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Miletus (See also wiki article Miletus.)

MILETUS - The southernmost of the twelve colonies forming the Ionian confederacy of Asia Minor. It lay on the S. coast of the Latonian Gulf, which penetrated Caria S. of the peninsula of Mycale, and received the waters of the Maeander. See Map 16. The silt of this river filled up the gulf, and Miletus is now 5 miles from the sea, while the former island of Lade, which helped to make its harbour, is now a hill rising in the alluvial plain.

Two visits of St. Paul to Miletus are mentioned. The first (Ac.20.15) took place when he was returning to Jerusalem at the end of the Third Missionary Journey. He stayed long enough to send for the elders of Ephesus, and give them the farewell charge recorded in Ac 20. This probably needed two days. A second visit is mentioned in 2 Ti.4.20 'Trophimus I left ill at Miletus.' This must have been between St. Paul's first and second imprisonment at Rome, i.e. if there were two imprisonments. In neither case are we told of any attempt to found a church at Miletus. Miletus was already unimportant by comparison with Ephesus, which now received the trade of the Maeander valley, and shared with Smyrna the trade that came along the great road through the centre of Asia Minor. Ephesus was recognized by the Romans as the southern capital of the province of Asia. Formerly Miletus had led lonia. Its trade was mainly in wool, and it had founded numerous colonies on the Black Sea and Propontis (Sinope, Trapezus, Abydos, Cyzicus), besides Naucratis in Egypt. It had led the Ionian revolt, the fate of which was determined by the battle of Lade and the capture of Miletus, 494 BC. It had defended itself on behalf of the Persian power against Alexander in 334 BC. Its ruins are now called Palatia. They seem to include few Christian remains, but Miletus was a bishopric, and from the 5th cent. an archbishopric. [Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd Ed., T&T.Clark, 1963 - A.E.H. - F.C.G.]