region of western Anatolia between Smyrna and the bay of Edremit
was known as Aiolis. Herodotos counts twelve Aiolian cities
to correspond to the cities of Ionia, the most famous of which
Pitane, Elaea, Gryneion, Myrina, Aigai, Kyme, Neonteichos,
Temnos, Larisa and Smyrna. Although Smyrna was founded as
an Aiolian settlement, it was later inhabited by the people
of Kolophon and absorbed into the Ionian League.
been inhabited since Paleolithic times and flourished in the
Bronze age under Phrygian rule. Lesbos seems to have been its most important centre. During the 7th
century BC there was an immigration from Mytilene and especially
from Methymna to the opposite shores of the Aegean. As the
areas primary concern was agriculture it did not play a large
role in historical developments, however it was extremely
important in the fields of music and poetry. Sappho, Alkaios
and Terpander, the inventoir of the 7-tone scale were all
Aiolis was conquered by Kroisos (Croesus), king of Lydia (560-546 BC), and later held successively by the Persians, Makedonians, Seleukids, and Pergamenes.
Attalos III, the last king of Pergamon, bequeathed Aiolis to Rome in 133 BC. Shortly afterward, it was made part of the Roman province of Asia. At the partition of the Roman Empire (395 AD), Aiolis was assigned to the East Roman (Byzantine) empire and remained under Byzantine rule until the early 15th century, when the Ottoman Turks occupied the area.