Miletos, on the coast of Asia Minor, was one of the most important of the Greek poleis - a key economic power as well as a centre of philosophy and learning. Yet with historical sources scarce, and the mass of archaeological work done in the past century inaccessible in English, studying the city has not always been straightforward. Alan Greaves puts this right with a welcome survey of the origins and development of Miletos from prehistory to its medieval decline. He focuses in particular on the archaic era, when Miletos enjoyed its greatest influence and prosperity. Archaeological evidence is accessibly presented throughout, and useful case studies explore a wide range of issues including the physical environment, colonization, the economy, and the city as a centre of philosophy and learning. The text challenges many past assumptions about the site and its archaeology, and develops the two key themes of the relationship between Miletos and its landscape, and its role as a bridging point for cultural interaction between the Aegean, Anatolia, the Near East and the Black Sea.
With more than forty photographs, plans and drawings, this study is the essential guide to a major city of the ancient world.