William Moir Calder, John Manuel Cook, Susan Mary Sherwin-White and Charles Martin Robertson

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics

Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI:

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Sardis, the chief city of *Lydia, lying under a fortified, precipitous hill in the Hermus valley, near the junction of roads from *Ephesus, *Smyrna, *Pergamum, and inner Anatolia. As the capital of the Lydian kingdom, especially under *Croesus, and later as the headquarters of the principal Persian satrapy (see persia; satrap), it was the political centre of the Lydian dynasty and of *Achaemenid Asia Minor. Thus the town of Sardis was captured and burned by Ionians in 498 bce, and *Xerxes mustered his troops there before he crossed the Hellespont. After *Alexander (3) the Great, it was controlled first by *Antigonus (1), and then, from 282, by the Seleucid kingdom. Its geopolitical importance and the Achaemenid heritage led the *Seleucids to make Sardis one of the ‘royal capitals’ of their realm.The archaeological record from the American excavations has shown the impact of Greek (and other) material cultures from the Archaic period, long before the conquest of Anatolia by Alexander.

Article.  571 words. 

Subjects: Historical Geography

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