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According to the famous traveler-historian-philosopher Herodotus*, ancient Halicarnassus was founded in an area called Caria by Dorians who mixed with the native populations called Lelegians and Carians. With Cnidus, Cos on the island of the same name, Camirus, Lalysus and Lindus on Rhodes Island, Halicarnassus belonged to the Dorian confederacy. In the middle of the 6C BC, Halicarnassus came under Persian domination but was ruled through native tyrants (the first one was Lygdamos) centered in Mylasa. His daughter, Queen Artemisia I, backed Xerxes during his expedition against Greece but they were defeated in the Salamis Naval Battle (480 BC) and as a result, Halicarnassus came under the domination of the Athenians. In 386 BC, following a peace agreement, Caria came again under Persian control and was put under the administration of an old Carian dynasty, who lived in Mylasa. Hecatomanus, who ruled with the Persian title of satrap, had three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus and Pixodarus, and two daughters, Artemisia II and Ada. After his father’s death in 377 BC, satrap Mausolus transfered the capital of Caria to Halicarnassus. When Mausolus became so powerful that he regained his title of king and achieved a virtual independence, the city enjoyed its greatest prosperity. In 353 BC, upon his death, his sister and wife queen Artemisia II who was famous for her naval victory over the Rhodians, erected a monument to her husband’s memory, the Mausoleum, which was one of the Seven bodrumWonders of the World. Upon the death of Idrieus, his sister and wife Ada ruled until Pixodarus, a faithful ally of the Persians, sent her to exile in Alinda. In 334 BC when Alexander the Great seized the city helped by Ada, the latter was restored on the throne. Halicarnassus was successively incorporated to the Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk Empires, to the Turk Menteşe emirate and to the Ottoman Empire under Beyazıt I. In 1404 Halicarnassus, now called Bodrum by the Turks, was seized by the Knights of Rhodes who built the St Peter Castle. In 1523 Süleyman the Magnificent expelled the Knights from Bodrum and later from Rhodos.

* Herodotus (about 490/485 – 425/420 BC), after taking part in an uprising against the ruling tyrant Lygdamis, was forced to leave his native city Halicarnassus (about 457 BC), for the island of Samos. From there, he undertook journeys to Egypt, Lybia, Phoenicia, Babylon, Asia Minor, Scythia and Colchis (Black Sea Region) , Sparta, Athens, the Athenian colony of Thourioi (Thurii in southern Italy) where he probably spent the rest of his life. Herodotus, known as the Father of History, wrote the “Histories”, published between 430 and 424 BC and divided later into nine books named after the Muses. The book, which describes the expansion of the Persian Achaemenid Empire and the Persian Wars ending with the Greek victories, includes valuable ethnographical and ethnological information.

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