Ionia was an ancient region on the western coast of Anatolia, to the south of present-day Izmir. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements. Never a unified state, it was named after the Ionian tribe who had settled in the region before the Archaic period. Ionia proper comprised a narrow coastal strip from Phocaea in the north near the mouth of the river Hermus (now the Gediz), to Miletus in the south near the mouth of the river Maeander, and included the islands of Chios and Samos. It was bounded by Aeolia to the north, Lydia to the east and Caria to the south. The cities within the region figured large in the strife between the Persian Empire and the Greeks.