In antiquity, Cilicia (/sɪˈlɪʃiə/)[note 1] was the south coastal region of Asia Minor and existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during the late Byzantine Empire. Extending inland from the southeastern coast of modern Turkey, Cilicia is due north and northeast of the island of Cyprus and corresponds to the modern region of Çukurova in Turkey.
|Ancient region of Anatolia|
|State existed:||16th–14th century BC (as Kizzuwatna)|
12th–8th century BC (as Khilikku, Tabal, Quwê)
until 546 BC
|Area||32,000 km2 (12,300 sq mi)|
Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Nur Mountains, which separated it from Syria. North and east of Cilicia lie the rugged Taurus Mountains that separate it from the high central plateau of Anatolia, which are pierced by a narrow gorge, called in antiquity the Cilician Gates. Ancient Cilicia was naturally divided into Cilicia Trachaea and Cilicia Pedias by the Limonlu River. Salamis, the city on the east coast of Cyprus, was included in its administrative jurisdiction. The Greeks invented for Cilicia an eponymous Hellene founder in the purely mythical Cilix, but the historic founder of the dynasty that ruled Cilicia Pedias was Mopsus, identifiable in Phoenician sources as Mpš, the founder of Mopsuestia who gave his name to an oracle nearby. Homer mentions the people of Mopsus, identified as Cilices (Κίλικες), as from the Troad in the northernwesternmost part of Anatolia.
The English spelling Cilicia is the same as the Latin, as it was transliterated directly from the Greek form Κιλικία. The palatalization of c occurring in the west in later Vulgar Latin (c. 500–700) accounts for its modern pronunciation in English.
Cilicia Trachea ("rugged Cilicia"—Greek: Κιλικία Τραχεῖα; the Assyrian Hilakku, classical "Cilicia") is a rugged mountain district formed by the spurs of Taurus, which often terminate in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors, a feature which, in classical times, made the coast a string of havens for pirates and, in the Middle Ages, outposts for Genoese and Venetian traders. The district is watered by the Calycadnus and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia and Egypt. Cilicia lacked large cities.
Cilicia Pedias ("flat Cilicia"—Ancient Greek: Κιλικία Πεδιάς; Assyrian Kue), to the east, included the rugged spurs of Taurus and a large coastal plain, with rich loamy soil, known to the Greeks such as Xenophon, who passed through with his mercenary group of the Ten Thousand, for its abundance (euthemia), filled with sesame and millet and olives and pasturage for the horses imported by Solomon. Many of its high places were fortified. The plain is watered by the three great rivers, the Cydnus (Tarsus Çay), the Sarus (Seyhan) and the Pyramus (Ceyhan River), each of which brings down much silt from the deforested interior and which fed extensive wetlands. The Sarus now enters the sea almost due south of Tarsus, but there are clear indications that at one period it joined the Pyramus, and that the united rivers ran to the sea west of Kara-tash. Through the rich plain of Issus ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsus (Tarsa) on the Cydnus, Adana (Adanija) on the Sarus, and Mopsuestia (Missis) on the Pyramus.
Cilicia was settled from the Neolithic period onwards. Dating of the ancient settlements of the region from Neolithic to Bronze Age is as follows: Aceramic/Neolithic: 8th and 7th millennia BC; Early Chalcolithic: 5800 BC; Middle Chalcolithic (correlated with Halaf and Ubaid developments in the east): c. 5400–4500 BC; Late Chalcolithic: 4500–c. 3400 BC; and Early Bronze Age IA: 3400–3000 BC; EBA IB: 3000–2700 BC; EBA II: 2700–2400 BC; EBA III A-B: 2400–2000 BC.:168–170
The area had been known as Kizzuwatna in the earlier Hittite era (2nd millennium BC). The region was divided into two parts, Uru Adaniya (flat Cilicia), a well-watered plain, and "rough" Cilicia (Tarza), in the mountainous west.
The Cilicians appear as Hilikku in Assyrian inscriptions, and in the early part of the first millennium BC were one of the four chief powers of Western Asia. Homer mentions the plain as the "Aleian plain" in which Bellerophon wandered, but he transferred the Cilicians far to the west and north and made them allies of Troy. The Cilician cities unknown to Homer already bore their pre-Greek names: Tarzu (Tarsus), Ingira (Anchiale), Danuna-Adana, which retains its ancient name, Pahri (perhaps Mopsuestia), Kundu (Kyinda, then Anazarbus) and Azatiwataya (today's Karatepe).
There exists evidence that circa 1650 BC both Hittite kings Hattusili I and Mursili I enjoyed freedom of movement along the Pyramus River (now the Ceyhan River in southern Turkey), proving they exerted strong control over Cilicia in their battles with Syria. After the death of Murshili around 1595 BC, Hurrians wrested control from the Hitties, and Cilicia was free for two centuries. The first king of free Cilicia, Išputahšu, son of Pariyawatri, was recorded as a "great king" in both cuneiform and Hittite hieroglyphs. Another record of Hittite origins, a treaty between Išputahšu and Telipinu, king of the Hittites, is recorded in both Hittite and Akkadian.
In the next century, Cilician king Pilliya finalized treaties with both King Zidanta II of the Hittites and Idrimi of Alalakh, in which Idrimi mentions that he had assaulted several military targets throughout Eastern Cilicia. Niqmepa, who succeeded Idrimi as king of Alalakh, went so far as to ask for help from a Hurrian rival, Shaushtatar of Mitanni, to try and reduce Cilicia's power in the region. It was soon apparent, however, that increased Hittite power would soon prove Niqmepa's efforts to be futile, as the city of Kizzuwatna soon fell to the Hittites, threatening all of Cilicia. Soon after, King Sunassura II was forced to accept vassalization under the Hittites, becoming the last king of ancient Cilicia.
In the 13th century BC a major population shift occurred as the Sea Peoples overran Cilicia. The Hurrians that resided there deserted the area and moved northeast towards the Taurus Mountains, where they settled in the area of Cappadocia.
In the 8th century BC, the region was unified under the rule of the dynasty of Mukšuš, whom the Greeks rendered Mopsos and credited as the founder of Mopsuestia, though the capital was Adana. Mopsuestia's multicultural character is reflected in the bilingual inscriptions of the ninth and eighth centuries, written both in Indo-European hieroglyphic Luwian and West Semitic Phoenician.
In the ninth century BC it became part of Assyria and remained so until the late seventh century BC.
Under the Persian empire Cilicia (in Old Persian: Karka) was apparently governed by tributary native kings who bore a Hellenized name or the title of "Syennesis", but it was officially included in the fourth satrapy by Darius. Xenophon found a queen in power, and no opposition was offered to the march of Cyrus the Younger.
The great highway from the west existed before Cyrus conquered Cilicia. On its long rough descent from the Anatolian plateau to Tarsus, it ran through the narrow pass between walls of rock called the Cilician Gates. After crossing the low hills east of the Pyramus it passed through a masonry (Cilician) gate, Demir Kapu, and entered the plain of Issus. From that plain one road ran southward through another masonry (Syrian) gate to Alexandretta, and thence crossed Mt. Amanus by the Syrian Gate, Beilan Pass, eventually to Antioch and Syria. Another road ran northwards through a masonry (Armenian) gate, south of Toprak Kale, and crossed Mt. Amanus by the Armenian Gate, Baghche Pass, to northern Syria and the Euphrates. By the last pass, which was apparently unknown to Alexander, Darius crossed the mountains prior to the battle of Issus. Both passes are short and easy and connect Cilicia Pedias geographically and politically with Syria rather than with Anatolia.
Alexander forded the Halys River in the summer of 333 BC, ending up on the border of southeastern Phrygia and Cilicia. He knew well the writings of Xenophon, and how the Cilician Gates had been "impassable if obstructed by the enemy". Alexander reasoned that by force alone he could frighten the defenders and break through, and he gathered his men to do so. In the cover of night they attacked, startling the guards and sending them and their satrap into full flight, setting their crops aflame as they made for Tarsus. This good fortune allowed Alexander and his army to pass unharmed through the Gates and into Cilicia.
After Alexander's death it was long a battleground of rival Hellenistic monarchs and kingdoms, and for a time fell under Ptolemaic dominion (i.e., Egypt), but finally came to the Seleucids, who, however, never held effectually more than the eastern half. During the Hellenistic era, numerous cities were established in Cilicia, which minted coins showing the badges (gods, animals and objects) associated with each polis.
Cilicia Trachea became the haunt of pirates, who were subdued by Pompey in 67 BC following a Battle of Korakesion (modern Alanya), and Tarsus was made the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia. Cilicia Pedias became Roman territory in 103 BC first conquered by Marcus Antonius Orator in his campaign against pirates, with Sulla acting as its first governor, foiling an invasion of Mithridates, and the whole was organized by Pompey, 64 BC, into a province which, for a short time, extended to and included part of Phrygia.
It was reorganized by Julius Caesar, 47 BC, and about 27 BC became part of the province Syria-Cilicia Phoenice. At first the western district was left independent under native kings or priest-dynasts, and a small kingdom, under Tarcondimotus I, was left in the east; but these were finally united to the province by Vespasian, AD 72. Containing 47 known cities, it had been deemed important enough to be governed by a proconsul.
Under Emperor Diocletian's Tetrarchy (c. 297), Cilicia was governed by a consularis; with Isauria and the Syrian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Libyan provinces, formed the Diocesis Orientis (in the late 4th century the African component was split off as Diocese of Egypt), part of the pretorian prefecture also called Oriens ('the East', also including the dioceses of Asiana and Pontica, both in Anatolia, and Thraciae in the Balkans), the rich bulk of the eastern Roman Empire.
Roman Cilicia exported the goats-hair cloth, Cilicium, which was used to make tents. Tarsus was also the birthplace of the early Christian missionary and author St. Paul, writer (or purported writer) of 13 of the 27 books included in the New Testament.
Cilicia had numerous Christian communities and is mentioned six times in the Book of Acts and once in the Epistle to the Galatians (1:21). After Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, Cilicia was included in the territories of the patriarchate of Antioch. The region was divided into two civil and ecclesiastical provinces: Cilicia Prima, with a metropolitan diocese at Tarsus and suffragan dioceses for Pompeiopolis, Sebaste, Augusta, Corycus, Adana, Mallus and Zephyrium; and Cilicia Secunda, with a metropolitan diocese at Anazarbus and suffragan dioceses for Mopsuestia, Aegae, Epiphania, Irenopolis, Flavias, Castabala, Alexandria, Citidiopolis and Rhosus. Bishops from the various dioceses of Cilicia were well represented at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and at the later ecumenical councils.
After the breakup of the Roman Empire, Cilicia became part of the Byzantine Empire.
In the 7th century Cilicia was invaded by the Muslim Arabs. The area was for some time an embattled no-man's land. The Arabs succeeded in conquering the area in the early 8th century. Under the Abbasid Caliphate, Cilicia was resettled and transformed into a fortified frontier zone (thughur). Tarsus, re-built in 787/788, quickly became the largest settlement in the region and the Arabs' most important base in their raids across the Taurus Mountains into Byzantine-held Anatolia.
The Muslims held the country until it was reoccupied by the Emperor Nicephorus II in a series of campaigns in 962–965. From this period onward, the area increasingly came to be settled by Armenians, especially as Imperial rule pushed deeper into the Caucasus over the course of the 11th century.
During the time of the First Crusade, the area was controlled by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. The Seljuk Turkish invasions of Armenia were followed by an exodus of Armenians migrating westward into the Byzantine Empire, and in 1080 Ruben, a relative of the last king of Ani, founded in the heart of the Cilician Taurus a small principality which gradually expanded into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. This Christian state, surrounded by Muslim states hostile to its existence, had a stormy history of about 300 years, giving valuable support to the Crusaders, and trading with the great commercial cities of Italy.
It prospered for three centuries due to the vast network of fortifications which secured all the major roads as well as the three principal harbours at Ayas, Koŕikos, and Mopsuestia. Through their complex alliances with the Crusader states the Armenian barons and kings often invited the Crusaders to maintain castles in and along the borders of the Kingdom, including Bagras, Trapessac, T‛il Hamtun, Harunia, Selefkia, Amouda, and Sarvandikar.
Gosdantin (r. 1095 – c. 1100) assisted the crusaders on their march to Antioch, and was created knight and marquis. Thoros I (r. c. 1100 – 1129), in alliance with the Christian princes of Syria, waged successful wars against the Byzantines and Seljuk Turks. Levon II (Leo the Great (r. 1187–1219)), extended the kingdom beyond Mount Taurus and established the capital at Sis. He assisted the crusaders, was crowned King by the Archbishop of Mainz, and married one of the Lusignans of the crusader kingdom Cyprus.
Hetoum I (r. 1226–1270) made an alliance with the Mongols, sending his brother Sempad to the Mongol court in person. The Mongols then assisted with the defense of Cilicia from the Mamluks of Egypt, until the Mongols themselves converted to Islam. When Levon V died (1342), John of Lusignan was crowned king as Gosdantin IV; but he and his successors alienated the native Armenians by attempting to make them conform to the Roman Church, and by giving all posts of honor to Latins, until at last the kingdom, falling prey to internal dissensions, succumbed in 1375 to the attacks of the Egyptian Mamluks.
After the collapse of the Anatolian Seljuks, a number of Turkmen principalities (collectively known as Anatolian beyliks) emerged. Cilicia Thracea was conquered by Karamanids a beylik to the north of Cilicia in the 15th century. Cilica Pedias shared a similar fate. In 1375 Ramazanids, another beylik to the east of the region, defeated The Armenian Kingdom with the support of Mamluks of Egypt. Towards the end of the 15th century when the Ottomans defeated the Karamnids, Cilicia Thracea fell to Ottomans. In 1517 Ramazanids also submitted to Ottomans.
In the 15th century, Cilicia fell under Ottoman dominion and officially became known as the Adana Vilayet. Cilicia was one of the most important regions for the Ottoman Armenians because it managed very well to preserve Armenian character throughout the years. In fact, the Cilician highlands were densely populated by Armenian peasants in small but prosperous towns and villages such as Hadjin and Zeitun, two mountainous areas where autonomy was maintained until the 19th century. In ports and cities of the Adana plain, commerce and industry were almost entirely in the hands of the Armenians and they remained so thanks to a constant influx of Armenians from the highlands. Their population was continuously increasing in numbers in Cilicia in contrast to other parts of the Ottoman Empire, where it was, since 1878, decreasing due to repression. This is true despite the fact that in 1909, Armenians were subjected to a massacre in Adana. During the 1915 Armenian genocide, the Armenians of Zeitun had organized a successful resistance against the Ottoman onslaught. In order to finally subjugate Zeitun, the Ottomans had to resort to treachery by forcing an Armenian delegation from Marash to ask the Zeituntsi-s to put down their arms. Both the Armenian delegation, and later, the inhabitants of Zeitun, were left with no choice.
From December 1918 to October 1921, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the French controlled Cilicia. Measures were taken to repopulate the region with survivors of the Armenian Genocide. More than 170,000 Armenian refugees, the majority of whom were originally from Cilicia, were to be taken back to their homes by the French and British. The Armenians formed the Armenian National Union which acted as an unofficial Cilician Armenian government composed of the four major political parties and three Armenian religious denominations. However, rivalries between the French and British and Kemalist incursions shattered Armenian aspirations for an autonomous Cilicia. On October 21, 1921, France signed the Treaty of Ankara with the Kemalists and relinquished Cilicia to Turkey.
Greek mythology mentions another Cilicia, as a small region situated immediately southeast of the Troad in northwestern Anatolia, facing the Gulf of Adramyttium. The connection (if any) between this Cilicia and the better-known and well-defined region mentioned above is unclear. This Trojan Cilicia is mentioned in Homer's Iliad and Strabo's Geography, and contained localities such as Thebe, Lyrnessus and Chryse (home to Chryses and Chryseis). These three cities were all attacked and sacked by Achilles during the Trojan War.
In Prometheus Bound (v 353), Aeschylus mentions the Cilician caves (probably Cennet and Cehennem), where the earth-born, hundred-headed monster Typhon dwelt before he withstood the gods and was stricken and charred by Zeus's thunderbolt.
Anazarbus (Ancient Greek: Ἀναζαρβός, medieval Ain Zarba; modern Anavarza; Arabic: عَيْنُ زَرْبَة) was an ancient Cilician city. Under the late Roman Empire, it was the capital of Cilicia Secunda. It was destroyed in 1374.Antiochia Lamotis
Antiochia Lamotis (Greek: Αντιόχεια η Λαμωτίς) or Antiochia in Isauria (Αντιόχεια της Ισαυρίας) is a Hellenistic city in Cilicia, Anatolia at the mouth of Lamos (or Lamus) river. The site is on the coast a few km southwest of Erdemli, Mersin Province, Turkey. During Roman times, it was capital of the Lamotis Region, Cilicia.Aphrodisias of Cilicia
Aphrodisias of Cilicia is the ruin of an ancient port city in Mersin Province, Turkey.Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (Middle Armenian: Կիլիկիոյ Հայոց Թագաւորութիւն, Giligio Hayoc’ T’akavorut’yun), also known as the Cilician Armenia (Armenian: Կիլիկյան Հայաստան, Giligyan Hayastan), Lesser Armenia, or New Armenia, was an independent principality formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuq invasion of Armenia. Located outside the Armenian Highland and distinct from the Armenian Kingdom of antiquity, it was centered in the Cilicia region northwest of the Gulf of Alexandretta.
The kingdom had its origins in the principality founded c. 1080 by the Rubenid dynasty, an alleged offshoot of the larger Bagratid family, which at various times had held the thrones of Armenia and Georgia. Their capital was originally at Tarsus, and later became Sis. Cilicia was a strong ally of the European Crusaders, and saw itself as a bastion of Christendom in the East. It also served as a focus for Armenian nationalism and culture, since Armenia proper was under foreign occupation at the time. Cilicia's significance in Armenian history and statehood is also attested by the transfer of the seat of the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, spiritual leader of the Armenian people, to the region. In 1198, with the crowning of Leo the Magnificent of the Rubenid dynasty, Cilician Armenia became a kingdom.In 1226, the crown was passed to rival Hethumids through Leo's daughter Isabella's second husband, Hethum I. As the Mongols conquered vast regions of Central Asia and the Middle East, Hethum and succeeding Hethumid rulers sought to create an Armeno-Mongol alliance against common Muslim foes, most notably the Mamluks. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Crusader states and the Mongol Ilkhanate disintegrated, leaving the Armenian Kingdom without any regional allies. After relentless attacks by the Mamluks in Egypt in the fourteenth century, the Cilician Armenia of the Lusignan dynasty, mired in an internal religious conflict, finally fell in 1375.Commercial and military interactions with Europeans brought new Western influences to the Cilician Armenian society. Many aspects of Western European life were adopted by the nobility including chivalry, fashions in clothing, and the use of French titles, names, and language. Moreover, the organization of the Cilician society shifted from its traditional system to become closer to Western feudalism. The European Crusaders themselves borrowed know-how, such as elements of Armenian castle-building and church architecture. Cilician Armenia thrived economically, with the port of Ayas serving as a center for East-West trade.Arsinoe (Cilicia)
Arsinoe (Ancient Greek: Ἀρσινόη) was a city on the coast of ancient Cilicia between Anemurium and Kelenderis; the site is near the modern city of Bozyazı, Mersin Province, Turkey. Strabo mentions Arsinoe as having a port. In the 19th century, William Martin Leake placed it at or near the ruined modern castle, called Softa Kalesi (Sokhta Kálesi), just west of Bozyazı, below which is a port, such as Strabo describes at Arsinoe, and a peninsula on the east side of the harbor covered with ruins. This modern site is east of Anemurium, and west of, and near to, Kızil Burnu (Cape Kizliman). The city was founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus and named for Arsinoe II of Egypt, his sister and wife.
The site of Arsinoe is located near modern Maraş Harabeleri in Anatolia.Berenice (daughter of Herod Agrippa)
Berenice of Cilicia, also known as Julia Berenice and sometimes spelled Bernice (Greek: Βερενίκη, Bereníkē; 28 AD – after 81), was a Jewish client queen of the Roman Empire during the second half of the 1st century. Berenice was a member of the Herodian Dynasty that ruled the Roman province of Judaea between 39 BC and 92 AD. She was the daughter of King Herod Agrippa I and a sister of King Herod Agrippa II.
What little is known about her life and background comes mostly from the early historian Flavius Josephus, who detailed a history of the Jewish people and wrote an account of the Jewish Rebellion of 67. Suetonius, Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Aurelius Victor and Juvenal, also tell about her. She is also mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (25:13, 23; 26:30).
However, it is for her tumultuous love life that she is primarily known from the Renaissance. Her reputation was based on the bias of the Romans to the Eastern princesses, like Cleopatra or later Zenobia.
After a number of failed marriages throughout the 40s, she spent much of the remainder of her life at the court of her brother Herod Agrippa II, amidst rumors the two were carrying on an incestuous relationship. During the First Jewish-Roman War, she began a love affair with the future emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus. However, her unpopularity among the Romans compelled Titus to dismiss her on his accession as emperor in 79. When he died two years later, she disappeared from the historical record.Cilician Gates
The Cilician Gates or Gülek Pass is a pass through the Taurus Mountains connecting the low plains of Cilicia to the Anatolian Plateau, by way of the narrow gorge of the Gökoluk River. Its highest elevation is about 1000m.The Cilician Gates have been a major commercial and military artery for millennia. In the early 20th century, a narrow-gauge railway was built through them, and today, the Tarsus-Ankara Highway (E90, O-21) passes through them.
The southern end of the Cilician gates is about 44 km north of Tarsus and the northern end leads to Cappadocia.Epiphania, Cilicia
Epiphania was a city in Cilicia Secunda (Cilicia Trachea), in Anatolia.
The city was originally called Oiniandos, and was located in the area of the northern tip of the Gulf of Iskenderun on the route from Missis to Antioch. In the 2nd century BC the city was renamed Epiphania, in honour of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of Syria from 175 BC to 164 BC.
The city is mentioned in the writings of Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder. Cicero stayed there briefly during his exile. In 66 BC the Roman general Pompey led a campaign against the Mediterranean pirates. After the surrender of the pirates, they were dispersed and many were settled at Epiphania.Franco-Turkish War
The Franco-Turkish War, known as the Cilicia Campaign (French: La campagne de Cilicie) in France and as the Southern Front (Turkish: Güney Cephesi) of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey, was a series of conflicts fought between France (the French Colonial Forces and the French Armenian Legion) and the Turkish National Forces (led by the Turkish provisional government after 4 September 1920) from December 1918 to October 1921 in the aftermath of World War I. French interest in the region resulted from the Sykes-Picot Agreement and returning Armenian refugees of the Armenian Genocide back to their homes.
Along with the other Allied powers, the French abandoned interest in the Armenian population in favor of supporting Turkey as a buffer state from Bolshevik expansionism.Holy See of Cilicia
The Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia (Armenian: Կաթողիկոսութիւն Հայոց Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիոյ) is a hierarchal see of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia has been headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon. Aram I is the Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church since 1995.Irenopolis, Cilicia
Irenopolis or Eirenopolis (Greek: Εἰρηνούπολις) was an ancient Roman, Byzantine and medieval city in northeastern Cilicia, not far from the Calycadnus river, also known briefly as Neronias (Greek: Νερωνιάς) in honour of the Roman emperor Nero. Irenopolis was also an episcopal see that is now included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.Isauria
Isauria ( or ; Ancient Greek: Ἰσαυρία), in ancient geography, is a rugged isolated district in the interior of South Asia Minor, of very different extent at different periods, but generally covering what is now the district of Bozkır and its surroundings in the Konya Province of Turkey, or the core of the Taurus Mountains. In its coastal extension it bordered on Cilicia.
It derives its name from the contentious Isaurian tribe and twin settlements Isaura Palaea (Ίσαυρα Παλαιά, Latin: Isaura Vetus, "Old Isaura") and Isaura Nea (Ίσαυρα Νέα, Latin: Isaura Nova, "New Isaura").
Isaurian marauders were fiercely independent mountain people who created havoc in neighboring districts under Macedonian and Roman occupations.Issus, Cilicia
Issus (Phoenician: Sissu, Ancient Greek: Ἱσσός or Ἱσσοί) is an ancient settlement on the strategic coastal plain straddling the small Pinarus river (a fast melt-water stream several metres wide) below the navigationally difficult inland mountains towering above to the east in the Turkish Province of Hatay, near the border with Syria. It can be identified with Kinet Höyük in the village of Yeṣilköy near Dörtyol in the Hatay province of Turkey. Excavations on the mound occurred between 1992 and 2012 by Bilkent University. It is most notable for being the place of no less than three decisive ancient or medieval battles each called in their own era the Battle of Issus:
The Battle of Issus (333 BC); Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated Darius III of Persia. This battle is occasionally called the First Battle of Issus, but is more generally known simply as the Battle of Issus, owing to the importance of Alexander's victory over the First Persian Empire and its impact on subsequent history of the region, including all the successor polities.
Battle of Issus (194), or Second Battle of Issus — between the forces of Emperor Septimius Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger.
Battle of Issus (622), or Third Battle of Issus — between the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Persian Empire.Whether Issus is still present within a modern settlement is hotly debated among researchers. Regardless of which mountain brook was the locus of the battles, the old town was situated close to present-day İskenderun, Turkey, in the Gulf of İskenderun. Today, no town exists on both sides of the Pinarus river, which may or may not have been called Issus.
Although Issus was once considered to have been an episcopal see, there is no evidence to support that idea: Issus is not mentioned in the "Notitiae Episcopatuum" of the Patriarchate of Antioch, to which the Roman province of Cilicia belonged.Limonlu River
The Limonlu River (Ancient Greek: Λάμος Lamos; Latin: Lamus) is a river of ancient Cilicia, now in Mersin Province, Turkey.
The river rises at Yüğlük Dağı in the Taurus mountains and flows through deep gorges to the southwest until it reaches the Mediterranean Sea at Limonlu (the ancient Antiochia Lamotis) in the district of Erdemli. About halfway along its course it is receives the Susama Deresi from the west as a tributary.
In the town of Limonlu, about 500 metres west of the river mouth on a flat hill on the right bank is the Medieval castle Lamos Kalesi. Below the castle a late Ottoman bridge crosses the river, probably on the site of an earlier Roman bridge. North of the town are the remains of an aqueduct, which carried water from the river west to the ancient towns of Elaiussa Sebaste and Corycus.Mersin
Mersin (pronounced [ˈmæɾsin]) is a large city and a port on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey. It is part of an interurban agglomeration – the Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area – and lies on the western part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical, and cultural region. The city was named after the aromatic plant Myrsine (Greek: Μυρσίνη) in the family Primulaceae, a myrtle that grows in abundance in the area (Turkish: mersin); the 17th-century traveler Evliya Çelebi wrote that there was also a clan named Mersinoğulları Mersin is an important hub of Turkey's economy, and Turkey's largest seaport is located in the city. Mersin's nickname within Turkey is "Pearl of the Mediterranean" (Turkish: Akdeniz'in İncisi) and the city hosted the 2013 Mediterranean Games. Mersin is the provincial capital of the eponymous Mersin Province of Turkey.
As of 2014, the population of the city is 915,703Mopsuestia
Mopsuestia (Greek: Μοψουεστία Mopsou(h)estia; Byzantine: Mamista, Manistra; Arabic: al-Maṣṣīṣah; Armenian: Msis, Mises, Mam(u)estia; Frankish: Mamistra) is an ancient city in Cilicia Campestris on the Pyramus River (now Ceyhan River) located approximately 20 km (12 mi) east of ancient Antiochia in Cilicia (present-day Adana, southern Turkey). From the city's harbour the river is navigable to the Mediterranean Sea, a distance of over 40 km (24 mi).Patriarchate of Cilicia
The Patriarchate of Cilicia (Latin: Patriarchatus Ciliciae Armenorum) is the only patriarchate within the Armenian Catholic Church. The St. Elie and St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Cathedral in Beirut, Lebanon, is the seat of the Patriarchate. The Patriarchate is headed by Patriarch Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan elected in July 2015.Soli, Cilicia
Soli (Greek: Σόλοι, Sóloi), often rendered Soli/Pompeiopolis (Greek: Πομπηιούπολις), was an ancient city and port in Cilicia, 11 km west of Mersin in present-day Turkey.Tarsus, Mersin
Tarsus (; Hittite: Tarsa; Greek: Ταρσός Tarsós; Armenian: Տարսոն Tarson; Hebrew: תרשיש Ṭarśīś; Arabic: طَرَسُوس Ṭarsūs) is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km (12 miles) inland from the Mediterranean. It is part of the Adana-Mersin metropolitan area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Turkey with a population of 3 million people. Tarsus forms an administrative district in the eastern part of the Mersin Province and lies in the core of Çukurova region.
With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilizations. During the Roman Empire, Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia. It was the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle.
Historical regions of Anatolia
† Italy was never constituted as a province, instead retaining a special juridical status until Diocletian's reforms.
Late Roman provinces (4th–7th centuries AD)
Journeys of Paul the Apostle
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