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Colonization of Ionia by the sons of Codrus 1

The Ionians emigrated from Achaea in Greece first to Athens and then to the region in Asia Minor called Ionia after them (enlarge)

The Ionians are descendants of Ion 1, son of Xuthus 1, son of Hellen 1 (after whom the Hellenes are called), son of Deucalion 1, the man who survived the Flood. The Ionians, led by the sons of Codrus 1, colonized in southwestern Asia Minor the region that was called Ionia after them.

Xuthus 1

Xuthus 1 was expelled by his brothers from Thessaly, and having come to Athens, he married the princess Creusa 1, daughter of King Erechtheus. This privilege he won for having defeated the Euboeans, who were at war with Athens. When Erechtheus died, Xuthus 1 was forced to emigrate to Achaea (then called Aegialus) where he died. Later, his son Achaeus 1, having raised an army of Aegialeans and Athenians, returned to Thessaly and recovered his father's rights. But his other son Ion 1, having married the daughter of King Selinus, became the master of the territory which was later called Achaea, and called the inhabitants Ionians after himself. Ion 1, they say, met his death in Attica helping the Athenians against the Eleusinians.

Ion 1

Some have said that Ion 1 was not the son of Xuthus 1, but the son of Apollo and Creusa 1. She, they say, exposed the child out of shame, in a cavern in Attica. But Hermes, following Apollo's instructions, took little Ion 1 to Delphi where he was brought up in the service of the god by the Pythian priestess who found him abandonned lying in a cradle inside the temple. Years later, Xuthus 1 and Creusa 1 came to Delphi to inquire of the oracle how they could cease to be childless. It was then that Ion 1 was given by the Oracle and Apollo to Xuthus 1 as a son. But Creusa 1, fearing to become the only one to be called childless, attempted against the life of Ion 1, whom she tried to poison with the help of a drop of Medusa 1's blood, which she had inherited. That criminal attempt, carried out by an old servant of Creusa 1, failed, and Creusa 1 had to take refuge in the altar, lest she be killed by her own son, who was in an avenging mood. While Ion 1 waited for Creusa 1 to leave the altar so that he could slay her, the Pythian priestess who had nurtured him appeared with the old cradle. When Creusa 1 recognized the cradle, she declared to Ion 1 what was inside it, thus proving she was his mother. This is how, they say, Ion 1 found his place in Attica. For having thus been found by Creusa 1 and adopted by Xuthus 1, he followed them back to Athens. About Creusa 1 it is also told that she had by Xuthus 1, besides Ion 1, a daughter Diomede 1, who married King Deion of Phocis. Creusa 1 is also said to have consorted with Hermes, and given birth to a child Cephalus 2, who was later carried off by Eos to Syria.

Argives, Danaans and Achaeans

The descendants of Achaeus 1, however, established themselves in Argolis and mingled with the Danaans. That is why each of the terms Argives, Danaans, and Achaeans may be applied to designate these peoples. When the HERACLIDES attacked the Peloponnesus, the Achaeans, led by Tisamenus 2 (son of Orestes 2, son of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, son of Pelops 1), were forced to leave Argolis. They tried at first to persuade the Ionians to accept them peacefully in their territory, but when the Ionians refused their proposal, they conquered the territory by force, renamed it Achaea, and expelled the Ionians.

Ionians settle in Attica

Because of their ties with the Athenians, the Ionians were allowed by King Melanthus 1 of Athens to settle in Attica. Melanthus 1 was in time succeeded on the throne by his son Codrus 1, who died in the battlefield defending Athens against an attempt of the HERACLIDES to take the city. After Codrus 1's death, his sons quarrelled for the throne, for Neileus refused to accept his brother Medon 11 as king because he was lame in one foot. The dispute had to be settled by the oracle of Delphi which, caring nothing about the foot, appointed Medon 11 as king.

Ionian emigration

When the throne succession was thus decided, Neileus and the rest of the sons of Codrus 1 set out to found a colony in Asia Minor, taking with them anyone who wished to go. But the majority of those who emigrated were the Ionians who had settled in Attica during the rule of Melanthus 1. In this way the Ionians came to Asia Minor, and they were soon followed by other Greeks. The Phocians received ships from the Athenians Philogenes and Damon 1, sons of Euctemon, and sailed to Asia Minor. There were expeditions from Euboea, and Philotas, a descendant of Peneleus (a Boeotian leader who fought in the Trojan War), led the expeditionary force from Thebes. Minyans from Orchomenus also came, as they were said to be related to the sons of Codrus 1. Led by Athamas 4 (a descendant of Athamas 1, the son of Aeolus 1), they founded a city Teos in the mainland north of Samos. Apoecus, great-grandchild of King Melanthus 1 of Athens, introduced the Ionians in Teos, and later received the new settlers, led by the Boeotian Geres and Naoclus, a bastard son of Codrus 1.

Neileus in Miletus

When the invasion started, Neileus, son of Codrus 1, attacked Miletus, and having conquered the city, he let all males be killed, and the Ionians married the wives of the murdered Milesians. The land which they conquered had been called, in former times, Anactoria, after Anax, son of Gaia. This Anax was succeeded by his son Asterius 4, but then Miletus (son of Apollo, though some say son of Asterius 5, son of Minos 2) came from Crete with an army, and being supported by the Carians, took the city and called it after himself, and there he and his descendants ruled until the arrival of Neileus and the Ionians. Neileus was buried at Didyma, a city near Miletus, and his son, Aepytus 1, is one of the founders of the city of Priene, which is also in Caria. The other co-founder is said to be Philotas (see above).


Androclus, another son of Codrus 1, was, some say, appointed king of the Ionians, and sailed against Ephesus, but others say he was himself the founder of Ephesus as well as the leader of the Ionian colonization. The island of Samos was occupied by the Ionians under the leadership of Procles 1. His son Leogorus reigned in Samos when he was accused by Androclus and the Ionians from Ephesus of conspiring with the Carians against the Ionians. War followed this charge, and Leogorus and his Ionians from Samos were expelled from the island. Some Samians resettled in the island of Dardania, which they renamed Samothrace, whereas the rest, led by Leogorus, fortified themselves in Anaea, on the mainland opposite Samos, and ten years later attacked the island and expelled the Ionians from Ephesus. After the return of the Samians to their island, Androclus successfully helped the city of Priene against the Carians, but he himself died in the battlefield, being later buried in Ephesus.

Cyaretus and Andraemon 5

Cyaretus (sometimes called Cydrelus), another son of Codrus 1, founded Myus in Caria. And Andraemon 5, also son of Codrus 1, is said to have expelled the Carians from Lebedus, or else he indeed founded that city and seized a place called Artis before he died, being buried at Colophon. About Colophon it is said that the city was already Greek when the Ionians arrived. The first Greeks to establish themselves in this country, it is said, were the Cretans, led by Rhacius, son of Lebes.

Rhacius and Manto 1

When the EPIGONI sacked Thebes, a group of Theban refugees sailed to Asia Minor, and among them was Manto 1, daughter of the seer Tiresias and herself a seeress. They came to Clarus, which is near Ephesus where they were seized by the Cretans, but when Rhacius learned who they were, he let them settle in the country and married Manto 1. Their son Mopsus 2 completed the conquest, defeating the Carians and expelling them from the country, for until then the colonists, though having a strong fleet at their disposal, had not been able to extend their territory significantly.

Wandering visitors

When Mopsus 2 was still ruling in Colophon after the Trojan War, he received those who, having left their ships in Troy, journeyed by land to Colophon. These were Amphilochus 2, the seer Calchas, Leonteus 1, Podalirius, and Polypoetes 1. Amphilochus 2 is son of Manto 1 by Alcmaeon 1, son of Amphiaraus; Leonteus 1 was a Lapith leader son of Coronus 1, son of Caeneus 1, the man who under the name of Caenis had been a woman but was turned into an invulnerable man by Poseidon; Podalirius is the healer son of Asclepius; Polypoetes 1, leader of the Gyrtonians, was son of Pirithous, Theseus' notorious friend. When the two seers Calchas and Mopsus 2 met, they started wrangling about the art of divination, putting each other to the test with difficult questions, and Calchas died because of a pig. For Mopsus 2 asked, showing him a pregnant sow, about the number of pigs she had in her womb, and Calchas answered eight, but Mopsus 2 corrected him and said that they were nine, adding that all were male and that they would be farrowed at a certain hour. When this proved to be true, Calchas died of a broken heart, since it had been predicted that he would die if he ever met a wiser diviner than himself. Calchas was buried at Notium, which is between Ephesus and Colophon.

Damasichthon 3 and Promethus

When the Ionians came to Colophon, they and the Greeks living in the city agreed to enjoy together equal rights, though the government was taken by the Ionian leaders Damasichthon 3 and Promethus, sons of Codrus 1. Later these brothers quarrelled, and Promethus, having murdered Damasichthon 3, fled to the island of Naxos where he died.


Another son of Codrus 1 called Cnopus, though some say Cleopus, founded Erythrae or gathered men from all the cities of Ionia, and let them settle among the Erythraeans. For it is also said that the city was founded by Erythrus, son of Radamanthys, son of Zeus and Europa. Besides the Cretans of Erythrus, there were in the city many Lycians, who are of Cretan origin as well. They had come to Lycia with Sarpedon 1 (son of Zeus and Europa), to whom Zeus granted life for three generations. Patroclus 1 put an end in Troy to Sarpedon 1's long life.

Ancestors and sons of Codrus 1

Thus carried out the colonization of Ionia the sons of Codrus 1, son of Melanthus 1, son of Andropompus 1, son of Borus 3, son of Penthilus 2, son of Periclymenus 1, son of Neleus, son of Tyro, daughter of Salmoneus, son of Aeolus 1, son of Hellen 1, son of Deucalion 1, the man who survived the Flood. The sons of Codrus 1 were Neileus, Androclus, Cyaretus (Cydrelus), Damasichthon 3, Promethus, Andraemon 5, Naoclus, Cleopus (Cnopus), and Medon 11, who was king of Athens.

Related sections Map of Greece, Achaea, Ion 1  

Apd.1.7.3; Arg.1.959, 1.1076; Hom.Il.13.685.