The Birthplace of Western Philosophy - History of Ionia


Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 27 September 2023

Did you know that ancient Ionia was the birthplace of Western philosophy and science? This video is all about the fascinating region of ancient Ionia, the birthplace of Western philosophy, science, the Ionic Order of architecture, and the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Ionia was a territory in western Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) populated by the Ionians (Greeks who spoke the Ionian dialect) in c. 1150 BCE. It is best known as the birthplace of Greek philosophy (at Miletus) and the site of the Ionian Revolt which prompted the Persian invasion of Greece in 490 and 480 BCE.

The Ionian Greeks outlasted the Western Roman Empire and then the Byzantine Empire, which fell in 1453 CE, and even the Ottoman Empire that controlled the region until 1922. The descendants of the Ionians still live in the same area in the present day and retain the same free spirit of inquiry as their ancestors. Since the ancient Ionian sites were excavated in the late 19th century, they have become a perennial tourist attraction. Ephesus became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015 and work continues presently in the region whose history is among the most fascinating in the world.



0:00 Introduction
0:49 Introduction to Ionia
1:44 Name, Cities & The Ionian League
3:31 Lydia, Philosophy, and Science
6:52 Persia and the Ionian Revolt
9:44 Alexander and the Romans in Ionia
11:47 Outro

Library of Celsus
Herodotus on Lydia

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The Life of Tudor Queen Elizabeth I of England
The Spanish Armada vs. The Royal Navy of Elizabeth I
The Real History of the Library of Alexandria

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#history #ionia #westernphilosophy #historyofphilosophy

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2023, September 27). The Birthplace of Western Philosophy - History of Ionia. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Birthplace of Western Philosophy - History of Ionia." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified September 27, 2023.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Birthplace of Western Philosophy - History of Ionia." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 27 Sep 2023. Web. 17 May 2024.