Lade: former island northwest of Miletus, site of two naval engagements, one in 494 BCE and one in 334 BCE (the subject of this page).
To the northwest of Miletus, in the classical age the largest Greek city in Asia Minor, 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.
In the early summer of 334, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great was besieging Miletus and his admiral Nicanor (a brother of Alexander's right-hand man Parmenion) occupied the small island with 160 ships, shortly before the Persians could arrive. This forced the enemy to find water on the Mycale peninsula in the north, which meant that they were far from Miletus, which fell soon after. The real conflict between the Macedonian army and the Persian navy was to take place at Halicarnassus.