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Lade (494, 334 BCE)

Lade: former island northwest of Miletus.

Lade, from Miletus
Lade, from Miletus
To the northwest of Miletus, in the classical age the largest Greek city in Asia Minot, was a small island called Lade. Today, the island no longer exists because the deposits of the river Meander have connected it to the mainland. What remains are three inconspicuous hills on a flat alluvial plain. However, in Antiquity, it was a real, well-known landmark that was of vital military importance on at least two occasions.

  1. Map of the battles of Lade and Mycale
    Map of the battles of Lade and Mycale
    On 20 October 494, the Persians defeated the rebellious Ionian Greeks off Lade. This meant that the Ionians no longer commanded the sea, and could no longer supply their cities. Miletus was captured not much later.
  2. In the early summer of 334, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great was besieging Miletus and his fleet occupied the island before the Persians could arrive. This forced the Persians to find water on the Mycale peninsula in the north, which meant that they were far from Miletus, which fell soon after.

Lade, across the Meander
Lade, across the Meander
In other words, command of Lade was important for anyone who wanted to capture Miletus.

This page was created in 2004; last modified on 22 October 2014.