Magnesia on the Maeander

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Magnesia on the Maeander was an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor, located on the Maeander river upstream from Ephesus. It was founded by colonists from Magnesia, also known as the Magnetes in Greece, who provided its name. It lay 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 by Mt Sipylus, supported the Romans in the Second Mithridatic War.

Gyges, 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 site today.

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.

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