The earliest inhabitants assigned to Ephesus by Greek writers are the "Amazons," with whom we hear of Leleges, Carians and Pelasgi.
In the course of the next few years the Greek littoral towns were reduced, as also the Carians and Lycians.
They are distinguished from the Carians, with whom some later writers confused them; they have a king Altes, and a town Pedasus which was sacked by Achilles.
Pherecydes (5th century) attributed to Leleges the coast land of Caria from Ephesus to Phocaea, with the islands of Samos and Chios, placing the "true Carians" farther south from Ephesus to Miletus.
In the 4th century, however, Philippus of Theangela in south Caria describes Leleges still surviving as serfs of the true Carians, and Strabo, in the 1st century B.C., attributes to the Leleges a well-marked group of deserted forts, tombs and dwellings which ranged (and can still be traced) from the neighbourhood of Theangela and Halicarnassus as far north as Miletus, the southern limit of the "true Carians" of Pherecydes.