An ancient city, formerly the metropolis of all Ionia, situated on the western coast of Asia Minor, on the confines of Caria, just south of the mouth of the river Meander. It was the parent of many colonies, and was celebrated for a temple and oracle of Apollo Didymaeus, an as the birthplace of Thales, Anaximander, Democritus, and other famous men. The apostle Paul, on his voyage from Macedonia toward Jerusalem, spent a day or two here, and held an affecting interview with the Christian elders of Ephesus, who at his summons came nearly thirty miles from the north to meet him, Ac 20:15-38. He also revisited Miletus after his first imprisonment at Rome, 2Ti 4:20. There were Christians and bishops there from the fifth to the eighth century; but the city has long been in ruins, and its exact site can hardly be determined, so much is the coast altered around the mouth of the Meander.
(Miletum, 2Ti 4:20), a seaport town and the ancient capital of Ionia, about 36 miles south of Ephesus. On his voyage from Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port, and delivered that noble and pathetic address to the elders ("presbyters," ver. 28) of Ephesus recorded in Ac 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is now some 10 miles from the coast. (See Ephesians, Epistle to.)
Ac 20:15,17; where Paul on his third missionary journey (A.D. 51) assembled and addressed the elders of Ephesus, 25 miles distant to the N. Miletus was a day's sail from Trogyllium (Ac 20:15) and in the direct course for Cos (Ac 21:1). He visited Miletus again before his last imprisonment, and left Trophimus there sick (2Ti 4:20 where it ought to be Miletus not Miletum). On the Maeander, anciently capital and chief seaport of Caria and Ionia, subdued by Croesus, then by Persia. Now, owing to the alluvial deposits of the river, it is ten miles inland; even in Paul's time it was no longer on the sea, as 2Ti 4:22 implies, "they accompanied him unto the ship." There are ruins of the theater, one of the largest in Asia Minor. Also of a church building lying in ruins said to have been preached in by John (?). Now Palatia. The coin of Miletus has a lion looking back at a star. Strabo mentions its four harbors. Miletus was for a long period the seat of a bishopric.
The southernmost of the twelve colonies forming the Ionian confederacy of Asia Minor. It lay on the S. coast of the Latonian Gulf, which penetrated Caria S. of the peninsula of Mycale, and received the waters of the M
less correctly called MILETUM in
It lay on the coast, 36 miles to the south of Ephesus, a day's sail from Trogyllium.
Moreover, to those who are sailing from the north it is in the direct line for Cos. The site of Miletus has now receded ten miles from the coast, and even in the apostles' time it must have lost its strictly maritime position. Miletus was far more famous five hundred years before St. Paul's day than it ever became afterward. In early times it was the most flourishing city of the Ionian Greeks. In the natural order of events it was absorbed in the Persian empire. After a brief period of spirited independence, it received a blow from which it never recovered, in the siege conducted by Alexander when on his eastern campaign. But still it held, even through the Roman period, the rank of a second-rate trading town, and Strabo mentions its four harbors. At this time it was politically in the province of Asia, though Caria was the old ethnological name of the district in which it was situated. All that is left now is a small Turkish village called Melas, near the site of the ancient city.
MILETUS, a city on the continent of Asia Minor, and in the province of Caria, memorable for being the birthplace of Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece, of Anaximander and Anaximines, the philosophers, and of Timotheus, the musician. It was about thirty-six miles south of Ephesus, and the capital of both Caria and Ionia. The Milesians were subdued by the Persians, and the country passed successively into the power of the Greeks and Romans. At present the Turks call it Molas, and it is not far distant from the true Meander, which encircles all the plain with many mazes, and innumerable windings. It was to this place, that St. Paul called the elders of the church of Ephesus, to deliver his last charge to them, Ac 20:15, &c. There was another Miletus in Crete, mentioned 2Ti 4:20.