IONIA

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IONIA ; the ancient name of Achaia (hence the Ionian sea and Ionian islands). By Ionia is generally understood that district of Asia Minor, where the Ionians from Attica settled, about 1050 B. C. This beautiful and fertile country extended from the river Hermus to the Mseander, along the shore of the ^Egean sea, opposite the islands of Samos and Chios, and was bounded by Caria, ./Eolia and Lydia. Commerce, navigation and agriculture early rendered it wealthy and flourishing, as is proved by the great num o ber of populous cities it contained, among which the most important were Ephesus (the chief place), Smyrna, Clazomenae, Erythra, Colophon and Miletus. These free cities formed the Ionian league, but Croesus, and afterwards Cyrus, made them tributaries. They remained subject to the Persians until they recovered their independence by the assistance of the Athenians and Lacedsemonians, after having previously made an unsuccessful attempt, during the reign of Darius Hystaspes. They were again subjected, and again delivered by Alexander the Great. Ionia, at a later period, became a Roman province, and was totally devastated by the Saracens, so that few vestiges of its ancient civilization remain. The Ionians were considered effeminate and voluptuous, but, at the same time, highly amiable. Their dialect partook of their character. (See Ionian Dialect) The arts and sciences flourished in this happy countiy, particularly those which contribute to embellish life. The Asiatic Greeks became the teachers and examples of the European Greeks. Homer the poet, Apelles and Parrhasius the painters, were Ionians. The Ionic column proves the delicacy of their taste. (See Architecture, Ionian Philosophy, and Ionians.)