Situated near to Soke, a town in Aydin province, Miletus earned its independence in the year 38 BC with the help of Roman emperors. Growing up to the size of a metropolis among the Ionian cities with such imperial support, many remains of Miletus still survive.

Miletus is originally a harbor city but in time the Buyuk Menderes River has deposited a large amount of alluvial soil so that the site is now at an inland location.