Assos was founded by colonists from Lesvos in the 8th century BCE. The temple to Athena was built in 530 BCE. Under Hermeias, a student of Plato, is prospered. Hermeias encouraged philosophers to live in Assos. Aristotle lived there from 348 BCE - 345 BCE. He married Hermeias' niece, Pythia.
The Persians conquered Assos and tortured Hermeias to death. Alexander the Great in turn drove the Persians out. Alexandria Troas to the north challenged the importance of Assos. From 241 BCE to 133 BCE, Assos was ruled by the king of Pergamum.
St. Paul visited Assos to meet St. Luke there. In Byzantine time, the city dwindled to a village.
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