of the dead Hermeias. In these letters he informed them that he had turned his hegemony over to the great king Artaxerxes. Thus Assos and the other cities, passed into the hands of the Persians without any fighting or problems. But it did not take Assos long to free itself problems. But it did not take Assos long to free itself from the declining power of the Persians.
Seven years later (in 334 B.C.) Alexander's victory over the Persians in the war by the Granikos Stream liberated the whole region. Yet, it remained the fate of Troad and Mysia to pass from one hand to another in the post-Alexandrian period during the struggles among his successors.
We see that during the Diadokhian period, Assos fell into the hands of the Gallians, who occupied the Troad. Although temporary, the Gallians ruled over a vast region, from Çanakkale to Macedonia for 60 years or so.
The Gallians were driven out when the kings of Pergamon gained strength. In 241 B.C., Assos, in association with Eumenes and Attalos, refused to pay tribute to the Gallians, which in turn pushed them from the region. In fact, the decisive defeat of the Gallians was the war near Arisbe (216 B.C.). Assos, which was dominated by the kingdom of Pergamon, afterwards shared the same fate with them when the kingdom was possessed by the Romans upon the bequest of Attalos III.
The real period of development for Assos was the period of Roman occupation. In fact, Assos along with several other Anatolian cities prospered greatly during the Pax Romana period.
The Roman Senate gave the Eastern provinces to young Germanicus in 17 A.D. in recognition of his victories over the German tribes. Along with his wife, he visited Ilion due to the original relationship of this city with Rome and then he went to Assos, where he was hailed as a "New God".
When Germanicus' youngest son, Gaius Caesar (Caligula) became emperor in the East in 37 A.D., the people of Assos, in order to be first, considered ascension to the throne to be the beginning of a new era and celebrated it as such. Going a step further, the people of Assos sent a delegation of 5 envoys to the emperor to express their good will and to inform him that they now considered his allies their allies and his enemies their enemies. The delegation made sacrifices to Jupiter Capitolinus while in Rome.
During the Roman period when legislative groups were formed among the provinces, Assos fell into the same group with Adramyttion. Mysia and Troad were also in this group which was called the Dioceseis or Conventus. Afterwards, during the Byzantine period when the Adramyttion Conventus was shared among the other provinces, Assos, Gargara, Antandros and Adramyttion were connected to the province of Asia. Assos was one of the first cities in Western Anatolia to accept Christianity. The main reason for this was St. Paul's and St. Lucas' visit to the city. When St. Paul went to Mytilene he came to Assos from Alexandreia Troas on foot and met St. Lucas there, then they sailed to Lesbos.
Troad bishop Marinus' name and Assos bishop Maximus' name were mentioned in the Nikaia (Iznik) Council, held in 325 A.D. and the third Ephesus Council, held in 431 A.D., respectively. The city remained important enough in the 5th century to be a center for a bishopric.
During this period, under the influence of the edict of the emperor (381 A.D.), many Roman buildings were destroyed, building stones and sculptures of marble were burnt to obtain lime and reused in the new buildings. For this reason one can hardly see any remains of marble in the city.
The city became the target of several attacks during the Latinian, the Seljukian and the Ottoman periods. By virtue of this, its population decreased gradually and it turned into a hamlet (small village).
Although Suleyman Shah captured Assos along with the other peripheral settlements in 1080, Alexius Commnenos, having sought and found an opportunity, seized the territories up the Meander (Menderes) River during the years that followed the crossing of the First Crusade and thus, the Seldjuks retreated from Troad. Frederic Barbarossa had destroyed Assos and its environment while he was going south after he passed Lampsakos (Lapseki) from Kallipolis (Gelibolu) during the Third Crusade. At the beginning of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region was captured by Henri de Hainault, Emperor Balwin's brother who seized Adramyttion and remained under the hegemony of the Francs for approximately 20 years.
Ottoman pressure turned into Ottoman rule in 1330 after the victory of Osman I at Lemnos (Limni) in 1288. The region has since been under the rule of Turks with no interruptions.Makedonya hakimiyetine giren kent, İskender'in ölümünden sonra sırayla; Bergama Krallığı, Roma İmparatorluğu ve Bizans hakimiyetinde kalmış ve I. Murat döneminde Osmanlı toprakları içerisinde yerini almıştır.

235 metre yüksekliğindeki Andezit taşlardan oluşan tepe üzerinde kurulan Assos Antik Kenti; Çin seddi kadar özenle yapılmış, yer yer yüksekligi 20 metreye ulasan 8 kule ile 12 değişik kapının yer aldığı yaklaşık 3200 metrelik surlarla çevrelenmiştir.

Athena Tapınağı, Gymnasium, Agora, Hamam ve Tiyatro'nun bulunduğu şehir ile Antik Liman, Mendirek ve Antrepo benzeri yapılardan oluşan Assos'da 1881-1883 yılları arasında ilk bilimsel kazılar J.T. Clarke ve F. Bacon'dan oluşan Amerikan heyeti tarafindan yapılmıştır. Bu kazılarda çıkan eserlerin bir kısmı Louvre ve Boston Müzelerine götürülmüş olup, yurdumuzda kalanların da bir kısmı İstanbul Arkeoloji müzesinde sergilenmektedir. İlk kazıdan itibaren uzun yıllar kendi kaderine terk edilen Assos, 1980 yılında Restoratör Prof. Dr. Ümit Serdaroğlu'nun gayretleri ile yeniden bilimsel kazı çalışmalarına sahne olmuştur. Bugün, kazılar Serdaroğlu'nun başkanligindaki bir kazı heyeti tarafindan ciddiyetle yürütülmektedir.

Hikaye bu ya; Assos Kralı Hermias'in kız kardeşi Pythias'in güzelliği dillere destandır...
Pythias'i görenler onu bir daha akıllarından çıkaramamaktdırlar... Ünlü düşünür Aristo, Hermias'in okul arkadaşıdır. Hermias, Aristo'yu Assos'a davet eder, bu davete icabet eden Aristo da, yemekte Pythias'i görür görmez aşık olur ve yemekten içmekten kesilir, bunun üzerine Hermios, Assos'da bir okul açtığı takdirde kız kardeşini Aristo'ya vereceğini vaadeder. Ve hikaye mutlu sonla biter, Aristo ile Pythias evlenir ve Felsefe Okulu kurulur. M.Ö. 348-345 yillari arasında Aristo burada Erdem'e Övgü isimli eserini hazırlar.



Assos Eden Beach Hotel
Tel : (0286) 721 70 39 - 40

 
Copyright © Eden Group, 2005