Ancient region, western coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) bordering the Aegean Sea. It consisted of a coastal strip that extended from the mouth of the Hermus River to the Halicarnassus Peninsula, a distance of 100 mi (160 km). In the 8th century BC there were 12 major Greek cities in the region, including Phocaea, Erythrae, Colophon, and Miletus on the mainland, and the islands Chios and Samos. It was very prosperous, and until 500 BC Ionic philosophy and architecture and the Ionic dialect were highly influential in Greece. In the mid-6th century BC it fell to Lydia and then to the Persians. After a brief period of independence beginning in 334 BC, it became part of the Seleucid kingdom. In 133 BC it passed to the Romans and became part of the Roman province of Asia. It was devastated during the Turkish conquest of Asia Minor.