Magnesia on the Maeander is
an ancient Greek city in
Anatolia, located on
the Maeander river
upstream from Ephesus, its site
near the modern town of Germencik, Turkey.
ancient city was founded by colonists from the inhabitants of
Magnesia in Thessaly - also known as the Magnetes in Greece, who
provided its name.
was at an important location commercially and strategically in the
triangle of Priene, Ephesus and Tralles.
It lays within Ionia
, but because it had been
settled by Aeolians
from Magnesia of Greece,
was not accepted into the Ionian League. During its existence,
Magnesia was subject first to the Lydians
then to the Persians
. In later years,
Magnesia on the Maeander, with its similarly named neighbor
Magnesia on the
Sipylum, supported the Romans
in the Second Mithridatic
, king of Lydia captured it and
afterward it suffered from the Cimmerian
raids, and was often under the control of the Persians. Themistocles
retired to Magnesia. There was a
Temple of Artemis
but little remains at the
Magnesia was also the source for the mysterious stones that could
attract or repel each other, and thus its name came to be used for
the phenomenon known as magnetism
The first excavations at the archaeological site were performed
during 1891 and 1893 by a German archaeological team conducted by
, discoverer of the Pergamon Altar
. These lasted 21 months and
partially revealed the theatre, the Artemis
temple, the agora
, the Zeus
temple and the prytaneion
. Excavations were resumed at the site,
after an interval of almost 100 years, in 1984, by Orhan Bingöl of
the University of Ankara
Ministry of Culture
from the site are now displayed in Istanbul and Aydın, as well as in Berlin and Paris.
the portico (pronaos) of the Zeus temple and
of a bay of the Artemis temple can be visited in the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin.
The most of the architectural
remains of Magnesia have been destroyed by local lime burners. The
well preserved remains of the Zeus temple have been destroyed by
local residents even after Humann's excavation campaign.
- Carl Humann: Magnesia am
Maeander. Bericht über die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen der
Jahre 1891–1893. Berlin: Reimer, 1904
- Volker Kästner: Der Tempel des Zeus Sosipolis von Magnesia
am Mäander, in: Brigitte Knittlmayer and Wolf-Dieter
Heilmeyer: Die Antikensammlung, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1998, p.
- Johannes Althoff: Ein Meister des Verwirklichens.
Der Archäologe Theodor Wiegand, in: Peter Behrens, Theodor
Wiegand und die Villa in Dahlem. Klaus Rheidt and Barbara A. Lutz
(ed.), Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2004, p. 151