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Erythrae (mod. Litri) was one of the Ionian cities of Asia Minor, situated on a small peninsula stretching into the Bay of Erythrae, at an equal distance from the mountains Mimas and Corycus, and directly opposite the island of Chios.

In the peninsula, excellent wine was produced. The town was said to have been founded by Ionians under Knopos, son of Codrus. Never a large city, it sent only eight ships to the battle of Lade. The Erythraeans owned for a considerable time the supremacy of Athens, but towards the close of the Peloponnesian War they threw off their allegiance to that city. After the battle of Cnidus, however, they received Conon, and paid him honours in an inscription, still extant.

Erythrae was the birthplace of two prophetesses--one of whom, Sibylla, is mentioned by Straboas living in the early period of the city; the other, Athenais, lived in the time of Alexander the Great.

The ruins include well-preserved Hellenistic walls with towers, of which five are still visible. The acropolis (280 ft.) has the theatre on its northern slope, and eastwards lie many remains of Byzantine buildings.

Modern Litri is a considerable place and port, extending from the ancient harbour to the acropolis. There is an active trade with Chios and Smyrna.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.