HISTORY OF PRIENE
The origin of Priene and the foundation of the city are ascribed to the Carians, the indigenous population of the region, but legends are our only guide for the earliest days. The oldest remains have been dated to the 6th century B.C., and it was on the territory of Priene that the site of the Panionion was located. According to some sources, the Ionians first arrived and settled here in the 11th century B.C. and the city was founded either by Aegyptus of Athens or Philotas of Thebes. The city was one of the most influential cities of the Ionian Confederacy and took part in the development of holidays and festivals in honor of Poseidon Heliconios. Bias, one of the most eminent thinkers of ancient times lived here. An electrum coinage is known to have been produced during this period. In the 7th century Priene came under Lydian rule and in the 6th century it was conquered by the Persians, who were to exercise hegemony for over a century. Priene . contributed twelve ships to the rising against the Persians. A naval battle took place off Lade in 494 B.C., with 353 Ionian triremes (ships propelled by galley-slaves at three banks of oars) against 600 Persian sailing-ships and Darius took his revenge by completely destroying the city.
In 129 B.C. Priene became part of the Roman province of Asia Minor. It was sacked by Mithridates, King of Pontus, in 88 and 84 B.C., but regained its former wealth and prosperity under the Emperor Augustus, whose cult was performed in the temple of Athena and the Sacred Stoa. After this, the increasing distance from the sea led to the decline of the city. Priene was the birthplace of Bias, one of the seven sages of antiquity.
When Priene was besieged by the Persians and the citizens began to flee from the city taking all their valuable possessions with them, Bias remained unmoved. On being asked if he had no possessions he wished to save from the enemy, he replied, "All my wealth is in my head" . Other famous pronouncements of his are "Not to be able to participate in misfortune is the greatest catastrophe." "Begin slowly but continue with vigour." "Action makes the man."
Priene was also the birthplace of Archelaus, the famous sculptor who, in the 3rd century B.C., adorned the city with his artistic creations and went on to work in Pergamon towards 240 B.C. Priene appeared once again on the stage of history in the Byzantine period as the seat of a bishop. It was captured by the Turks in the l4th century, after which it continued its existence as an insignificant village.