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Turkey Asia Bizancium Bitinia Cilicia Lydia Ponto

Turkey Asia Bizancium Bitinia Cilicia Lydia Ponto

The territory of modern Turkey's Anatolian plateau in its center and around the Black Sea coast, the Aegean and the Mediterranean, was annexed to Rome in various stages between the year 133 BC C. and 63 BC. The island of Cyprus joined five years later. And the kingdom of Lycia, but took more than a century under Roman rule, not officially joined the Empire to 43 BC.

Populated by diverse peoples with different languages, customs and political importance, historically in this region are given a series of common stages. Headquarters of the Hittite Empire around 1200 BC., in 1000 BC. Greeks started colonizing the coastal areas ending five centuries after the Persian invasion.

The next two hundred years the whole region is involved in various wars and political conflicts. Ionians, Persians, Athenians, Spartans ... struggle for supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor. The cities of Sardis and Miletus are destroyed. Famous battles like Thermopylae or Salamis, have consequences in territories far away as Anatolia.

In 359 Philip II of Macedonia began its expansion and in 333 Alexander the Great comes to power. In ten years, conquering cities and kingdoms that correspond to what is now Turkey and continues to the east, reaching the Indus River.

At his death, his empire was divided among his generals and form various Hellenistic kingdoms, some as powerful as that will become the Seleucid empire or territory of Egypt under the Ptolemaic dynasty. The Hellenistic kingdoms will then the Persian Empire and, finally, will become Roman provinces, subsequently integrated into the Western Roman Empire.

Rome did not undertake a conquest never very active in Asia until the time of Pompey the Great and his fight against the pirates of Cilicia, Lycia and Pamphylia. In general, remained a distant control leaving considerable autonomy to local chiefs and kings. And he took to maintain clear and under his control trade routes connecting the Mediterranean and the Orient. But Asia was the only province of the Roman Empire border without a permanent garrison. Although there was great wars like those fought in Rome with the Seleucid Empire or the Great Mithridates VI of Pontus, statements were also received by inheritance (Pergamon, Bithynia) Rome as merely reorganize its administrative structure.

The Romanization of territories was more strongly Hellenized cultural exchange. One of the characteristics that distinguish the Roman influence in Asia is that the cult of the emperor as a god was implemented quickly and on a larger scale in other parts of the empire.

The first steps of the Roman conquest in Asia Minor are given as a result of the struggle between Rome and the Seleucid Empire for control of Greece.




In 190 C. waged the Battle of Magnesia near the town of that name in Lydia. Roman troops are led by two brothers Scipio, Lucius Cornelius will be then called "Asia" and Scipio "Africanus" as an ally and have the kingdom of Pergamum. Antiochus III the Great, in turn, is supported by the Galatians.
The victory of Rome and Pergamum is decisive and the subsequent Peace of Apamea ends with the expansionist efforts of the Seleucids. The territories of Asia Minor passed though nominally Roman control depend on the king of Pergamum. When Attalus III of Pergamum died without heirs in 133 BC C. bequeathed his kingdom to Rome it became a province in 129 BC. with its capital at Ephesus.

Among the areas of what will be the Roman province of Asia, the most important is that for five hundred years Lydia was the kingdom and even empire. It is located in the western part of the Anatolian peninsula, a strategic location that allows you to control trade between the Mediterranean and the Orient.

Lidia comes to disintegrate the Hittite Empire and comes to dominate Mysia, Caria, Ionia coast, Phrygia, and in its period of greatest expansion throughout western Asia Minor to the river Halis, the Medo border.

It maintains a strong cultural exchange with the Ionian Greek colonies. It has Indo-European language of the group but their alphabet comes from the Greek alphabet. Their religion is heavily influenced by Greek Olympians and their architecture or the way they dress. Instead, Lydia is much more advanced in music (he left his influence on Greek music) and, especially in trade. There, in 620 BC. the first coin was minted known (electro, an alloy of gold and silver) in principle to pay the armies. Chinese and Indian currencies do not appear until twenty years later. Lidia Also, during the reign of Croesus, the first coins come with royal seal. Splints used to have monetary value and are a history of the draft. And they come on the change in local stores fixed record banks. These advances have multiplied their market power and become a great power, until its conquest by the Persians.


It is a special case among the peoples of Asia Minor because it is inhabited by Celtic tribes (galas, as the Romans called them) that in 279 BC C. crossed the Alps and headed for Greece. They made an attack on the temple of Apollo at Delphi but were stopped by a severe earthquake and snow and retreated to the north and northeast, settling in the Anatolian plateau in a region that became known as Galatia, with capital en_Ancyra ( Current Ankara).
In 189 a. AD, after the battle of Magnesia in which alongside the army of the Seleucid Empire Galatian tribes were defeated by Rome, Manlio Vulso started a campaign to punish them for their support of Antiochus III. In the battle near the capital, Ankara, Galatians warriors are slaughtered and Rome takes control of the region. Although Galatia did not officially become a Roman province until 25 a.de C.


Located on the south coast, occupies a third of Anatolia and it depends Salamis in Cyprus. Geographically it is divided into two distinct parts. Cilicia Pedias or trowel is a coastal plain crossed by the Via or Camino Real that runs from Susa (capital of Persia) to Ephesus (in Syria). The road down from the Anatolian plateau by a narrow pass between rocks called Cilician Gates. Cilicia Trachea or mountain ranges to the coast and cliffs are a great haven for pirates.

Cilicia remains relatively autonomous under the Persian Empire, preserving its rulers but is officially attached to the fourth satrapy. And neither is opposed to Alexander. In the struggles of the Diadochi is finally allocated to the Seleucids but they dominate in practice only the eastern region.

• Trachea Cilicia is annexed by Rome in 120 a.de C. The activity of the pirates became an excuse for Pompey the Great, who defeated them in Alanya in 67 BC, the province and name reorganize capital Tarsus.
• Pedias Cilicia Rome built in 103 BC. is also organized by Pompey in 64 BC. territory included part of Phrygia.
The region is subjected to successive changes in administration that the join Syria (Phoenicia Cilicia) or, centuries later, the prefecture of the East in the Eastern Empire. In the seventh century AD C. is invaded by Muslim Arabs. And in the X goes back to Byzantium


On the south coast, west of Pamphylia and Cilicia and east of Caria, the Lycian territory occupies a hilly peninsula. In the center is a valley through which flows the river Xanthus that names its main city.

In the first millennium BC C. Lycian people displayed in the Iliad as allies of Troy, developed a unique culture that includes religion, language and writing. The wolfberry is a European language which died out around the first century BC C. being replaced by the Greek legacy of Rhodes. In fact, in the seventh and sixth centuries BC. begins a strong Hellenization of the area by establishing Greek colonies along its coast from Rhodes. In fact, the Lycian alphabet evolved from the Greek alphabet.

Cyrus II of Persia conquered in 545 BC, Lidia, the most important region of Asia Minor, leaving his general Harpagus subjecting the rest. This annexed Ionia and Caria and exterminate the aristocracy in Lycian Xanthus. Lycia, and the neighboring peoples, is part of the satrap of Lydia with its capital at Sardis. The Persians, as the Romans do luegon, leave some autonomy to the "dynasties" local.

From the year 500 BC C until the arrival to power of Alexander the Great, Licia involved in the wars between Greeks and Persians, and for thirty years is annexed to the Delian League. At 429 BC. in coalition with other local dynasties, defeated the Athenian fleet sent to the Lycian coast to combat pirates and binds back to Persia. After clashes between the dynasties of Xanthos and other cities give rise to local dictatorships always under the control away from the Persians.

After the death of Alexander the Great, Licia passes a Diadochi domain to another and after the Peace of Apamea between Antiochus III the Great and Rome (188 BC) is under the control of Rhodes. Twenty years later, however, form the Lycian League, and under Roman protection, which includes 23 cities.

In the first century C., Licia (as Caria, Cilicia and the Aegean Islands) becomes an area of ​​refuge for pirates, which results in the direct intervention of Rome. Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus defeats the pirates of Lycia and Pamphylia in 77 BC. and paves the way for the campaigns of Pompey the Great in Cilicia.

Lycia was the last state to be officially incorporated into Hellenistic Rome. Claudio at 43, became a province, probably with Pamphlylia.



It is the Black Sea coastal region in the northeast of modern Turkey, together with Bithynia. Its name comes from the Greek Pontos (sea) in reference to the coast of Pontus (Black Sea).

The region along the sea is high and very rocky, with rivers flowing through gorges. The communication between the coast and the interior is very difficult due to the mountains up to 1,800 m. in the west and between 3,000 and 4,000 m. in the east. Therefore, the Black Sea coast has traditionally remained isolated from the interior of Anatolia.

In the eighth century BC C. begin to reach the Black Sea coast Greek settlers, mainly ionic. Later the Persians become a satrap Pontus.

After the death of Alexander the Great, Mithridates I, the son of a Persian satrap vassal of Antigonus, one of the diódocos, founded the Kingdom of Pontus (originally called "Kingdom of Cappadocia towards the Pontus"). For 250 years the Kingdom of Pontus is ruled by this dynasty, most of whose kings have the same name. Mithridates VI the Great, the last king of Pontus, whose kingdom has already spread from Bithynia to Colchis, in Cappadocia, and Armenia Paflagonia Lower faces Rome for over twenty years. From the year 88 BC. to 65 BC. calls succeed Mithridatic Wars.

In the First (1988-1984 BC), Sulla against Mithridates and after the battles of Chaeronea and Orchomenus and the victory of Rome, signed the Treaty of Dardanus Mithridatic War II (1983-1981 BC) provides for the quick defeat Roman troops led by Lucius Licinius Murena and Sulla ordered its withdrawal. Mithridatic War III is much longer (1975-1963 BC). The Roman army is commanded at first by Lucius Licinius Lucullus (75-66 BC). And only then by Pompey the Great, which completely defeats Mithridates in 63 BC. This is suicidal and Pontus Bithynia becomes next to a Roman province.


It occupies the western coast of the Black Sea after the Ponto. After the death of Alexander the Great, one of his successors, Bas, get in the first war of the Diadochi the independence of this region. CIPET your child will be the first king of Bithynia. The capital was founded in 264 BC. by Nicomedes I get why the name of Nicomedia. And they are also important cities Nicaea and Bursa.

Bithynia tried some territorial expansion with the kings and Nicomedes II Nicomedes III but could never get it first by the intervention of the king of Pontus, Mithridates VI the Great and then by the control of Rome continued to advance eastward.
Nicomedes IV, bequeathed his kingdom to Rome and his death at 74 BC. , Bithynia was annexed. The province is organized by Pompey the Great, which connects to Pontus.

In 111 AD. Pliny the Younger was governor of Bithynia.

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