Phocaea (fōsēˈə) [key], ancient city, W Asia Minor, N of Smyrna (Izmir), in present Turkey. It was northernmost of the Greek Ionian cities. In the 7th cent. B.C. it grew into a maritime state; its chief colony was Massilia (now Marseilles). In 540 B.C., after a siege by the Persians, most of the inhabitants left, going mainly to Elea in Italy. The city never recovered from the loss. The modern Foça is on the site.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Middle East