The Panionia, the common festival of the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor that took place in the Panionion sanctuary, was a focal point for the development of a common Ionian identity during the Archaic Greek period. The Archaic Ionian League, a loose collection of separate cities, grew to include both Ionians and non-Ionians, problematizing what it meant to be Ionian. The members negotiated their identities through the recitation of their civic origin stories at the Panionia festival, until a common cultural identity materialized by the late sixth century BCE. Upon this foundation, when geopolitical shifts in the region caused the Ionians to realign their foreign policies toward Athens, a common political identity also emerged, as reflected in the legendary account of a mass Ionian Migration from the Greek mainland to Asia Minor. It was within a ritual context, therefore, that the early Ionian League members forged their coherent identity.

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