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Lade (Batiköy)


The former island of Lade, seen across the alluvial plane from Miletus. Photo Marco Prins.
Lade, seen across the alluvial plane from Miletus. 
Lade: former island northwest of 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.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Miletus, Lade, Samos, Priene, and Mycale. Design Jona Lendering.
  1. 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.
The former island of Lade, seen across the river Meander. Photo Jona Lendering.
Lade seen across the Meander

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

Here you can see the island on a satellite photo.

© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 29 July 2008
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