Miletus

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MILETUS

MILETUS , city in Asia Minor captured by Alexander the Great in 334 b.c.e. According to a document cited by Josephus (Ant. 14:244–6), the inhabitants of Miletus during the Roman period attacked the Jews, "forbidding them to observe their Sabbaths, perform their native rites or manage their produce [tithes] in accordance with their custom." The Roman proconsul, Publius Servilius Galba, the author of the aforementioned document, was informed at Tralles of the inhabitants' actions by Prytanis, the son of Hermas and a citizen of Miletus. The proconsul subsequently ruled in favor of restoring the rights of the Jewish population. An inscription from the Roman theater refers to "the place of the Jews who are also called God-fearing." A ruined building dating from the late Roman-Byzantine period has been surmised by some to have been a synagogue.

bibliography:

Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 16, 110, 125, 174; Juster, Juifs, 1 (1914), 252 n. 3; Frey, Corpus, 2 (1952), 14–15; E.L. Sukenik, Ancient Synagogues in Palestine and Greece (1934), 40–42; Mayer, Art, nos. 816–7.

[Isaiah Gafni]

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Miletus an ancient city of the Ionian Greeks in SW Asia Minor (see also Milesian1). In the 7th and 6th centuries bc it was a powerful port, from which more than sixty colonies were founded on the shores of the Black Sea and in Italy and Egypt. It was the home of the philosophers Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. It was conquered by the Persians in 494 bc. By the 6th century ad its harbours had become silted up by the alluvial deposits of the Menderes River.

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Miletus (mīlē´təs), ancient seaport of W Asia Minor, in Caria, on the mainland not far from Sámos. It was occupied by Greeks in the settlement of the E Aegean (c.1000 BC) and became one of the principal cities of Ionia. From the 8th cent. BC it led in colonization, especially on the Black Sea. The Milesians were strong enough to resist the Lydian kings and were not molested by the Persians. In 499 BC, however, they stirred up the revolt of Ionian Greeks against Persia; the Persians sacked the city (494 BC). Although less flourishing, Miletus remained an important seaport until the harbor silted up early in the Christian era. Miletus produced some of the earliest Greek philosophers, including Thales and Anaximander. The site was excavated by German archaeologists.

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