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Meander (Büyük Menderes)


Statue of river god Meander in the Baths of Faustina. Photo Marco Prins.
Statue of river god Meander in the Baths of Faustina, Miletus.
Meander(Μαίανδρος): longest river in western Turkey, well known -already in Antiquity- for its fluvial deposits.

The river Meander is well-known for its many curves ("meanders": cf. this satellite photo) and its large deposits, which have completely changed the region between Priene and Miletus. As this map shows, these towns were situated on opposite shores of a gulf of the Aegean Sea, and the Isle of Lade was a real island, but this is no longer true. The bay between Miletus and Priene is now an alluvial plane, and only Lake Bafa, which is cut off from the sea by the deposits, gives an idea of what it once must have looked like.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The muddy Meander. Photo Marco Prins. The Meander and the Mycale promontory. Photo Jona Lendering. The river Meander. Photo Jona Lendering. The delta of the Meander. Photo Marco Prins.
Muddy river Meander and Mycale The plain of the Meander Delta
The upper valley of the Meander. Photo Jona Lendering.
The upper valley 

The muddy Meander, which separates the ancient landscapes of Caria (left bank, south) and Lydia (right bank, north), has its source near Celaenae; after a short distance, the river Marsyas empties itself in the Meander. Other tributaries are the rivers Morsynus, Harpasos, and another Marsyas.

The river god Meander was the son of Oceanus and Tethys, and the father of Cyane, who was, through Miletus, mother of the twins Byblis and Caunus. Among Meander's sons was Marsyas. A statue of the god Meander can be seen in the Baths of Faustina in Miletus.
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 21 May 2010
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