Anatolia, in geography known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, Anatolian peninsula, or Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean Seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland. Traditionally, Anatolia is considered to extend in the east to a line between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Black Sea to the Armenian Highlands, traditionally Anatolia is the territory that comprises approximately the western two-thirds of the Asian part of Turkey. The Turkification of Anatolia began under the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia today, including Kurdish, Armenian, Laz and Greek. Traditionally, Anatolia is considered to extend in the east to a line running from the Gulf of Alexandretta to the Black Sea.
This traditional geographical definition is used, for example, in the latest edition of Merriam-Websters Geographical Dictionary, under this definition, Anatolia is bounded to the east by the Armenian Highlands, and the Euphrates before that river bends to the southeast to enter Mesopotamia. To the southeast, it is bounded by the ranges that separate it from the Orontes valley in Syria, the first name the Greeks used for the Anatolian peninsula was Ἀσία, presumably after the name of the Assuwa league in western Anatolia. As the name of Asia came to be extended to areas east of the Mediterranean. The name Anatolia derives from the Greek ἀνατολή meaning “the East” or more literally “sunrise”, the precise reference of this term has varied over time, perhaps originally referring to the Aeolian and Dorian colonies on the west coast of Asia Minor. In the Byzantine Empire, the Anatolic Theme was a theme covering the western, the modern Turkish form of Anatolia is Anadolu, which again derives from the Greek name Aνατολή.
The Russian male name Anatoly and the French Anatole share the same linguistic origin, in English the name of Turkey for ancient Anatolia first appeared c. It is derived from the Medieval Latin Turchia, which was used by the Europeans to define the Seljuk controlled parts of Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert. Human habitation in Anatolia dates back to the Paleolithic, neolithic Anatolia has been proposed as the homeland of the Indo-European language family, although linguists tend to favour a origin in the steppes north of the Black Sea. However, it is clear that the Anatolian languages, the oldest branch of Indo-European, have spoken in Anatolia since at least the 19th century BC. The earliest historical records of Anatolia stem from the southeast of the region and are from the Mesopotamian-based Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 24th century BC, scholars generally believe the earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians. The region was famous for exporting raw materials, and areas of Hattian-, one of the numerous cuneiform records dated circa 20th century BC, found in Anatolia at the Assyrian colony of Kanesh, uses an advanced system of trading computations and credit lines.
They were speakers of an Indo-European language, the Hittite language, originating from Nesa, they conquered Hattusa in the 18th century BC, imposing themselves over Hattian- and Hurrian-speaking populations. According to the most widely accepted Kurgan theory on the Proto-Indo-European homeland, the Hittites adopted the cuneiform script, invented in Mesopotamia
The Sea Peoples were a purported seafaring confederation of groups known to have attacked ancient Egypt prior to the Late Bronze Age collapse. The various Sea Peoples have been proposed to have originated either from western Anatolia or from Southern Europe. French Egyptologist Emmanuel de Rougé first used the term peuples de la mer in 1855 in a description of reliefs on the Second Pylon at Medinet Habu documenting Year 8 of Ramesses III. Gaston Maspero, de Rougés successor at the Collège de France, since the early 1990s, the theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars. Hypotheses regarding the origin of the groups identified as Sea Peoples remains the source of much speculation. De Rougé became chair of Egyptology at the Collège de France, the theory was taken up by other scholars such as Eduard Meyer, and became the generally accepted theory amongst Egyptologists and orientalists. Since the early 1990s, the theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars, the years of this long-lived pharaohs reign are not known exactly, but they must have comprised nearly all of the first half of the 13th century BCE.
In his Second Year, an attack of the Sherden, or Shardana, on the Nile Delta was repulsed and defeated by Ramesses, the event is recorded on Tanis Stele II. The Sherden prisoners were incorporated into the Egyptian army for service on the Hittite frontier by Ramesses. Another stele usually cited in conjunction with one is the Aswan Stele. It is plausible to assume that the Tanis and Aswan Stelae refer to the same event, the Battle of Kadesh was the outcome of a campaign against the Hittites and allies in the Levant in the pharaohs Year 5. The imminent collision of the Egyptian and Hittite empires became obvious to both, and they both prepared campaigns against the strategic midpoint of Kadesh for the next year, Ramesses divided his Egyptian forces, which were ambushed piecemeal by the Hittite army and nearly defeated. At home, Ramesses had his scribes formulate an official description, ten copies survive today on the temples at Abydos, Karnak and Abu Simbel, with reliefs depicting the battle.
The Poem of Pentaur, describing the battle survived also, there is no evidence of any collaboration with the Hittites or malicious intent on their part, and if Ramesses considered it, he never left any record of that consideration. The poem lists the peoples which went to Kadesh as allies of the Hittites, depredations of this confederacy had been so severe that the region was forsaken as pasturage for cattle, it was left waste from the time of the ancestors. The pharaohs action against them is attested in a narrative found in three sources. The Athribis stela is a stela found in Athribis and inscribed on both sides, like the Cairo column was first published by Maspero, two years in 1883. The Merneptah Stele from Thebes describes the reign of peace resulting from the victory, the Nine Bows were acting under the leadership of the king of Libya and an associated near-concurrent revolt in Canaan involving Gaza, Ashkelon and the people of Israel
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic, during the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC, the city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Among many other buildings are the Library of Celsus. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th century Christian Councils, the city was destroyed by the Goths in 263, and although rebuilt, the citys importance as a commercial centre declined as the harbour was slowly silted up by the Küçükmenderes River. It was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD, the area surrounding Ephesus was already inhabited during the Neolithic Age, as was revealed by excavations at the nearby höyük of Arvalya and Cukurici.
Excavations in recent years have unearthed settlements from the early Bronze Age at Ayasuluk Hill, according to Hittite sources, the capital of the Kingdom of Arzawa was Apasa. Some scholars suggest that this is the Greek Ephesus, in 1954, a burial ground from the Mycenaean era with ceramic pots was discovered close to the ruins of the basilica of St. John. This was the period of the Mycenaean Expansion when the Achaioi settled in Asia Minor during the 14th and 13th centuries BC, Ephesus was founded as an Attic-Ionian colony in the 10th century BC on the Ayasuluk Hill, three kilometers from the centre of ancient Ephesus. The mythical founder of the city was a prince of Athens named Androklos, according to the legend, he founded Ephesus on the place where the oracle of Delphi became reality. Androklos drove away most of the native Carian and Lelegian inhabitants of the city and he was a successful warrior, and as a king he was able to join the twelve cities of Ionia together into the Ionian League.
During his reign the city began to prosper and he died in a battle against the Carians when he came to the aid of Priene, another city of the Ionian League. Androklos and his dog are depicted on the Hadrian temple frieze, Greek historians such as Pausanias and Herodotos and the poet Kallinos reassigned the citys mythological foundation to Ephos, queen of the Amazons. The Greek goddess Artemis and the great Anatolian goddess Kybele were identified together as Artemis of Ephesus, Pausanias mentions that the temple was built by Ephesus, son of the river god Caystrus, before the arrival of the Ionians. Of this structure, scarcely a trace remains, about 650 BC, Ephesus was attacked by the Cimmerians who razed the city, including the temple of Artemis. After the Cimmerians had been away, the city was ruled by a series of tyrants. Following a revolt by the people, Ephesus was ruled by a council and his signature has been found on the base of one of the columns of the temple
In the Iron Age, it was controlled by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires. The Sumerians and Akkadians dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of history to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In AD226, eastern part of it fell to the Sassanid Persians, division of Mesopotamia between Roman and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines. A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene and Hatra, Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. The regional toponym Mesopotamia comes from the ancient Greek root words μέσος middle and ποταμός river and it is used throughout the Greek Septuagint to translate the Hebrew equivalent Naharaim.
In the Anabasis, Mesopotamia was used to designate the land east of the Euphrates in north Syria, the Aramaic term biritum/birit narim corresponded to a similar geographical concept. The neighbouring steppes to the west of the Euphrates and the part of the Zagros Mountains are often included under the wider term Mesopotamia. A further distinction is made between Northern or Upper Mesopotamia and Southern or Lower Mesopotamia. Upper Mesopotamia, known as the Jazira, is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to Baghdad, Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf and includes Kuwait and parts of western Iran. In modern academic usage, the term Mesopotamia often has a chronological connotation and it is usually used to designate the area until the Muslim conquests, with names like Syria and Iraq being used to describe the region after that date. It has been argued that these euphemisms are Eurocentric terms attributed to the region in the midst of various 19th-century Western encroachments, Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the Armenian Highlands.
Both rivers are fed by tributaries, and the entire river system drains a vast mountainous region. Overland routes in Mesopotamia usually follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are frequently steep and difficult. The climate of the region is semi-arid with a vast desert expanse in the north which gives way to a 15,000 square kilometres region of marshes, mud flats, in the extreme south, the Euphrates and the Tigris unite and empty into the Persian Gulf. In the marshlands to the south of the area, a complex water-borne fishing culture has existed since prehistoric times, periodic breakdowns in the cultural system have occurred for a number of reasons. Alternatively, military vulnerability to invasion from marginal hill tribes or nomadic pastoralists has led to periods of trade collapse and these trends have continued to the present day in Iraq
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French and it derives from the Italian Levante, meaning rising, implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine, in 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire. The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and this is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon, today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper, the Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included.
The Levant has been described as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa, the populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, and a very long history. They are often referred to as Levantines, the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497, originally meant the East in general or Mediterranean lands east of Italy. It is borrowed from the French levant rising, referring to the rising of the sun in the east, the phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning lift, raise. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, most notably and its Latin source oriens meaning east, is literally rising, deriving from Latin orior rise. The notion of the Levant has undergone a process of historical evolution in usage, meaning. While the term Levantine originally referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional native.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, at this time, the Far East was known as the Upper Levant. In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, in 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture. The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states, Levant is the term typically used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a wider, yet relevant, archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have used terms such as Levantine archaeology and archaeology of the Southern Levant. Two academic journals were launched, Journal of Levantine Studies, published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and The Levantine Review
Assyria was a major Mesopotamian East Semitic-speaking kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. Centered on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia, the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires at several times. Assyria is named after its capital, the ancient city of Aššur. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders, Assyria can refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centered. The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey, in prehistoric times, the region that was to become known as Assyria was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave. The earliest Neolithic sites in Assyria were the Jarmo culture c.7100 BC and Tell Hassuna, during the 3rd millennium BC, a very intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism.
The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian, and vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a scale, to syntactic, morphological. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund and it is highly likely that the city was named in honour of its patron Assyrian god with the same name. The city of Aššur, together with a number of other Assyrian cities, however it is likely that they were initially Sumerian-dominated administrative centres. In the late 26th century BC, Eannatum of Lagash, the dominant Sumerian ruler in Mesopotamia, similarly, in c. the early 25th century BC, Lugal-Anne-Mundu the king of the Sumerian state of Adab lists Subartu as paying tribute to him. Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is known, in the Assyrian King List, the earliest king recorded was Tudiya. According to Georges Roux he would have lived in the mid 25th century BC, Tudiya was succeeded on the list by Adamu, the first known reference to the Semitic name Adam and a further thirteen rulers.
The earliest kings, such as Tudiya, who are recorded as kings who lived in tents, were independent semi-nomadic pastoralist rulers and these kings at some point became fully urbanised and founded the city state of Ashur in the mid 21st century BC. During the Akkadian Empire, the Assyrians, like all the Mesopotamian Semites, became subject to the dynasty of the city state of Akkad, the Akkadian Empire founded by Sargon the Great claimed to encompass the surrounding four quarters. Assyrian rulers were subject to Sargon and his successors, and the city of Ashur became an administrative center of the Empire. On those tablets, Assyrian traders in Burushanda implored the help of their ruler, Sargon the Great, the name Hatti itself even appears in accounts of his grandson, Naram-Sin, campaigning in Anatolia. Assyrian and Akkadian traders spread the use of writing in the form of the Mesopotamian cuneiform script to Asia Minor, the Akkadian Empire was destroyed by economic decline and internal civil war, followed by attacks from barbarian Gutian people in 2154 BC.
The rulers of Assyria during the period between c.2154 BC and 2112 BC once again fully independent, as the Gutians are only known to have administered southern Mesopotamia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor and existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during the late Byzantine Empire. Extending inland from the southeastern coast of modern Turkey, Cilicia is due north and northeast of the island of Cyprus, Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Nur Mountains, which separated it from Syria. North and east of Cilicia lie the rugged Taurus Mountains that separate it from the central plateau of Anatolia. Ancient Cilicia was naturally divided into Cilicia Trachaea and Cilicia Pedias by the Limonlu River, the city on the east coast of Cyprus, was included in its administrative jurisdiction. Homer mentions the people of Mopsus, identified as Cilices, as from the Troad in the northernwesternmost part of Anatolia, the English spelling Cilicia is the same as the Latin, as it was transliterated directly from the Greek form Κιλικία. The palatalization of c occurring in the west in Vulgar Latin accounts for its pronunciation in English.
The district is watered by the Calycadnus and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia, many of its high places were fortified. The plain is watered by the three rivers, the Cydnus, the Sarus and the Pyramus, each of which brings down much silt from the deforested interior. The Sarus now enters the sea almost due south of Tarsus, but there are indications that at one period it joined the Pyramus. Through the rich plain of Issus ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsus on the Cydnus, Adana on the Sarus, Cilicia was settled from the Neolithic period onwards. Dating of the ancient settlements of the region from Neolithic to Bronze Age is as follows, Aceramic/Neolithic, 8th and 7th millennia BC, Early Chalcolithic,5800 BC, Middle Chalcolithic, c. 3400 BC, and Early Bronze Age IA, 3400–3000 BC, EBA IB, 3000–2700 BC, EBA II, 2700–2400 BC, EBA III A-B, the area had been known as Kizzuwatna in the earlier Hittite era. The region was divided into two parts, Uru Adaniya, a plain, and rough Cilicia, in the mountainous west.
The Cilicians appear as Hilikku in Assyrian inscriptions, and in the part of the first millennium BC were one of the four chief powers of Western Asia. Homer mentions the plain as the Aleian plain in which Bellerophon wandered, the Cilician cities unknown to Homer already bore their pre-Greek names, Ingira, Danuna-Adana, which retains its ancient name, Pahri and Karatepe. After the death of Murshili around 1595 BC, Hurrians wrested control from the Hitties, the first king of free Cilicia, Išputahšu, son of Pariyawatri, was recorded as a great king in both cuneiform and Hittite hieroglyphs. Another record of Hittite origins, a treaty between Išputahšu and Telipinu, king of the Hittites, is recorded in both Hittite and Akkadian. Niqmepa, who succeeded Idrimi as king of Alalakh, went so far as to ask for help from a Hurrian rival, Shaushtatar of Mitanni, to try and reduce Cilicias power in the region
Melid was an ancient city on the Tohma River, a tributary of the upper Euphrates rising in the Taurus Mountains. It has been identified with archaeological site Arslantepe near Malatya. The site has been inhabited since the development of agriculture in the fertile crescent dating to the Uruk period, around 3000 BCE, there was widespread burning and destruction, after which Kura-Araxes culture pottery appeared in the area. This was a mainly pastoralist culture connected with Caucasus mountains, numerous similarities have been found between these early layers at Arslantepe, and the somewhat site of Birecik, in Turkey, to the southwest of Melid. From the Bronze Age the site became a center of a larger region in the kingdom of Isuwa. The city was fortified, probably due to the Hittite threat from the west. The Hittites conquered the city in the fourteenth century BC, in the mid 14th century BC, Melid was the base of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I on his campaign to sack the Mitanni capital Wassukanni.
After the end of the Hittite empire, from the 12th to 7th century BC, a palace was built and monumental stone sculptures of lions and the ruler erected. The encounter with the Assyrian king of Tiglath-Pileser I resulted in the kingdom of Melid being forced to pay tribute to Assyria, Melid remained able to prosper until the Assyrian king Sargon II sacked the city in 712 BC. At the same time, the Cimmerians and Scythians invaded Anatolia, Arslantepe was first investigated by the French archaeologist Louis Delaporte from 1932 to 1939. From 1946 to 1951 Claude F. A. Schaeffer carried out some soundings, the first Italian excavations at the site of Arslantepe started in 1961, and were conducted under the direction of Professors Piero Meriggi and Salvatore M. Puglisi until 1968. Majestic remains of this period were known from Arslantepe since the 30s, alba Palmieri took over the supervision of the excavation during the 1970s. Today the archaeological investigation is led by Marcella Frangipane, the first swords were claimed for the Early Bronze Age, based on finds at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane of Rome University. A cache of nine swords and daggers was found, they are composed of arsenic-copper alloy, among them, three swords were beautifully inlaid with silver.
These are the weapons of a length of 45 to 60 cm which could be described as either short swords or long daggers. These discoveries were made back in the 1980s and they belong to the local phase VI A. Also,12 spearheads were found. Phase VI A at Arslantepe ended in destruction - the city was burned, and on, some new occupants left some bronze weapons, including swords. They were found in the tomb of Signori Arslantepe or Signor Arslantepe
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Lesbos, sometimes referred to as Mytilini after its capital, is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632.819 square kilometres with 320 kilometres of coastline and it is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait and in late Palaeolithic/Mesolithic times was joined to the Anatolian mainland before the end of the last glacial period. Lesbos is a regional unit of the North Aegean region. The others are Chios, Ikaria and Samos, the total number of islands governed by the North Aegean are nine, Chios, Oinousses, Fournoi Korseon, Agios Efstratios and Samos. The capital of the North Aegean Region is Mytilene, the population of Lesbos is approximately 86,000, a third of whom live in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages, the largest are Plomari, the Gera Villages, Agiassos and Molyvos. In fact the archaeological and linguistic record may indicate a late Iron Age arrival of Greek settlers although references in Late Bronze Age Hittite archives indicate a likely Greek presence then, the name Mytilene itself seems to be of Hittite origin.
According to Homers Iliad, Lesbos was part of the kingdom of Priam in what is now Turkey, much work remains to be done to determine just what was happening and when. In the Middle Ages, it was under Byzantine and Genoese rule, Lesbos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462. The Ottomans ruled the island until the First Balkan War in 1912, according to Classical Greek mythology, Lesbos was the patron god of the island. Macar was reputedly the first king whose many daughters bequeathed their names to some of the present larger towns, in Classical myth his sister, was killed to have him made king. The place names with female origins are likely to be much earlier settlements named after local goddesses, homer refers to the island as Macaros edos, the seat of Macar. The abundant grey pottery ware found on the island and the worship of Cybele, the island was governed by an oligarchy in archaic times, followed by quasi-democracy in classical times. For a short period it was a member of the Athenian confederacy, its apostasy from which is recounted by Thucydides in the Mytilenian Debate, in Hellenistic times, the island belonged to various Successor kingdoms until 79 BC when it passed into Roman hands.
During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Byzantine Empire, in 802, the Byzantine Empress Irene was exiled to Lesbos after her deposition, and died there. The island served as a base for the fleet of the rebel Thomas the Slav in the early 820s. In the 10th century, it was part of the theme of the Aegean Sea, in the 1090s, the island was briefly occupied by the Turkish emir Tzachas, but he was unable to capture Methymna, which resisted throughout. In the 12th century, the became a frequent target for plundering raids by the Republic of Venice