Clarke, Joseph Thacher ; Bacon, Francis H. ; Koldewey, Robert
Investigations at Assos: expedition of the Archaeological Institute of America ; drawings and photographs of the buildings and objects discovered during the excavations of 1881, 1882, 1883 (Part I - V) — London, 1902-1921

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INVESTIGATIONS AT ASSOS

Persian Empire. The fall of Croesus did but change the master
by whom the tax was levied. It is a noteworthy fact that the
collectors of the tithes were more frequently Greeks than Per-
sians. After the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks at
Salamis, Plataea and Mycale, they retired from the Asiatic
coasts of the Aegean. It is probable that the towns of the
Troad were freed by the fall of Byzantium (477 B.c.), if in-
deed the Persians remained in the land after their defeat at
Mycale (479 b.c.).
The rapid growth of the Athenian State led to its alliance
with nearly all of the cities of Northwestern Asia Minor,
and probably with Assos. The object of the union was to
carry on warfare against the Persians, who were finally forced
to a peace at a date subsequent to 449 b.c.
Before the end of the Peloponnesian war, the Lacedae-
monians had assured the return of the Persian despotism to
the coast of Asia Minor by their infamous treaties with Darius
II (412 B.c.). The Troad did not, however, wholly pass into
Persian hands for more than half a century, being at first sub-
ject to the government instituted by Lysander immediately after
the battle of Aegospotami (405 b.c.). Even after the peace of
Antalkidas (387 b.c.), which delivered many of the Greek
cities of Asia Minor to the Persians, a certain banker, Eubulus,
maintained himself as master of Atarneus and Assos, indepen-
dently of the authority of Artaxerxes. On his death, the
eunuch Hermeias, a former confidential servant of Eubulus,
succeeded to power over these cities. Concerning the reign
of Hermeias, we have fuller information than of any other
period of the immediate history of Assos. Hermeias, a
scholar of Plato, attracted to Assos his fellow-pupils Xenoc-
rates and Aristotle, the latter being related to Hermeias by
marriage. Aristotle lived in Assos for three years,1 and we
still possess the paean composed by him in honor of his bene-
factor.
Hermeias maintained the independence of Assos until the
year 345 b.c., when he was betrayed by a Persian general, who,
under the pretence of effecting a reconciliation between the
governor and Artaxerxes III, invited Hermeias to an inter-
view, and sent him a prisoner to the Persian capital, where he
was crucified.2 The general thereupon sent letters bearing the
impression of a seal belonging to the unfortunate Hermeias, to
the cities maintaining allegiance, stating that the sovereignty
had been amicably delivered over to Artaxerxes. Assos thus
passed without a struggle into the hands of the Persians.
The country did not long remain under their rapidly declin-
ing power. At the time of the fall of Hermeias, Alexander
the Great was of age to receive the instructions of the fugitive
Aristotle. Only seven years afterwards, all Mysia was freed by
the battle of the Granicus (334 b.c.). From Arrian we learn
of the Hellenic reorganization of Phrygia upon the Hellespont,
after the astounding successes of Alexander; but the varying
political fortunes of the province need not be here recounted,
as it passed from hand to hand during the disturbed period of
the successors of Alexander.
Of more concern in the history of Assos was the occupa-
tion of the Troad by the Gauls, who established themselves
in the Chersonesus and Macedonia after the death of Alex-
ander.
The repulse of the Gauls was due to the rising State of
Pergamon, to which Assos was united in the year 241 B.c.
Eumenes and Attalus, refusing tribute, drove the wild tribes

to the shores of the Hellespont, where they continued their
ravages until expelled from Ilion by the inhabitants of Alex-
andria Troas, and finally were defeated in a battle near Arisbe
(216 b.c.), after having occupied the land for more than
sixty years.
Sharing the fate of the powerful monarchy of Pergamon,
Assos passed, by bequest of Attalus III, to the sovereignty of
Rome, in 133 B.c. It was during this period of Roman
dominion that the greater part of the lower town of Assos,
now in ruins, was built, the long-continued peace favoring
the extension of the commerce upon which its prosperity
depended.
Assos seems to have become Christian at an early date,
perhaps in some measure as a result of the visit of St. Paul and
St. Luke, while on their way from Alexandria Troas to
Mytilene,3 but more probably from the proximity of the
seven churches of Asia, the influence of which was felt espe-
cially at the North. The disciple of St. Peter or St. John, St.
Ignatius, dwelt for some time in the Troad. Marinus, Bishop
of the Troad, was present at the first (Ecumenical Council of
Nicaea (325 a.d.), and in the lists of the third council
of Ephesus (431 a.d.) occurs the name of Maximus, Bishop
of Assos.
The church militant, with the support of Constantine, des-
troyed many monuments of the earlier Greek civilization in
every part of the country. If the temple of Assos had
remained intact until the age of Theodosius, it had then little
chance of further escape. The imperial edicts (a.d. 381—390)
ordered the closing of all fanes, and permitted anyone to carry
off the hewn stones of their walls, to be used for the building
of churches and dwellings. At this period, at Assos, the ancient
method of building without mortar, and with metal clamps and
dowels, was entirely abandoned, and the ancient statues and
marble columns were broken up and burned into lime, to form
mortar for the walls of the Byzantine churches and buildings.
The remains of many such lime-kilns were found in the vicinity
of the Agora, and explain the scarcity of marble fragments dis-
covered by the expedition.
The exposed Troad suffered from nearly every blow in-
flicted upon the declining Empire of the East. Under Latins,
Byzantine Greeks, Franks, Seljukian and Ottoman Turks, the
Acropolis of Assos was exposed to many attacks, and it is not
surprising that the ruins show its fortifications to have been
levelled again and again. Assos, like all of the cities of this
land, was thus reduced to a miserable village.
Asia Minor long suffered from the destructive incursions
of the Moslems. In 1080 a.d. the Seljukian Soliman occu-
pied all the cities of the Troad. During the first crusade, the
multitudes, led by Peter the Hermit, passed by the land, and
the opportunity created by this disturbance was improved by
the crafty Alexius, who, in enlarging his empire (1097 a.d),
added to it the Troad, which had been wholly estranged
from the Christians. Asia Minor was wholly recovered to
the banks of the Maeander, and the Seljukian Turks were
driven forever from the Troad. The region was more imme-
diately affected by the passage of the third crusade (1189
a.d.), when the Emperor Barbarossa crossed into Asia from
Gallipolis to Lampascus, and traversed the land with the last
Christian army which has accomplished that feat. In the
contention between the Franks and the Greeks, at the begin-
ning of the fourth crusade (1204 a.d.), Adramyttion was
taken by Henri de Hainault, brother of the Emperor Baldwin.

1 Compare Blakesley’s Life of Aristotle, pp. 35—44.
2 Strabo XIII-610. Also Diodorus XVI—52.

3Acts xx, 13, 14.
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