Assos also known as Behramkale or for short Behram, is a small historically rich town in the Ayvacık district of the Çanakkale Province, Turkey. During Pliny the Elder's time (1st century CE), the city also bore the name Apollonia .
After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle (joined by Xenocrates) went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias, and opened an Academy in this city.Aristotle also married Pythias, the adopted daughter of Hermias.
In the Academy of Assos, Aristotle became a chief to a group of
philosophers, and together with them, he made innovative observations on
zoology and biology.When the Persians attacked Assos, King Hermias was caught and put to death. Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon.There, he tutored Philip's son, Alexander the Great. There is a modern statue of Aristotle at the town entrance.
The city was founded from 1000 to 900 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos, who specifically are said to have come from Methymna.
The natural cleavage of the rock into joint planes had already scarped
out shelves which it was comparatively easy for human labour to shape. The settlers built a Doric Temple to Athena on top of the crag in 530 BC. From this temple Hermias of Atarneus, a student of Plato, ruled Assos, the Troad
and Lesbos for a period of time, under which the city experienced its
greatest prosperity. (Strangely, Hermias was actually the slave of the
ruler of Atarneus.)
Under his rule, he encouraged philosophers to move to the city. As part
of this, in 348 BC Aristotle came here and married King Hermeias's
niece, Pythia, before leaving for Lesbos three years later in 345 BC.
This 'golden period' of Assos ended several years later when the Persians arrived, and subsequently tortured Hermias to death.
The Persians were driven out by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Between 241 and 133 BC, the city was ruled by the Kings of Pergamon. However, in 133 BC, the Pergamons lost control of the city as it was absorbed by the Roman empire.
According to Christian tradition, St. Paul also visited the city during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor, which was between 53-57 AD, on his way to Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. Acts 20 records that Luke the Evangelist and his companions ('we') "went ahead to the ship and sailed [from Troas] to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board ... and when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene".
From this period onwards, Assos shrunk to a small village, as it
has remained ever since. Ruins around Assos continue to be excavated.
The pillars from the ancient port lay in the harbor for over a millennia. Eventually they were probably sold.
In the early 1900s an attempt was made to move the contents of
the Temple of Athena. Much of the art has been moved to museums like the
Louvre. The art found includes pictures both of mythical creatures and heraldic events.
In 2018, archaeologists discovered a Hellinistic
undamaged family grave. the name "Aristios" was written on the cover of
the grave. The grave belonged to a family of 21. One of the family
members was buried normally, while the remaining 20 were cremated and
their ashes were placed inside urn-like vases. The lids were sealed off with cement in order to prevent any foreign substance getting inside the urns.