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Colophon, Ionia

COLOPHON, IONIA, an ancient city of Ionia, situated inland about 15 m. N. of Ephesus. Its port was at Notium or New Colophon. The site, now called Tracha (only recognized towards the end of the 19th century), lies near Diermendere, 5 m. S. of Develikeui station on the Smyrna-Aidin railway, and about 2 m. from the farms and hamlet of Malkajik. It is almost entirely under cultivation, and there is little to be seen but remains of the walls and certain tumuli. Rich tombs, however, have been found beside the old roads leading to it, and the site is usually regarded as a particularly promising one for excavation, since Colophon was a very flourishing city in the great period of Ionia and had declined and been largely superseded by Notium before the Roman age. The common belief, however, that it had no existence after the time of Lysimachus is not borne out by the remains on the site. Founded by Andracmon of Pylos, it was at the acme of its prosperity in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. up to the epoch of its sack by Gyges of Lydia in 665. It claimed to have produced Homer, but its greatest genuine literary name was Mimnermus. It seems to have been ruled by a rich aristocracy which provided a famous troop of horse; and, from the Greek saying, usually supposed to refer to the decisive effect of the final charge of this troop in battle, the word colophon has come to be used for the final note appended to old printed books, containing date, etc. In 287 Lysimachus transferred a part of the population to his new city at Ephesus. Though an Ionian colony Colophon did not share in the common festival of the Apaturia and seems to have been isolated for some reason among its neighbours, with one of whom, Ephesus, it was constantly at enmity. The forts by which Ephesus protected itself against Colophonian invasion are still to be seen on the hills north of the Caystrus.

Notium or New Colophon contained the important shrine of the Clarian Apollo, whose site has recently been identified with probability by Th. Makridy Bey during excavations conducted for the Ottoman museum.

See C. Schuchardt in Athen. Mitteil. (1886); W. M. Ramsay, Hist. Geog. of Asia Minor (addenda) (1890).

(D. G. H.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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