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Ancient Region of Anatolia
Ionia (Ἰωνία)
Delos, former Ionian center
Location Western Anatolia
State existed: 7-6th c. BC (as Ionian League)
Language Ionic Greek
Biggest city Delos
Persian satrapy Yauna
Roman province Asia
Location of Ionia within Anatolia

Ionia (Ancient Greek Ἰωνία or Ἰωνίη) is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements. Never a unified state, it was eponymously named after the Ionian tribe who in the Archaic Period occupied mainly the shores and islands of the Aegean Sea. Ionian states were identified by tradition and by their use of Eastern Greek. Ionia proper comprised a narrow coastal strip from Phocaea in the north near the mouth of the river Hermus (now the Gediz), to Miletus in the south near the mouth of the river Maeander, and included the islands of Chios and Samos. It was bounded by Aeolia to the north, Lydia to the east and Caria to the south. The cities within the region figured large in the strife between the Persian Empire and the Greeks.

According to Greek tradition, the cities of Ionia were founded by colonists from the other side of the Aegean. Their settlement was connected with the legendary history of the Ionic people in Attica, which asserts that the colonists were led by Neleus and Androclus, sons of Codrus, the last king of Athens. In accordance with this view the "Ionic migration", as it was called by later chronologers, was dated by them one hundred and forty years after the Trojan war, or sixty years after the return of the Heracleidae into the Peloponnese.[1]

Contents

Geography

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Physical

Ionia was of small extent, not exceeding 90 geographical miles in length from north to south, with a breadth varying from 40 to 55 miles, but to this must be added the peninsula of Mimas, together with the two islands. So intricate is the coastline that the voyage along its shores was estimated at nearly four times the direct distance. A great part of this area was, moreover, occupied by mountains. Of these the most lofty and striking were Mimas and Corycus, in the peninsula which stands out to the west, facing the island of Chios; Sipylus, to the north of Smyrna, Corax, extending to the south-west from the Gulf of Smyrna, and descending to the sea between Lebedus and Teos; and the strongly marked range of Mycale, a continuation of Messogisin the interior, which forms the bold headland of Trogilium or Mycale, opposite Samos. None of these mountains attains a height of more than 4,000 feet The district comprised three extremely fertile valleys formed by the outflow of three rivers, among the most considerable in Asia Minor: the Hermus in the north, flowing into the Gulf of Smyrna, though at some distance from the city of that name; the Caster, which flowed under the walls of Ephesus; and the Maeander, which in ancient times discharged its waters into the deep gulf that once bathed the walls of Miletus, but which has been gradually filled up by this river's deposits. With the advantage of a peculiarly fine climate, for which this part of Asia Minor has been famous in all ages, Ionia enjoyed the reputation in ancient times of being the most fertile of all the rich provinces of Asia Minor; and even in modern times, though very imperfectly cultivated, it produces abundance of fruit of all kinds, and the raisins and figs of Smyrna supply almost all the markets of Europe. (Needs citation. The above description reads to be a verbatum quote from an Englishman's travelogue.)

Northern Ionia, view from space.

Political

The geography of Ionia placed it in a strategic position that was both advantageous and disadvantageous. Ionia was always a maritime power founded by a people who made their living by trade in peaceful times and marauding in unsettled times. The coast was rocky and the arable land slight. The native Luwians for the most part kept their fields further inland and used the rift valleys for wooded pasture. The coastal cities were placed in defensible positions on islands or headlands situated so as to control inland routes up the rift valleys. The people of those valleys were of different ethnicity. The populations of the cities were multi-cultural and received cultural stimuli from many civilizations in the eastern Mediterranean, which resulted in a brilliant society able to make contributions of worldwide and millennial significance.

On the other hand Ionia was divided by the Aegean Sea from the mother country and could seldom be defended from there. Many imperial powers arose inland against which Ionia was forced to defend itself and to whom it was typically required finally to submit.

Demographics

Ancient demographics are available only from literary sources. Herodotus[2] states that in Asia the Ionians kept the division into twelve cities that had prevailed in Ionia of north Peloponnesus, their former homeland, which became Achaea after they left. These Asian cities were (from south to north) Miletus, Myus, Priene, Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedus, Teos, Erythrae, Clazomenae and Phocaea, together with Samos and Chios. Smyrna, originally an Aeolic colony, was afterwards occupied by Ionians from Colophon, and became an Ionian city — an event which had taken place before the time of Herodotus.

These cities do not match those of Achaea. Moreover, the Achaea of Herodotus' time spoke Doric (Corinthian), but in Homer it is portrayed as being in the kingdom of Mycenae, which most likely spoke Mycenaean Greek, which is not Doric. If the Ionians came from Achaea, they departed during or after the change from East Greek to West Greek there. Mycenaean continued to evolve in a pocket, Arcadia.

There is no record of any people named Ionians in Late Bronze Age Anatolia but Hittite texts record the Achaeans of Ahhiyawa, of location not completely certain, but in touch with the Hittites of that time. Miletus and some other cities founded earlier by non-Greeks received populations of Mycenaean Greeks probably under the name of Achaeans. The tradition of Ionian colonizers from Achaea suggests that they may have been known by both names even then. In the absence of archaeological evidence of discontinuity at Miletus the Achaean population whatever their name appears to have descended to archaic Ionia, which does not exclude the possibility of another colonizing and founding event from Athens.

Herodotus expresses some impatience at the ethnic views of his countrymen concerning Ionia:[2] "for it is the height of folly to maintain that these Ionians are more Ionian than the rest, or in any respect better born, ...." He lists other ethnic populations among the settlers: Abantes from Euboea, Minyans from Orchomenus, Cadmeians, Dryopians, Phocians, Molossians, Arcadian Pelasgians, Dorians of Epidaurus, and others. The presence of Doric Ionians is somewhat contradictory, but Herodotus himself, a major author of the Ionic dialect, was from a Doric city, Halicarnassus. Even "the purest Ionians of all", the Athenians, married girls from Caria. "But since these Ionians set more store by the name than any of the others, let them pass for the pure-bred Ionians."

History

Anatolia before the Greeks was the home of Anatolian language speakers who occupied the peninsula from the Aegean coast to the mountains of the west where resided the various constituent peoples of the later Armenia. The Anatolians created various semi-autonomous states which eventually came under the dominion of a central authority, the Hittite Empire. That precarious state was continually threatened by civilizations speaking other languages on all three sides, the fourth being protected by the Black Sea. Eventually its neighbors combined to overwhelm it, which happened in the Late Bronze Age.

Ionia was settled in a window of opportunity between the collapse of the Hittite Empire, with the defeat of Troy, and the rise of the last Anatolian power from a neo-Hittite splinter state, Lydia. It formed a short-lived Lydian Empire before the region was again overwhelmed by Persians.

Settlement

During the late 13th century BC the peoples of the Aegean Sea took to marauding and resettling as a way of life and were called by the Egyptians the Sea Peoples.[citation needed] Mycenaean Greeks must have been among them. They settled lightly on the shores of Luwian Anatolia often by invitation. In the background was the stabilizing influence of the Hittites, who monitored maritime movement and suppressed piracy. When that power was gone the Luwian people remained in the vacuum as a number of coastal splinter states that were scarcely able now to defend themselves. Ionian Greeks took advantage of opportunities for coastal raiding: an inscription of Sargon II (ca 709-07,recording a naval expedition of 715) boasts "in the midst of the sea" he had "caught the Ionians like fish and brought peace to the land of Que Cilicia and the city of Tyre". For a full generation earlier Assyrian inscriptions had recorded troubles with the Ionians, who escaped on their boats.[3]

Caria and Lycia came to the attention of Athens, most powerful state remaining in Greece, which also had lost its central government ruling from Mycenae, now burned and nearly vacant. Ionians had been expelled from the Peloponnesus by the Dorians and had sought refuge in Athens. The Athenian kings decided to relieve the crowding by resettling the coast of Caria with Ionians from the Peloponnesus under native Athenian leadership.

The site of Miletus, once coastal, now inland. The plain was a bay in Classical Greece.

They were not the only Greeks to have such a perception and reach such a decision. The Aeolians of Boeotia contemporaneously settled the coast of Lydia and the newly settled Dorians of Crete and the islands the coast of Lycia. The Greeks descended on the Luwians of the Anatolian coast in the 10th century BC. The descent was not peaceful and the Luwians were not willing.

Pausanias gives a thumbnail sketch of the resettlement.[4] Miletus was the first city attacked, where there had been some Mycenaean Greeks apparently under the rule of Cretans. After overthrowing the Cretan government and settling there the Ionians widened their attack to Ephesus, Samos and Priene. Combining with Aeolians from Thebes they founded Myus. Colophon was already in the hands of Aeolians who had arrived via Crete in Mycenaean times. The Ionians "swore a treaty of union" with them. They took Lebedos driving out the Carians and augmented the Aeolian population of Teos. They settled on Chios, took Erythrae from the Carians, Pamphylians (both Luwian) and Cretans. Clazomenae and Phocaea were settled from Colophon. Somewhat later they took Smyrna from the Aeolians.

Brief autonomy

The Ionian cities formed a religious and cultural (as opposed to a political or military) confederacy, the Ionian League, of which participation in the Panionic festival was a distinguishing characteristic. This festival took place on the north slope of Mt. Mycale in a shrine called the Panionium. In addition to the Panionic festival at Mycale, which was celebrated mainly by the Asian Ionians, both European and Asian coast Ionians convened on Delos Island each summer to worship at the temple of the Delian Apollo.

But like the Amphictyonic league in Greece, the Ionic was rather of a sacred than a political character; every city enjoyed absolute autonomy, and, though common interests often united them for a common political object, they never formed a real confederacy like that of the Achaeans or Boeotians. The advice of Thales of Miletus to combine in a political union was rejected.

The colonies naturally became prosperous. Miletus especially was at an early period one of the most important commercial cities of Greece; and in its turn became the parent of numerous other colonies, which extended all around the shores of the Euxine Sea and the Propontis from Abydus and Cyzicus to Trapezus and Panticapaeum. Phocaea was one of the first Greek cities whose mariners explored the shores of the western Mediterranean. Ephesus, though it did not send out any colonies of importance, from an early period became a flourishing city and attained to a position corresponding in some measure to that of Smyrna at the present day.

Under the last Anatolian empire

About 700 BC Gyges, first Mermnad king of Lydia, invaded the territories of Smyrna and Miletus, and is said to have taken Colophon as his son Ardys did Priene. The first event in the history of Ionia of which we have any trustworthy account is the inroad of the Cimmerii, who ravaged a great part of Asia Minor, including Lydia, and sacked Magnesia on the Maeander, but were foiled in their attack upon Ephesus. This event may be referred to the middle of the 7th century BC. It was not until the reign of Croesus (560545 BC) that the cities of Ionia fell completely under Lydian rule.

Satrapy of the Achaemenids

The defeat of Croesus by Cyrus was followed by the conquest of all the Ionian cities. These became subject to the Persian monarchy with the other Greek cities of Asia. In this position they enjoyed a considerable amount of autonomy, but were for the most part subject to local despots, most of whom were creatures of the Persian king. It was at the instigation of one of these despots, Histiaeus of Miletus, that in about 500 BC the principal cities ignited the Ionian Revolt against Persia. They were at first assisted by the Athenians and Eretria, with whose aid they penetrated into the interior and burnt Sardis, an event which ultimately led to the Persian invasion of Greece. But the fleet of the Ionians was defeated off the island of Lade, and the destruction of Miletus after a protracted siege was followed by the reconquest of all the Asiatic Greeks, insular as well as continental.

Autonomy under the Athenian empire

The victories of the Greeks during the great Persian war had the effect of enfranchizing their kinsmen on the other side of the Aegean; and the battle of Mycale (479 BC), in which the defeat of the Persians was in great measure owing to the Ionians, secured their emancipation. They henceforth became the dependent allies of Athens (see Delian League), though still retaining their autonomy, which they preserved until the peace of Antalcidas in 387 BC once more placed them as well as the other Greek cities in Asia under the nominal dominion of Persia.

Satrapy again

Ionian cities appear to have retained a considerable amount of freedom until the invasion of Asia Minor by Alexander the Great.

Hellenistic period

After the battle of the Granicus most of the Ionian cities submitted to the rule of Alexander III of Macedon and his Diadochi. As such Ionia enjoyed a great prosperity during the Hellenistic times with the notable exception of Miletus, which, being the only city of the Ionian League to deny to pay homage to Alexander, was finally leveled after a long siege at 334 BC, and never restored to its previous splendor.

Under Rome

Ionia became part of the Roman province of Asia.

Photo of a 15th Century map showing Ionia.

Legacy

Ionia has laid the world under its debt not only by giving birth to a long roll of distinguished men of letters and science (notably the Ionian School of philosophy), but also by originating the distinct school of art which prepared the way for the brilliant artistic development of Athens in the 5th century BC. This school flourished between 700 and 500 BC, and is distinguished by the fineness of workmanship and minuteness of detail with which it treated subjects, inspired always to some extent by non-Greek models. Naturalism is progressively obvious in its treatment, e.g. of the human figure, but to the end it is still subservient to convention. It has been thought that the Ionian migration from Greece carried with it some part of a population which retained the artistic traditions of the Mycenaean civilization, and so caused the birth of the Ionic school; but whether this was so or not, it is certain that from the 8th century BC onwards we find the true spirit of Hellenic art, stimulated by commercial intercourse with eastern civilizations, working out its development chiefly in Ionia and its neighbouring isles. The great names of this school are Theodorus and Rhoecus of Samos; Bathycles of Magnesia on the Maeander; Glaucus of Chios, Melas, Micciades, Archermus, Bupalus and Athenis of Chios. Notable works of the school still extant are the famous archaic female statues found on the Athenian Acropolis in 1885–1887, the seated statues of Branchidae, the Nike of Archermus found at Delos, and the objects in ivory and electrum found by D.G. Hogarth in the lower strata of the Artemision at Ephesus.

The Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Urdu name for Greece is Younan (یونان), a corruption of "Ionia." The same is true for the Hebrew word, "Yavan" (יוון) and the Sanskrit word "yavana". The Ionians were the first Greek-speaking people that Semitic, Turkic and Persian language speakers encountered, and the name spread throughout the Near East and Central Asia.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

Notes

  1. ^ Smith, William (1857). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography: Volume II Iabadius-Zymethus. London: Walton and Maberly. pp. Ionia pages 60–61. 
  2. ^ a b Histories Book I sections 145-146.
  3. ^ Sargon's inscription in A. Fuchs, Die Inschriften Sargons II aus Khorsabad (1994:40) noted in Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008:29f.
  4. ^ Guide to Greece Book 7 Sections 5-7.

See also


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

IONIA, in ancient geography, the name given to a portion of the W. coast of Asia Minor, adjoining the Aegean Sea and bounded on the E. by Lydia. It consisted of a narrow strip of land near the coast, which together with the adjacent islands was occupied by immigrant Greeks of the Ionic race, and thus distinguished from the interior district, inhabited by the Lydians. According to the universal Greek tradition, the cities of Ionia were founded by emigrants from the other side of the Aegean (see Ionians), and their settlement was connected with the legendary history of the Ionic race in Attica, by the statement that the colonists were led by Neleus and Androclus, sons of Codrus, the last king of Athens. In accordance with this view the "Ionic migration," as it was called by later chronologers, was dated by them one hundred and forty years after the Trojan war, or sixty years after the return of the Heraclidae into the Peloponnese. Without assigning any definite date, we may say that recent research has tended to support the popular Greek idea that Ionia received its main Greek element rather late - after the descent of the Dorians, and, therefore, after any part of the Aegean period. The only Aegean objects yet found (1910) in or near Ionia are some sherds of the very latest Minoan age at Miletus. It is not probable that all the Greek colonists were of the not numerous Ionian race. Herodotus tells us (i. 146) that they comprised settlers from many different tribes and cities of Greece (a fact indicated also by the local traditions of the cities), and that they intermarried with the native races. A striking proof of this was the fact that so late as the time of the historian distinct dialects were spoken by the inhabitants of different cities within the limits of so restricted an area. E. Curtius supposed that the population of this part of Asia was aboriginally of Ionic race and that the settlers from Greece found the country in the possession of a kindred people. The last contention is probably true; but the kinship was certainly more distant than that between two branches of one Ionian stock.

The cities called Ionian in historical times were twelve in number, - an arrangement copied as it was supposed from the constitution of the Ionian cities in Greece which had originally occupied the territory in the north of the Peloponnese subsequently held by the Achaeans. These were (from south to north) - Miletus, Myus, Priene, Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedus, Teos, Erythrae, Clazomenae and Phocaea, together with Samos and Chios. Smyrna, originally an Aeolic colony, was afterwards occupied by Ionians from Colophon, and became an Ionian city, - an event which had taken place before the time of Herodotus. But at what period it was admitted as a member of the league we have no information. The cities above enumerated unquestionably formed a kind of league, of which participation in the Pan-Ionic festival was the distinguishing characteristic. This festival took place on the north slope of Mt. Mycale in a shrine called the Panionium. But like the Amphictyonic league in Greece, the Ionic was rather of a sacred than a political character; every city enjoyed absolute autonomy, and, though common interests often united them for a common political object, they never formed a real confederacy like that of the Achaeans or Boeotians. The advice of Thales of Miletus to combine in a political union was rejected.

Ionia was of small extent, not exceeding 90 geographical miles in length from N. to S., with a breadth varying from 20 to 30 m., but to this must be added the peninsula of Mimas, together with the two large islands. So intricate is the coastline that the voyage along its shores was estimated at nearly four times the direct distance. A great part of this area was, moreover, occupied by mountains. Of these the most lofty and striking were Mimas and Corycus, in the peninsula which stands out to the west, facing the island of Chios; Sipylus, to the north of Smyrna; Corax, extending to the south-west from the Gulf of Smyrna, and descending to the sea between Lebedus and Teos; and the strongly marked range of Mycale, a continuation of Messogis in the interior, which forms the bold headland of Trogilium or Mycale, opposite Samos. None of these mountains attains a height of more than 4000 ft. The district comprised three extremely fertile valleys formed by the outflow of three rivers, among the most considerable in Asia Minor: the Hermus in the north, flowing into the Gulf of Smyrna, though at some distance from the city of that name; the Cayster, which flowed under the walls of Ephesus; and the Maeander, which in ancient times discharged its waters into the deep gulf that once bathed the walls of Miletus, but which has been gradually filled up by this river's deposits. With the advantage of a peculiarly fine climate, for which this part of Asia Minor has been famous in all ages, Ionia enjoyed the reputation in ancient times of being the most fertile of all the rich provinces of Asia Minor; and even in modern times, though very imperfectly cultivated, it produces abundance of fruit of all kinds, and the raisins and figs of Smyrna supply almost all the markets of Europe.

The colonies naturally became prosperous. Miletus especially was at an early period one of the most important commercial cities of Greece; and in its turn became the parent of numerous other colonies, which extended all around the shores of the Euxine and the Propontis from Abydus and Cyzicus to Trapezus and Panticapaeum. Phocaea was one of the first Greek cities whose mariners explored the shores of the western Mediterranean. Ephesus, though it did not send out any colonies of importance, from an early period became a flourishing city and attained to a position corresponding in some measure to that of Smyrna at the present day.

History

The first event in the history of Ionia of which we have any trustworthy account is the inroad of the Ciinmerii (see Scythia), who ravaged a great part of Asia Minor, including Lydia, and sacked Magnesia on the Maeander, but were foiled in their attack upon Ephesus. This event may be referred to the middle of the 7th century B.C. About 700 B.C. Gyges, first Mermnad king of Lydia, invaded the territories of Smyrna and Miletus, and is said to have taken Colophon as his son Ardys did Priene. But it was not till the reign of Croesus (560-545 B.C.) that the cities of Ionia successively fell under Lydian rule. The defeat of Croesus by Cyrus was followed by the conquest of all the Ionian cities. These became subject to the Persian monarchy with the other Greek cities of Asia. In this position they enjoyed a considerable amount of autonomy, but were for the most part subject to local despots, most of whom were creatures of the Persian king. It was at the instigation of one of these despots, Histiaeus (q.v.) of Miletus, that in about 500 B.C. the principal cities broke out into insurrection against Persia. They were at first assisted by the Athenians, with whose aid they penetrated into the interior and burnt Sardis, an event which ultimately led to the Persian invasion of Greece. But the fleet of the Ionians was defeated off the island of Lade, and the destruction of Miletus after a protracted siege was followed by the reconquest of all the Asiatic Greeks, insular as well as continental.

The victories of the Greeks during the great Persian war had the effect of enfranchizing their kinsmen on the other side of the Aegean; and the battle of Mycale (479 B.C.), in which the defeat of the Persians was in great measure owing to the Ionians, secured their emancipation. They henceforth became the dependent allies of, Athens (see Delian League), though still retaining their autonomy, which they preserved until the peace of Antalcidas in 387 B.C. once more placed them as well as the other Greek cities in Asia under the nominal dominion of Persia. They appear, however, to have retained a considerable amount of freedom until the invasion of Asia Minor by Alexander the Great. After the battle of the Granicus most of the Ionian cities submitted to the conqueror. Miletus, which alone held out, was reduced after a long siege (334 B.C.). From this time they passed under the dominion of the successive Macedonian rulers of Asia, but continued, with the exception of Miletus (q.v.), to enjoy great prosperity both under these Greek dynasties and after they became part of the Roman province of Asia.

Ionia has laid the world under its debt not only by giving birth to a long roll of distinguished men of letters and science (see Ionian School Of Philosophy), but by originating the distinct school of art which prepared the way for the brilliant artistic development of Athens in the 5th century. This school flourished in the 8th, 7th and 6th centuries, and is distinguished by the fineness of workmanship and minuteness of detail with which it treated subjects, inspired always to some extent by non-Greek models. Naturalism is progressively obvious in its treatment, e.g. of the human figure, but to the end it is still subservient to convention. It has been thought that the Ionian migration from Greece carried with it some part of a population which retained the artistic traditions of the "Mycenaean" civilization, and so caused the birth of the Ionic school; but whether this was so or not, it is certain that from the 8th century onwards we find the true spirit of Hellenic art, stimulated by commercial intercourse with eastern civilizations, working out its development chiefly in Ionia and its neighbouring isles. The great names of this school are Theodorus and Rhoecus of Samos; Bathycles of Magnesia on the Maeander; Glaucus,. Melas, Micciades, Archermus, Bupalus and Athenis of Chios. Notable works of the school still extant are the famous archaic female statues found on the Athenian Acropolis in 1885-1887, the seated statues of Branchidae, the Nike of Archermus found at Delos, and the objects in ivory and electrum found by D. G. Hogarth in the lower strata of the Artemision at Ephesus in1904-1905(see Greek Art).

BIBLIOGRAPHY. - Beside general authorities under ASIA MINOR see especially F. Beaufort, Ionian Antiquities (1811); R. Chandler, &c., Ionian Antiquities (1769 ff.); Histories of Greek Sculpture by A. S. Murray, M. Collignon and E. A. Gardner, and special works cited under particular cities; E. Curtius, Die Ionier vor der ionischen Wanderung (1855); D. G. Hogarth, Ionia and the East (1909), with map. (E. H. B.; D. G. H.)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Etymology

From Ancient Greek Ἰωνία.

Proper noun

Singular
Ionia

Plural
-

Ionia

  1. (historical) An Ancient Greek settlement on the west coast of Asia Minor inhabited by the Ionians, one of the four main Hellenic tribes.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to JAVAN (Jewish Encyclopedia) article)

From BibleWiki


Name of one of the seven sons of Japheth, given in the list of nations (Gen 10:2ff; comp. 1Chr 1:5ff), and as such the progenitor of Elisha, Tarshish, the Hittim, and the Dodanim (Rodanim). The word corresponds to the Greek Ἰων, the plural of which is Ἰονες, with the digamma between the a and o (see Homer's "Iliad," xiii. 685). The Greek name denotes the Ionians, settled, when the list of Genesis was written, on the mainland of Greece and on the islands of the Ægean Sea as well as along the coast of Asia Minor. The Greeks were designated by this name in Assyrian ("Ya-wa-nu" [Greece], "Yawnai" [Greek]; Schrader, "K. A. T." 2d ed., pp. 87 et seq.) and in Old Persian, and the name was used in this sense by the Syrians, the Arabs, and the Egyptians. The question is still open whether in the Old Testament "Javan" connotes the Greeks, in keeping with this usage of other ancient peoples, or merely the Ionians proper. According to Stade ("De Populo Javan," Giessen, 1880), the term stands for the Ionians of Asia Minor in all pre-Persian passages of the Old Testament (e.g., Ezek 27:13; Isa 66:19, and therefore also in Gen 10:2ff). It has the wider significance in Joel 3:6 (Persian age), Zech 9:13, and Dan 8:21.

In these passages the context shows merely that a distant country is meant (Isa 66:19) into which Israelites were sold as slaves (by the Phenicians and Philistines; Joel 3:6). Something of this kind is certainly also referred to in Zech 9:13; in fact Ezekiel (Ezek 27:13) speaks of "Ionian" (or Greek) slave-trading in the markets of Tyre. In Ezek 27:19 the word "Javan" is either a corruption of the text (in view of the circumstance that in verse 13 it is used in a clearly different meaning from that required here; see Cornill, "Ezekiel," pp. 351 et seq.), or it designates an Arabic people. Glaser ("Skizze der Gesch. und Geographie Arabiens," ii. 428) suggests that in this verse it is the name of the place called "Jain," not very far from Medina.

In Talmudic literature "Javan" stands unquestionably for Greece (e.g., in Yoma 10a); "lashon Yewanit" means the Greek language. In late Hebrew "Javan" denotes the Russians, because they belong to the Greek Catholic Church; therefore Nathan Nate Hanover calls his description of the Chmielnicki persecution "Yewen Meẓulah," punning on Ps. lxix. 3. In Yiddish literature and in the parlance of the Russian Jews "Javan" (pronounce "Yoven") denotes the soldier. So Perez in his sketch "Der Meshullaḥ": "Bei Yoven is a gut Cheder" = "Military service is a good training."

Bibliography: Ed. Meyer, Die Heimat der Ionier, in Philologus, new series, iii. 479 et seq.; Fr. Lénormant, Histoire Ancienne de l'Orient, i. 296, Paris, 1881; idem, Les Origines de l'Histoire, etc., i., ii. 1-29, Paris, 1884; Fr. Delitzsch, Wo Lag das Paradies? pp. 248-250, Leipsic, 1881; W. Max Müller, Asien und Europa, p. 370, ib. 1893; Stade, De Populo Javan, Giessen, 1880 (now incorporated in Reden und Abhandlungen, ib. 1899); Ed. Meyer, Gesch. des Altertums, i. 490-494, ii. 433, 685 et seq., Stuttgart, 1883-84.

This article needs to be merged with Javan.
This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

Simple English

Ionia was a region in the west of Asia Minor in Ancient Greek times. It was in what is now Turkey.


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