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
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
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 -