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History of Izmir

izmir2_s.jpg (19606 bytes)Archaeological investigation carried out between the 1940s and 50s and begun again in the middle of the 60s has born out the hypothesis that the first forms of settlement on the soil of Smyrna were datable to the 3rd millennium BC and could be located in what is known today as Bayraklı. Scholars think the original nucleus of the city was coeval with the first levels of the city of Troy and that Smyrna adopted some of the cultural and religious models of Hittite civilization. Potsherds also document the presence of a Hellenic settlement dating to the 10th century BC Devastated by the Lydians around the 7th century BC, the city was rebuilt in the second half of the 4th century BC, under the auspices of Alexander the Great. Successively part of the Realm of Pergamon, it was eventually included in the territories controlled by Rome and was embellished with new majestic buildings. In 178 AD Smyrna was razed to the ground by an earthquake and reconstruction was begun with the effective good offices of Marcus Aurelius. The Arab raids in the 7th century marked the beginning of its decadence. Taken over by the Seljuks (11th cent.) its vicissitudes varied at the time of the Crusades and it was permanently taken over by the Ottoman dynasty in the 15th century. A flourishing commercial center, it attracted European traders over a long period of time, survived repeated catastrophic earthquakes which struck once more in the 17th and 18th centuries. At the end of World War I Smyrna was entrusted to Greek control, from which it was released by the victorious progression of the struggle for national liberation under Atatürk.

All of Turkey
English Edition, Bonechi 1993,
page 74
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