Ionia (Greek: Ἰωνία or Ἰωνίη, latin Ionia ) is going back to the Greek tribe of Ionians name of an ancient landscape on the west coast of Asia Minor, today's Turkey.
The region extending roughly from Smyrna to the north, to the region north of Halicarnassus, including the offshore islands (Chios, Samos). The Greek Ionians could be the end of the 2nd millennium BC down in the Aegean area. According to Herodotus ( Histories I 146) However, this fragmented tribes developed only in Asia Minor some sort of sense of community. The name of the Ionians carried over then remaining in the mother country " Ionians ". Important cities were, among others, Ephesus, Miletus and Smyrna. The city flourished through trade and also entered into alliances with each other, so the Ionian Confederation.
In Ionia, some of the important artistic styles of the Greeks developed. The name of Ionia is also associated with the so-called ionic Enlightenment in the philosophical field. In the 6th and 5th centuries BC brought forth Ionia personalities such as Thales of Miletus, Anaximander or Heraclitus.
Around the middle of the 6th century BC Ionia first came under the control of the Lydians to 546 under the rule of the Persians. 500 BC it came to so-called ionic uprising, which ended with the intervention of Athens and the beginning of the Persian Wars. The west coast of Asia Minor, and thus Ionia, was freed as a result of the Greek victory in the 470 years. However, Ionia was the so-called King's Peace of 386 BC back to the Persians. It was only when Alexander the Great began the conquest of the Persian Empire, Ionia was Greek again. In the following centuries it remained ( the successors of Alexander ) fought fiercely between the Diadochi. It eventually became part of smaller state formations ( part of the Kingdom of Pergamon ) until BC came up in the Roman province of Asia by 133. After 395 AD Ionia was part of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The name of Ionia was also used later partially anachronistically. The countryside was conquered in the 11th century by the Seljuk Turks, fell shortly afterwards to the 14th century Byzantium back and then finally went to the Ottoman Empire and later Turkey.
The name of Ionia was the Hebrew and Arabic in a number of languages of the Islamic world to the term for Greece, which is referred to as iunan ( یونان ) and in Hebrew as a jawan ( יָוָן ) in Arabic, Persian and Urdu in. In Turkic languages and in Kurdistan, the Turkish form " Yunanistan " is common.