Assos (/ˈæsɒs/; Greek: Ἄσσος, Latin: Assus), also known as Behramkale or for short Behram, is a small historically rich town in the Ayvacık district of the Çanakkale Province, Turkey. During Pliny the Elder's time (1st century CE), the city also bore the name Apollonia (Ἀπολλωνία).[1]

After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle (joined by Xenocrates) went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias, and opened an Academy in this city.[2] Aristotle also married Pythias, the adopted daughter of Hermias.[2] In the Academy of Assos, Aristotle became a chief to a group of philosophers, and together with them, he made innovative observations on zoology and biology.[2] When the Persians attacked Assos, King Hermias was caught and put to death.[2] Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon.[2] There, he tutored Philip's son, Alexander the Great.[2] There is a modern statue of Aristotle at the town entrance.[3]

The Acts of the Apostles refers to visits by Luke the Evangelist and Paul the Apostle to Assos (Acts 20:13-14) .[4]

Today, Assos is an Aegean-coast seaside retreat amid ancient ruins. Since 2017 it is inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey.[5]

Ruins of the Temple of Athena in Assos
Assos is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
LocationAyvacık, Çanakkale Province, Turkey
Coordinates39°29′16″N 26°20′13″E / 39.48778°N 26.33694°ECoordinates: 39°29′16″N 26°20′13″E / 39.48778°N 26.33694°E
BuilderColonists from Mithymna
Founded10th century BC
Associated withAristotle
Site notes
WebsiteAssos Archaeological Site


Temple of Athena, Assos 1
Temple of Athena in Assos, with the nearby island of Lesbos at left.

Though the town is officially named Behramkale (pronounced [behˈɾamkale]), most people still call it by its ancient name of Assos. The town is on the southern side of Biga Peninsula, better known by its ancient name, Troad. Assos is located on the coast of the Adramyttian Gulf (Turkish: Edremit Körfezi).[6]

Much of the surrounding area is visible from the ancient Temple of Athena, built on top of a trachyte crag. The view from this temple on a clear day extends to nearby Lesbos in the south, Pergamum in the southeast, and Mount Ida in Phrygia in the east. To the north, the Tuzla River flows. To the northwest, two massive Hellenic columns still mark the gate to the city.[6]

Assos had the only good harbour on the 80 kilometres (50 mi) of the north coast of the Adramyttian Gulf. This made Assos a key shipping station through the Troad.[6]


Assos Tuerkei Mrz2005
Temple of Athena in Assos, overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Theatre@Assos(Turkey), April '09
The ancient Theatre of Assos overlooking the Aegean Sea, with the nearby island of Lesbos on the horizon, at right.

The city was founded from 1000 to 900 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos, who specifically are said to have come from Methymna. The natural cleavage of the rock into joint planes had already scarped out shelves which it was comparatively easy for human labour to shape.[7] The settlers built a Doric Temple to Athena on top of the crag in 530 BC.[8] From this temple Hermias of Atarneus, a student of Plato, ruled Assos, the Troad and Lesbos for a period of time, under which the city experienced its greatest prosperity. (Strangely, Hermias was actually the slave of the ruler of Atarneus.[9]) Under his rule, he encouraged philosophers to move to the city. As part of this, in 348 BC Aristotle came here and married King Hermeias's niece, Pythia, before leaving for Lesbos three years later in 345 BC. This 'golden period' of Assos ended several years later when the Persians arrived, and subsequently tortured Hermias to death.[8]

The Persians were driven out by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Between 241 and 133 BC, the city was ruled by the Kings of Pergamon. However, in 133 BC, the Pergamons lost control of the city as it was absorbed by the Roman empire.[6]

According to Christian tradition, St. Paul also visited the city during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor, which was between 53-57 AD, on his way to Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. Acts 20 records that Luke the Evangelist and his companions ('we') "went ahead to the ship and sailed [from Troas] to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board ... and when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene".[10]

From this period onwards, Assos shrunk to a small village, as it has remained ever since. Ruins around Assos continue to be excavated.[8]

The pillars from the ancient port lay in the harbor for over a millennia. Eventually they were probably sold.

In the early 1900s an attempt was made to move the contents of the Temple of Athena. Much of the art has been moved to museums like the Louvre.[6] The art found includes pictures both of mythical creatures and heraldic events.

In 2018, archaeologists discovered a Hellinistic undamaged family grave. the name "Aristios" was written on the cover of the grave. The grave belonged to a family of 21. One of the family members was buried normally, while the remaining 20 were cremated and their ashes were placed inside urn-like vases. The lids were sealed off with cement in order to prevent any foreign substance getting inside the urns.[11]

Present day

Many of the old buildings of Assos are in ruins today, but Behramkale (the city's modern name) is still active. It still serves as a port for the Troad. On the acropolis 238 m above sea level are the remains of the Doric order Temple of Athena, which date back to 530 BC. Six of the original 38 columns remain. West of the acropolis stands the well preserved 4th century BC city wall and main gate with 14-meter-high (46 ft) towers. An ancient paved road leads northeast through the gate to the ruins of a large 2nd-century BC gymnasium, a 2nd-century BC agora and a bouleuterion. Further south toward the seashore is a 3rd-century BC theatre built for 5,000 spectators.[3]

Down the steep seaward side of the hill at the water's edge is the hamlet called İskele (meaning "Pier" or "Wharf"), with old stone houses now serving as inns, pensions and restaurants.

There is a small pebbly beach. There are boat tours and tours of the hamlet itself. Although the narrow road to the hamlet is steep with sheer drops, the sea front has a constant stream of cars and minibuses arriving from dawn to dusk.

In 2018, archaeologists discovered many Strigils. Some of the strigils found were iron, but most were made of bronze.[12]

Banquet Assos Louvre Ma2829
Sculpted architrave from the Temple of Athena in Assos (Louvre Museum, Paris)


  1. ^ Pliny. Naturalis Historia. 5.32.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ancient Greece: Aristotle
  3. ^ a b Tucker, Jack (2012). Innocents Return Abroad: Exploring Ancient Sites in Western Turkey. pp. 17–18. ISBN 9781478343585.
  4. ^ St. Paul's Routes: From Troas to Assos Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Archaeological Site of Assos". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. UNESCO. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, p. 790.
  7. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHogarth, David George (1911). "Assus". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 790.
  8. ^ a b c Points from Turkey Archived 2007-05-05 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Eleventh editition of the Encyclopædia Britannica p790
  10. ^ Acts 20:13-14
  11. ^ Family grave of 2,000 years discovered in Turkey's northwest
  12. ^ 2,000-year-old athletes' tools unearthed in Turkey's Assos


  • Nurettin Arslan - Beate Böhlendorf-Arslan, Living in the Rocks Assos an Archaeological Guide, Istanbul 2010. ISBN 978-9944-483-30-8.
  • Haiko Türk: Die Mauer als Spiegel der Stadt. Neue Forschungen zu den Befestigungsanlagen in Assos, in: A. Kuhrmann - L. Schmidt (Ed.), Forschen, Bauen & Erhalten. Jahrbuch 2009/2010 (Berlin/Bonn 2009) p. 30-41, ISBN 978-3-939721-17-8.

External links


Asos (Greek: Άσος) is a village on the west coast of the island of Cephalonia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit Erisos.Asos was founded under Venetian rule and it served as the administrative capital of northern Cephalonia from 1593 onwards. Marino Gentilini, an Italian army engineer, was commissioned by the Venetian Senate in 1593-95 to build the Assos Castle, one of the largest in Greece. The castle was initially built with the view that it would protect local populations in case of an invading attack by passing Turks or pirates, but for various reasons, such as the lack of natural springs for water supply, it was never adopted as a fortress and gradually the grand plan was dropped.


Assos-Lechaio (Greek: Άσσος-Λέχαιο) is a former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 25.490 km2. Population 6,993 (2011). The seat of the municipality was in Perigiali.

Assos Castle

The Assos Castle (Greek: Κάστρο της Άσσου, romanized: Kastro tis Assou) is a Venetian fortification on Cephalonia island in western Greece.

Together with St George's Castle, the castle of Assos is a fine example of military architecture of the island of Cephalonia—British general Charles James Napier described it as 'stronger than Gibraltar'—and one of its main tourist attractions. It overlooks the bay of Agia Kyriaki, north of Paliki, and could act as a base from which to defend the island, to protect against pirates as well as a naval invasion. The castle stands on the top of a 170 m high rocky hill, which encompasses the entire peninsula of Assos. The castle is protected by a wall of 2000 meters length, and covers an area of 44,000 sq. meters.


Atarneus (; Ancient Greek: Ἀταρνεύς), also known as Atarna (Ἄταρνα), was an ancient Greek city in the region of Aeolis, Asia Minor. It lies on the mainland opposite the island of Lesbos. It was on the road from Adramyttium to the plain of the Caicus. Its territory was called the Atarneitis.

Atarneus seems to be the genuine original name, though Atarna, or Atarnea, and Aterne may have prevailed afterwards. Stephanus of Byzantium, who only gives the name Atarna, consistently makes the ethnic name Atarneus. Herodotus tells a story of the city and its territory, both of which were named Atarneus, being given to the Chians by Cyrus the Great, for their having surrendered to him Pactyes the Lydian. Stephanus and other ancient authorities consider Atarneus to be the Tarne written of in the Iliad by Homer; but perhaps incorrectly. The territory was a good corn country. Histiaeus the Milesian was defeated by the Persians at Malene in the Atarneitis, and taken prisoner. The place was occupied at a later time by some exiles from Chios, who from this strong position sallied out and plundered Ionia.Atarneus flowered in the 4th century BCE, when it was the seat of government of Hermias of Atarneus, a friend of Aristotle, ruling over the area from Atarneus to Assos. The city was deserted by inhabitants in the 1st century BCE, possibly following an outbreak of an unknown epidemic. Pausanias says that the same calamity betel the Atarneitae which drove the Myusii from their city; but as the position, of the two cities was not similar, it is not quite clear what he means. They left the place, however, if his statement is true; and Pliny the Elder, in his time, mentions Atarneus as no longer a city. Pausanias speaks of hot springs at Astyra, opposite to Lesbos, in the Atarneus.The city is known by many for its association with the life of Aristotle. After the death of his father, Aristotle was cared for and educated by Proxenus of Atarneus, possibly an uncle of his. At the Academy Aristotle made friends with Hermias, who was later to become the ruler of Atarneus. Indeed, after the death of Plato, Aristotle went to stay with Hermias, subsequently marrying Hermias's niece Pythia.

Its site is located at Kale Tepe, northeast of the town of Dikili, Asiatic Turkey.

Biga Peninsula

Biga Peninsula (Turkish: Biga Yarımadası) is a peninsula in Turkey, in the northwest part of Anatolia. It is also known by its ancient name Troad (Troas).

The peninsula is bounded by the Dardanelles Strait and the southwest coast of the Marmara Sea to the north, Aegean Sea to the west and the Edremit gulf to the South. The eastern border of the peninsula is Gönen creek close to Kapıdağ Peninsula. Cape Baba at 39°28′46″N 26°03′49″E is the westernmost point of Anatolia The main mountain of the peninsula is Kaz Mountain (Mount Ida of the antiquity). Among the seven rivers or creeks, Karamenderes River (Scamander of the antiquity) and Biga River (Granikos of the antiquity) are the longest. Karamenderes discharges to Dardanelles Strait and Biga River discharges to the Marmara Sea.

Most of the peninsula is a part of the Çanakkale Province, except for a small part at the southeast, belonging to the Balıkesir Province. The most important settlement of the peninsula is Çanakkale, the capital of the province. The district centers are the other important settlements. The population as of 2014 is as follows:

There are also some of the important ancient settlements in the peninsula. Assos is situated at the South of the peninsula. Ancient Troy now included in the list of World heritage site is also in the peninsula close to Çanakkale.

Cape Baba

Cape Baba (Turkish: Baba Burnu, Ancient Greek: Λεκτόν), is the westernmost point of the Turkish mainland, making it the westernmost point of Asia. It is located at the village of Babakale ("Father Castle"), Ayvacık, Çanakkale, in the historical area of the Troad. There was a lighthouse at Cape Baba that was called Lekton (Latinized as Lectum) in classical times, anglicised as Cape Lecture.

The Acts of the Apostles records a journey around the Cape from Troas to Assos undertaken by Luke the Evangelist and his companions, while Paul the Apostle took the journey over land (Acts 20:13). The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary explains:

In sailing southward from Troas to Assos, one has to round Cape Lecture, and keeping due east to run along the northern shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium, on which it lies. This is a sail of nearly forty miles; whereas by land, cutting right across, in a southeasterly direction, from sea to sea, by that excellent Roman road which then existed, the distance was scarcely more than half. The one way Paul wished his companions to take, while he himself, longing perhaps to enjoy a period of solitude, took the other, joining the ship, by appointment, at Assos.


Cebrene (Ancient Greek: Κεβρήνη), also spelled Cebren (Ancient Greek: Κεβρήν), was an ancient Greek city in the middle Skamander valley in the Troad region of Anatolia. According to some scholars, the city's name was changed to Antiocheia in the Troad (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια τῆς Τρωάδος) for a period during the 3rd century BCE (see below). Its archaeological remains have been located on Çal Dağ in the forested foothills of Mount Ida (modern Kaz Dağı), approximately 7 km to the south of the course of the Skamander. The site was first identified by the English amateur archaeologist Frank Calvert in 1860.


Cleanthes (; Greek: Κλεάνθης Kleanthēs; c. 330 BC – c. 230 BC), of Assos, was a Greek Stoic philosopher and successor to Zeno of Citium as the second head (scholarch) of the Stoic school in Athens. Originally a boxer, he came to Athens where he took up philosophy, listening to Zeno's lectures. He supported himself by working as a water-carrier at night. After the death of Zeno, c. 262 BC, he became the head of the school, a post he held for the next 32 years. Cleanthes successfully preserved and developed Zeno's doctrines. He originated new ideas in Stoic physics, and developed Stoicism in accordance with the principles of materialism and pantheism. Among the fragments of Cleanthes' writings which have come down to us, the largest is a Hymn to Zeus. His pupil was Chrysippus who became one of the most important Stoic thinkers.

Corinth (municipality)

The municipality of Corinth is a Greek municipality located in the Peleponnese region established on 1 January 2011 under the Kallikratis Plan for local government reform. The municipality is made up of five previous municipalities: Assos-Lechaio, Corinth, Saronikos, Tenea and Solygeia. The area of the new municipality is 611.29 square kilometers and it has a population of 58,192, based on the 2011 census. The seat of the municipality is Corinth.

Edremit Gulf

The Edremit gulf is an Aegean gulf in Turkey's Balıkesir Province. It is named after Edremit, an ilçe (district) of Balıkesir Province which is situated close to the tip of the gulf at 39°34′N 26°56′E. Biga Peninsula is to the north. The southern coast belongs to the ilçe of Ayvalık, while the western entrance is enclosed with the northern part of the Greek island of Lesbos.

In ancient history there were many settlements lying close to the north coast of the gulf; Hamaxitus, Polymedium, Assos, Lamponeia, Antandrus and Adramyttion, were some of these.Currently there are a number of ilçe centers or bigger towns around the gulf such as Behramkale, Küçükkuyu, Altınoluk, Akçay, Havran, Burhaniye , Armutova, Ayvalık and Cunda Island (from the north west). There are summer houses and holiday camps along the 70 kilometres (43 mi) long northern coast and the 40 kilometres (25 mi) long southern coast of the gulf.

The gulf is famous for European sprat production.


Lamponeia (Ancient Greek: Λαμπώνεια) or Lamponia (Λαμπωνία), also known as Lamponium or Lamponion (Λαμπώνιον), was a Aetolian city on the southern coast of the Troad region of Anatolia. Its archaeological remains have been located above the village of Kozlu in the district of Ayvacık in Çanakkale Province in Turkey. The site was first visited by Platon de Tchiatcheff in 1849, and later surveyed and identified as Lamponeia by Joseph Thacher Clarke, the excavator of nearby Assos, in 1882, and by Walther Judeich in 1896.


Lechaio (Greek: Λέχαιο) is a village in the municipal unit of Assos-Lechaio in Corinthia, Greece. It is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth, 8 km west of Corinth and 12 km southeast of Kiato. The Greek National Road 8 passes through the town. It had a railway station on the Piraeus–Patras railway, but passenger service on this line was halted in 2009.

List of ancient Greek tyrants

This is a list of tyrants from Ancient Greece.

List of settlements in Corinthia

This is a list of settlements in Corinthia, Greece.

Agioi Theodoroi


Agios Ioannis

Agios Vasileios


Ancient Corinth


Ano Trikala

Archaia Feneos

Archaia Nemea

Archaies Kleones



































Kato Assos

Kato Dimini

Kato Loutro

Kato Synoikia Trikalon

Kato Tarsos























Megas Valtos


Mesi Synoikia Trikalon


Mikros Valtos



Nees Vrysoules












































Perigiali (Greek: Περιγιάλι) is a seaside village in Corinthia, Greece. It was the seat of the former municipality of Assos-Lechaio. Its population at the 2011 census was 1,616.


Pythias (Greek: Πυθιάς, romanized: Pūthiás), also known as Pythias the Elder, was a Greek biologist and embryologist. She was the adoptive daughter of Hermias of Atarneus, as well as Aristotle's first wife.


Vasilikades (Greek: Βασιλικάδες, also Βασιλικιάδες - Vasilikiades) is a village in the Erisos region in north Kefalonia, a western Greek island. The village of Fiscardo is to the north 8 km away and to the south Assos is 10 km with Myrtos Beach a few more km south. Vasilikades is sometimes called Enosi locally which means 'union' in Greek and refers to the union of villages when one new village was built after the destruction of some smaller ones in the 1953 Ionian earthquake. Views from certain vantage points in this area are across the island's forested west coast and across the sea to the island of Lefkas. It is a well known vantage point for stunning sunsets. Vasilikades is a pretty traditional village with strict preservation orders so that new building follows the traditional style.

Çanakkale Archaeological Museum

Çanakkale Archaeological Museum (Turkish: Çanakkele Arkeoloji Müzesi) was a museum in Çanakkale, Turkey.

Çanakkale is situated on the Anatolian side of the Dardanelles Strait. It is close to famous Troy of the antiquity. The Dardanelles campaign of World War I is known as Çanakkale Savaşı in Turkish.

In 1960, an abandoned church was opened as a museum. In 1984, the museum moved to 100. Yıl street of the city at 40°07′59″N 26°24′35″E.

However, its contents have been moved to the 2018-established Troy Museum (Turkish: Troya Müzesi or Truva Müzesi), close to the excavation site of the ancient Greek city of Troy. It is best to combine a visit to the museum with a visit to Troy itself, Monday generally is a closed day for museums in Turkey, but as during a visit it was very hard to get proper information one should try and get information locally. A minibus, starting at the Minibus station at the bridge over the Çanakkale Çay bridge of the Atatürk Caddesi, provides a regular service to both Troy and the museum. When that bus passed the (former) museum in Çanakkale it seemed closed, but that could not be confirmed.

The following text was found to be correct for the Troy Museum: The main items in the exhibition halls are artifacts from various ruins around Çanakkele such as a Troia, Assos, Apollon, Smintheion, Tenedos and Alexandria Troas. Some of the items are marble sculptures, steles, illumination gadgets, terracota and bronze kitchenware, glassware and ornaments. A colored sarcophagus from the Achaemenid Empire and Polyxena sarcophagus are among the notable items. There are also some ethnographic items.

Journeys of Paul the Apostle
First journey
Second journey
Third journey
Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.