Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bouleuterion of Assos

Assos, on the north-western coast of Turkey, is one of those places still on my list of things to see, were it only because Aristotle lived here for while during the fourth century BC and because Plato built a second Academy here – the first being the one in Athens of course. The very idea of a Bouleuterion or Council House was born with the democracy in Athens at some point during the 5th and 6th century BC when the citizens gathered to discuss administration, politics and business. But Assos was the first city in history to be managed by philosophers, quite something noteworthy.

[Picture from Archaeology News Network]

Fact is that Aristotle, after leaving Plato’s Academy, went to Assos in 348 BC where he opened an Academy of his own. He was welcomed by King Hermias, whose adopted daughter or niece Pythias he married. Soon Aristotle was leading a group of philosophers before he moved to Lesbos three years later. When the Persians invaded Assos, torturing and killing Hermias, Aristotle sought refuge in Macedonia with his friend King Philip II. This exile eventually led to his appointment as tutor for the king’s son, young Alexander. In 334 BC Alexander drove out the Persians from Anatolia and after his death, Assos was ruled by the kings of Pergamon till the Romans took over in 133 BC.

Based on an inscription from the end of the fourth century BC, the Bouleuterion of Assos was built by Ladomos and his wife, a leading family no doubt. Unlike other council halls which are generally entirely made of stone, the seats here in Assos were made of wood. Apparently it was built in the wake of Alexander’s invasion of Asia Minor as the people of Assos put the doctrines of Plato into practice – making it the first Bouleuterion in Anatolia.

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