The first recorded settlers in Bodrum region were the Carians and the harbor
area was colonized by Dorian Greeks as of the 7th century BC and the city later
fell under Persian rule. It was the nominal capital city of the satrapy of
Caria. Its location ensured the city enjoyed considerable autonomy.
Herodotus, the historian, (484-420 BC) was born here.
Mausolus ruled Caria from here on behalf of the Persians, from 377 to 353 BC.
When he died in 353 BC, Artemisia II of Caria, who was both his sister and his
widow, employed the ancient Greek architects Satyros and Pythis, and the four
sculptors Bryaxis, Scopas, Leochares and Timotheus for to build a monument, as
well as a tomb, for him. The word "mausoleum" derives from the structure of this
tomb. It was a temple-like structure decorated with reliefs and statuary on a
massive base. It stood for 1700 years and was finally destroyed by
earthquakes. Today only the foundations
and a few pieces of sculpture remain.
Alexander the Great laid siege on the city after his arrival in Carian lands
and its capture was, in all likelihood, completed by his ally, queen Ada of
Crusader Knights arrived in 1402 and used the remains of the Mauseoleum as a
quarry to build the still impressively standing Bodrum Castle (Castle of Saint
Peter), which is also particular in being one of the last examples of Crusader
architecture in the East.
The Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes were given the permission to build it by
the Ottoman sultan Mehmed I, after Tamerlane had destroyed their previous
fortress located in Izmir's inner bay. The castle and its town became known as
Petronium, whence the modern name Bodrum derives. Conveniently, the word
"Bodrum" means basement in Turkish, and a common pun in reference to the town's
liberal morals decline its name as "Bedroom".
In 1522, Suleyman the Magnificent conquered the base of the Crusader knights
on the island of Rhodes, who then withdrew to Malta, leaving The Castle of Saint
Peter and Bodrum to the Ottoman Empire
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