Chronology of Antandros
The ancient writers trace Antandros in history as back as the Trojan War. You can follow the mark left by Antandros on the face of history in the past centuries through the time line below. Beginning from 13th century BC to the city’s re-discovery in 18th century AC and to the beginning of scientific works in 2000s; here is everything about Antandros.
1250 BC – 1200 BC
Antandros during Trojan War
According to information gathered from Virgil’s Aeneid; history of Antandros dates back to the Trojan War. Antandros is said to be famous with its shipyards and its ports exporting timber from Ida Mountain to the known world of the time.
Aeneid comes to Antandros from Troy
Following the fall of Troy with the horse trick, Aeneid leaves the city with this clan. He uses mountain passes to cross Ida and comes to Antandros in order to build ships and sail to his ancestors’ lands.
725 BC—675 BC
First material evidence
The earliest tomb excavated in the Antandros necropolis is a child’s tomb dating late 8th century BC. This tomb is so far the earliest archaeological evidence obtained in Antandros.
695 BC—570 BC
Cimmerians are a Caucasian people. Fleeing from Scythians, Cimmerians came to Eastern Anatolia through Caucasian passageway. They fought with Urartians and Assyrians, then they moved to Central Anatolia. They defeated the Phyrigian state and killed King Midas, they continued their westward peregrination and fought with Lydians. The Lydian king Gyges won the battle in 663 BC, but lost hard in 652 BC and died on the battlefield. Following this date, a group of Cimmerians moved north and settled in Antandros. Kroisos, the son of Lydian king Alyattes ended Cimmerian occupation in Antandros around 570 BC.
620 BC—570 BC
Poet Alkaios of Lesbos Island mentions Antandros
A poet from Lesbos Island, Alkaios, who lived there during same time as the famous female poet Sappho, mentioned Antandros referring the city as a Lelleg settlement.
600 BC—550 BC
A strong fire stratum which was first observed in over the road sector, then in other sectors was dated to have occurred in the first half of 6th century BC. It is thought to be the remnants of the war leading to the exile of the Cimmerians out of Antandros. However, up until today, we weren’t able to find any material in the area that is openly of Cimmerian origin.
Otanes, the successor of Megabazos who was one of the commanders of the Persian Satrap Darius, conquered the north Aegean Greek cities including Antandros. A Persian garrison known to be located on Kaletaşı hill must have been established during this time. Due to its control over the timber on Ida Mountain and its shipyards renowned for good ship building Antandros always had a strategic importance.
The first reaction of the Greeks to the Persian dominance in Anatolia was the Ionian revolt lead by Miletos. Backed by Athens, the uprising turned into an assault on Sardes and the Persians reacted too late. There is no information that Antandros was involved in this revolt. During this time the existence of the Persian garrison in the city continued.
490 BC—479 BC
Persian- Greek Wars
Persians supressed the revolt easily. Afterwards they launched two big campaigns to conquer Greece and punish Athens. Following the unsuccessful first campaign led by Darius, the second Persian army was led by his son Xerxes. This second army invaded Athens but failed in Salamis naval battle thus partially left continental Greece. The Greek cities that gained their independence gathered after one year to act together against the Persians in order to free the Greek cities in Anatolia.
Xerxes campaign to Greece
Herodotus talks about the preparations and the route of Persian king Xerxes’ march on Greece in 483 BC. According to Herodotus; “The army took its course from Lydia to the river Caicus and to the land of Mysia. After leaving the Caicus, they went through Atarneus to the city of Carene, keeping the mountain of Cane on their left. From there they marched over the plain of Thebe, passing the city of Adramytteum and the Pelasgian city of Antandrus. Then, they came into the territory of Ilium, with Ida Mountain on their left. When they stopped for the night at the foot of Ida, a storm of thunder and lightning fell upon them, killing a great crowd of them there.” (Herodotus, 7 42)
478 BC—404 BC
Attica Delos Sea League
The Attica-Delos Sea League which was established as an alliance against the Persians under Athens’ leadership following the Persian-Greece wars; in time turned into a confederation under Athens hegemony. There was a term when membership became mandatory and exit became impossible and it lasted until the devastating wars waged against rival cities that gathered around Sparta.
450 BC—420 BC
Herodotus talking about origins of Antandros
Heredotus was referred as ‘the father of history’ first time by Cicero as early as 1st century BC. He mentions Antandros when talking about the route Xerxes took during his campaign on Greece and calls it a Pelasg city. Herodotus, who has most probably written his work around the third quarter of the 5th century, is one of the most important ancient writers citing Antandros.
440 BC—350 BC
Antandros Artemis Coins
Antandros pressed coins for the first time in its history. Attached to the Artemis Astyrene cult, the coins in Antandros had Artemis on front face and a goat figure on the back. The coins were in silver and bronze and Antandros kept pressing Artemis coins until 350 BC.
428 BC—427 BC
Mytilene being the most powerful city-state of the region fell under Athens’ radar while preparing for a revolt to overtake whole of Lesbos Island and to exit the Attica Delos Sea League. It immediately sought help from Sparta and Boetia, and besieged Methymna, an ally of Athens. The Athenian hoplites landed on the island soon enough to seize Mytilene and end the revolt before Sparta could react properly. The Spartan fleet came to the island on 427 but it was no help. Although the numbers change, it is certain that Athens was ruthless towards the rebels.
427 BC—425 BC
Mytilene takes over Antandros
The people of Mytilene who escaped from the revolt that was supressed by Athens with blood-shed, went to Antandros and invaded the city together with the soldiers from Peloponnesos. Their plan was to recover, to build ships and to attack Lesbos to take it back. The people of Antandros were in good terms with Athens then, so they were not content about these developments.
Athens takes Antandros back
The dominance of the Mytilene exiles on Antandros was soon ended by the Athenian fleet.
The same winter, the people of Khios demolished their newly built city walls as Athenians demanded as they feared that Khios could revolt, (in fact the people of Khios had given hostage to the Athenians and received word that they would make no changes in the laws). Winter came and the seventh year of the war told by Thukydides ended (Diodoros Siculus). ( Diodoros Siculus )
425 BC—421 BC
Antandros is a member of Attica-Delos Sea League
When Athens established its absolute dominance over Antandros, its membership to Attica Delos Sea League which turned into Athens Empire started as well. Athens united the cities in Troad area under the name of ‘Aktaia-Poleis’ and took 15 talents (IG i³ 71.iii.125) in 425 and 8 talents (IG i³ 77.iv.15) in 421 as tax payments from Antandros. The city had to change sides around 410 due to the changing political environment. Antandros had always been famous for its ship building activities, but these years coinciding with the hottest times of the Peloponnesos Wars, made the city important like it never had been in its history.
415 BC—404 BC
Alkibiades was an important figure especially towards the end of the Peloponnesos wars as his actions altered the fate of the war. He led Athens to an adventure in Sicily in 415 and when it became clear that he would stand trial as Athens was brutally defeated in the war, he sided with Sparta. Sparta wanted to make use of his strategic intelligence and he advised that Sparta should tear its bonds with Athens’ allies in Anatolia. He himself led the related campaign. The Athenian dominance on Antandros as well as on Mytilene, Miletos and Khios probably ended during this time.
413 BC—412 BC
Antandros is again under Persian rule
When Alkibiades fell from grace in Sparta, a death sentence was put upon his head so he sought refuge with the Persians. His good advices paved his way to Persian satrap Tissaphernes’ grace and he was instrumental in Persians’ regaining control over Antandros, the city strategically important for its shipyards. During this term a new Persian garrison was established on the hill in Antandros.
411 BC—410 BC
Antandros rids Persians of the city with Spartan help
While the Persians were in a wait and see position between two sides upon Alkibiades’ advice, they were expelled from Antandros by the help of Spartan soldiers who were on their way to their garrison in Abysdos. Now Antandros sided with Sparta. We learn from Thukydides that Tissaphernes was angry with the Spartans about this help. (Thukydides 8.109).
Persians seize Antandros again
Thukydides’ book ends here. So we turn to another significant historian Ksenophon for the rest of the story. Spartans were defeated hard in Kyzikos battle in 410, so they had to turn to the Persians once more. The new Spartan Satrap Pharnabazos advised his men to build as many ships as they needed in Antandros and he gave the necessary money and other sources. He knew that it was important for Sparta to be strong in this battle.
409 BC—408 BC
Syrakusaians help repair Antandros city walls
Syrakusaians who acted together with the Spartans since Athens’ Sicily campaign resided in Antandros and they helped the city with the repair of the city walls. They also won the approval of the Antandros people with their devoted guard duty. Thus, Antandros called the Syrakusaians benevolent people and granted citizenship.
407 BC—395 BC
History writes his name as a great commander who made Sparta the victor of the Peloponnessos Wars. While he was in charge, the fleet successfully fought two important marine battles and destroyed the Athenian fleet. We learn from Ksenophon that during this term, shipyards in Antandros were actively used. Lysandros became close friends with Kyros. His unfortunate death came during a battle he was waging against Thebes in order to strengthen Sparta’s dominance over continental Greece after the invasion of Athens.
Aigospotamoi marine battle and the defeat of Athens
Sparta and its allies, after strengthening their power in the Peloponnessos wars with Kyros’ support caught the Athenian fleet off guard and destroyed it in a battle fought near city of Sestos in the Dardanelles. In the face of such devastating defeat Athens lost all of its fleet and the battle.
Athens under siege on land and sea
Athens lost its sea dominance and its allies and was under siege by the Spartan forces both from land and sea. Sparta doomed Athens to hunger by obstructing any means of help from Piraeus. A few months later Athens had to give in to all the conditions that Sparta wanted and a peace treaty was signed.
Aftermath of the Peloponnessos wars
Although Sparta was the victor of these 27 year-long violent wars, all the Greek cities were adversely affected. The hidden victor of the war was in fact the Persian Empire. Thereafter the Persians enhanced their dominance on the Greek cities in Anatolia, and although they were heavily involved with their own battles of throne, until the rise of Alexander the Great, they were the sole power in the region.
402 BC—401 BC
Young Kyros and the ten-thousands
When Darius II died and Artaxerxes took the throne in 405, his little brother Kyros rebelled. He used his influence on the west and gathered an army mostly composed of Greeks and marched to Babel. Although his army was about to win he was killed by the Karian Satrap Tissaphernes. After his death the Greek mercenaries were left without any purpose. Ksenophon, in his work Anabasis immortalized their story of finding their way back home. This war also marked the beginning of the 44 years reign of Artaxerxes II.
400 BC—300 BC
A 20 meters section of a 4th century BC rampart belonging to Antandros ancient city was unearthed during the excavations. The ancient sources refer to ramparts before that date but such is not unearthed yet. The rectangular woven rampart has a width of 3.26 meters and its tower with dimensions 7.50 x 7.40 meters was also discovered.
400 BC—250 BC
Antandros Apollo Coins
Following Antandros Artemis coins, coins minted for the other cult god of the city entered into circulation. The coins had Apollo heads with bay leaves around his head on their front face and a roaring lion’s head on the back face. These coins were pressed up until 250 BC and the name of the city was shortened as ANTAN on the coins.
336 BC—323 BC
Alexander the Great
Alexander III became the king of Macedonia after his father Philippos II was assassinated. He marched to Anatolia in order to end the Persian dominance over the Greeks and he waged epic wars. He not only destroyed the Persian Empire, but changed the entire history of the ancient world.
War of Granikos
This was the first battle of Alexander. It was waged on the river of Biga, west of Kapıdağ Peninsula that faces Marmara Sea in Troad region. This war is important as it shows the military genius of Alexander. The Persian army which was composed of Persian satraps in Anatolia and Greek mercenaries outnumbered Alexander’s army, but they were defeated by a surprise attack and a shocking cavalry charge. At the end of this war, the Greek city states in the Troad region, including Antandros were completely freed from Persian dominance.
331 BC—323 BC
The demise of the Persian Empire
The east campaign of Alexander the Great continued with two great wars and numerous sieges. Alexander defeated the strong Persian army first in Issos and second in Gaugemela, conquered entire Middle East then he set his eyes upon further east. While he was conquering India, he had to return to Babel due to his soldiers’ unwillingness; and died there untimely. What he left behind was a world changed from top to bottom in merely ten years. During this time, living under the shadow of great powers, the Greek city states of Anatolia enjoyed a degree of freedom that they had never experienced before.
330 BC—30 BC
Antandros during Hellenistic era
During an era in which the city states started to lose their importance and big kingdoms struggle to dominate vast territories, the Greek city states enjoyed a relatively free and independent time. Even though Antandros lost its strategic importance, it still had its shipyards working and still served as the meeting point of trade caravans passing through the south part of Ida Mountain.
321 BC—301 BC
Following the sudden death of Alexander, the lands he invaded were distributed among his commanders. Anatolia fell into Antigonos’ (aka the one-eyed) share. He was defeated by the joint forces of his opponents Lysimakhos and Seleukos and lost his dominance in Anatolia to Lysimakhos.
301 BC—281 BC
The non-aggression treaty between Lysimakhos and Seleukos lasted for twenty years and during this time, Lysimakhos singlehandedly ruled Anatolia. However, he lost his complete kingdom to Seleukos after he was defeated in the war waged on Kurupedion plains near Isparta in 281 BC.