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Cappadocia on Map Anatolia

Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray, and Niğde Provinces in Turkey.

Variants of name


According to Herodotus[1],in the time of the Ionian Revolt (499 BC), the Cappadocians were reported as occupying a region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine (Black Sea). Cappadocia, in this sense, was bounded in the south by the chain of the Taurus Mountains that separate it from Cilicia, to the east by the upper Euphrates, to the north by Pontus, and to the west by Lycaonia and eastern Galatia.[2]


The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC, when it appears in the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the countries (Old Persian dahyu-) of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian name is Haspaduya, which according to some researchers is derived from Iranian Huw-aspa-dahyu- "the land/country of beautiful horses".[3]

Others proposed that Kat-patuka came from the Luwian language, meaning "Low Country".[4] Subsequent research suggests that the adverb katta meaning 'down, below' is exclusively Hittite, while its Luwian equivalent is zanta.[5] Therefore the recent modification of this proposal operates with the Hittite katta peda-, literally "place below" as a starting point for the development of the toponym Cappadocia.[6]

Herodotus tells us that the name of the Cappadocians was applied to them by the Persians, while they were termed by the Greeks "Syrians" or "White Syrians" Leucosyri. One of the Cappadocian tribes he mentions is the Moschoi, associated by Flavius Josephus with the biblical figure Meshech, son of Japheth: "and the Mosocheni were founded by Mosoch; now they are Cappadocians". [7].

Under the later kings of the Persian Empire, the Cappadocians were divided into two satrapies, or governments, with one comprising the central and inland portion, to which the name of Cappadocia continued to be applied by Greek geographers, while the other was called Pontus. This division had already come about before the time of Xenophon. As after the fall of the Persian government the two provinces continued to be separate, the distinction was perpetuated, and the name Cappadocia came to be restricted to the inland province (sometimes called Great Cappadocia), which alone will be the focus of this article.

The kingdom of Cappadocia still existed in the time of Strabo (ca 64 BC - ca 24 AD) as a nominally independent state. Cilicia was the name given to the district in which Caesarea, the capital of the whole country, was situated. The only two cities of Cappadocia considered by Strabo to deserve that appellation were Caesarea (originally known as Mazaca) and Tyana, not far from the foot of the Taurus.

Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, and was the homeland of the Hittite power centred at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, with the decline of the Syro-Cappadocians (Mushki) after their defeat by the Lydian king Croesus in the 6th century, Cappadocia was ruled by a sort of feudal aristocracy, dwelling in strong castles and keeping the peasants in a servile condition, which later made them apt to foreign slavery. It was included in the third Persian satrapy in the division established by Darius but continued to be governed by rulers of its own, none apparently supreme over the whole country and all more or less tributaries of the Great King.

After ending the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great tried to rule the area through one of his military commanders. But Ariarathes, a Persian aristocrat, somehow became king of the Cappadocians. As Ariarathes I (332–322 BC), he was a successful ruler, and he extended the borders of the Cappadocian Kingdom as far as to the Black Sea. The kingdom of Cappadocia lived in peace until the death of Alexander. The previous empire was then divided into many parts, and Cappadocia fell to Eumenes. His claims were made good in 322 BC by the regent Perdiccas, who crucified Ariarathes; but in the dissensions which brought about Eumenes's death, Ariarathes II, the adopted son of Ariarathes I, recovered his inheritance and left it to a line of successors, who mostly bore the name of the founder of the dynasty.

Persian colonists in the Cappadocian kingdom, cut off from their co-religionists in Iran proper, continued to practice Zoroastrianism. Strabo, observing them in the first century B.C., records (XV.3.15) that these "fire kindlers" possessed many "holy places of the Persian Gods", as well as fire temples.[8] Strabo furthermore relates, were "noteworthy enclosures; and in their midst there is an altar, on which there is a large quantity of ashes and where the magi keep the fire ever burning."[8]

Under Ariarathes IV, Cappadocia came into relations with Rome, first as a foe espousing the cause of Antiochus the Great, then as an ally against Perseus of Macedon. The kings henceforward threw in their lot with the Republic as against the Seleucids, to whom they had been from time to time tributary. Ariarathes V marched with the Roman proconsul Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus against Aristonicus, a claimant to the throne of Pergamon, and their forces were annihilated (130 BC). The imbroglio which followed his death ultimately led to interference by the rising power of Pontus and the intrigues and wars which ended in the failure of the dynasty.[9]


Cappadocia lies in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevsehir Province of Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks. Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams and ignimbrite deposits that erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago underlie the Cappadocia region. The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and chimney-like forms.

Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, and was the homeland of the Hittite power centred at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, Cappadocia was ruled by a sort of feudal aristocracy, dwelling in strong castles and keeping the peasants in a servile condition. It was included in the third Persian satrapy, but continued to be governed by rulers of its own. After bringing the Persian Empire to an end, Alexander the Great tried to rule the area through one of his military commanders. Around 60 BC, Cappadocia became a Roman province.

Cappadocia contains several underground cities, largely used by early Christians as hiding places before Christianity became an accepted religion. People of the villages at the heart of the region also carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. The region became a monastic centre in 300–1200 AD. The Goreme Open Air Museum, which is along the path of Salomon Cappadocia Ultra Trail, is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. The complex contains more than 30 carved-from-rock churches and chapels, some having superb frescoes inside, dating from the 9th century to the 11th century.[10]



कैपेडोकिया अथवा कप्पाडोसिया, एक अजीब और अद्भुत प्राकृतिक चट्टान संरचनाओं और तुर्की में शीर्ष आकर्षणों में से एक के लिए प्रसिद्ध एक क्षेत्र है। इन अजीब संरचनाओं को देखने के लिए सबसे अच्छे स्थानों में से एक गोरिम का शहर है, जो बड़ी संख्या में टफ शंकुओं में स्थित है, जिसे परी चिमनी कहा जाता है। दो अलग ज्वालामुखीय परतों के हवा और पानी के क्षरण के परिणामस्वरूप परी चिमनी का गठन किया गया है। बेल्ट की एक पतली परत द्वारा कवर टफ (समेकित ज्वालामुखीय राख) की एक मोटी परत जो क्षरण के लिए अधिक प्रतिरोधी है। टफ में नक्काशी की आसानी के कारण, घरों, चर्चों और भंडारण सुविधाओं को बनाने के लिए सदियों से कई परी चिमनी खोले गए हैं।

Jat History

Bhim Singh Dahiya[11] writes that ....Assurbanipal died in 626 B.C. and his successors were disputing the throne. Such an opportunity was not to be lost and the second attack of Nineveh began. The Assyrian emperor burnt himself in his palace and perished with his family. In the words of prophet Nahum, "the gates of the river shall be open and the palace shall be dissolved."4 Thus in 606 B.C. Nineveh fell and so utter was its ruin that the Assyrian name was forgotten and the history of their empire soon melted into fable. Babylonia itself was roped with ties of marriage and a daughter of Huva Kshatra became the Queen of Nebu-Chad-Nezzar. Armenia and Cappadocia were included in the Manda empire. Lydia was emerging as a powerful nation in the west and it was inevitable that the two powers should collide. The war began but in 585 B.C. when there was a total eclipse of the sun, it was stopped after six years of fighting, under a peace treaty. A daughter of the Lydian emperor was married to the heir apparent of Manda, and the kingdom Urartu was annexed to Manda empire. Next year, I.e. 584 B.C. this great emperor died. Thus from a beaten nation he raised the Mandas into the most powerful an virile empire of that time. It is aptly stated that the east was Semitic

[p.131]: when he began to rule but it was Aryan when he stoped. This leader in one of the great moments in history was succeeded by Ishtuvegu, Astyages of the Greeks. He was an unworthy son of his worthy father and he deviated from the basic policy of the Mandas, i.e., to keep fit and ready for war. Luxuries of all sorts became the habit of the court. Elaborate ceremonies were prescribed for the court and the courtiers were directed to wear red and purple flying robes. Golden chains and collars were affixed and drinking vessels were made of gold. Under such influence the emperor became lethargic. He was also superstitious. He had no son and his daughter named Mandani (after the clan name) was married to a small vassal prince of Ellam, because It was forecast by the Magis that her issue will become the king of Asia and Europe. The emperor saw a vine outgrowing from Mandani which overshadowed the whole of Asia. He, therefore, feared to marry her to a noble man of his own country and thus he wanted to flout the fate. But as always happens, it was impossible to do so. The first issue of princess Mandani, was Cyrus who became the emperor, after putting in prison his maternal grandfather, Ishtuvegu through the help of General Harpagus whose son the crooked king had made into a dinner served to Harpagus himself. Three battles were fought, as per traditions preserved by the classical writers, before Ecbatana itself fell in 550 B.C. Cyrus was emperor of Persia and had inherited the empire of the Mandas which was further extended by him. But this does not mean that efforts were not made to recover the lost empire. We hear that Cyrus himself fought wars against the Jats in Balakh and the Caspian sea. At both the places he was unsuccessful. Balakh remained under the Kangs, and the small kingdom of the Massaagate ruled over by the Dahias, remained free and independent.

Ch.8 Description of Darius-III's Army at Arbela against Alexander

Map - Location of Arbīl

They come to the aid of Darius-III (the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia) and were part of alliance in the battle of Gaugamela (331 BC) formed by Darius-III in war against Alexander the Great at Arbela, now known as Arbil, which is the capital of Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq.

Arrian[12] writes....Alexander therefore took the royal squadron of cavalry, and one squadron of the Companions, together with the Paeonian scouts, and marched with all speed; having ordered the rest of his army to follow at leisure. The Persian cavalry, seeing Alexander, advancing quickly, began to flee with all their might. Though he pressed close upon them in pursuit, most of them escaped; but a few, whose horses were fatigued by the flight, were slain, others were taken prisoners, horses and all. From these they ascertained that Darius with a large force was not far off. For the Indians who were conterminous with the Bactrians, as also the Bactrians themselves and the Sogdianians had come to the aid of Darius, all being under the command of Bessus, the viceroy of the land of Bactria. They were accompanied by the Sacians, a Scythian tribe belonging to the Scythians who dwell in Asia.[1] These were not subject to Bessus, but were in alliance with Darius. They were commanded by Mavaces, and were horse-bowmen. Barsaentes, the viceroy of Arachotia, led the Arachotians[2] and the men who were called mountaineer Indians. Satibarzanes, the viceroy of Areia, led the Areians,[3] as did Phrataphernes the Parthians, Hyrcanians, and Tapurians,[4] all of whom were horsemen. Atropates commanded the Medes, with whom were arrayed the Cadusians, Albanians, and Sacesinians.[5] The men who dwelt near the Red Sea[6] were marshalled by Ocondobates, Ariobarzanes, and Otanes. The Uxians and Susianians[7] acknowledged Oxathres son of Aboulites as their leader, and the Babylonians were commanded by Boupares. The Carians who had been deported into central Asia, and the Sitacenians[8] had been placed in the same ranks as the Babylonians. The Armenians were commanded by Orontes and Mithraustes, and the Cappadocians by Ariaoes. The Syrians from the vale between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon (i.e. Coele-Syria) and the men of Syria which lies between the rivers[9] were led by Mazaeus. The whole army of Darius was said to contain 40,000 cavalry, 1,000,000 infantry, and 200 scythe-bearing chariots.[10] There were only a few elephants, about fifteen in number, belonging to the Indians who live this side of the Indus.[11] With these forces Darius had encamped at Gaugamela, near the river Bumodus, about 600 stades distant from the city of Arbela, in a district everywhere level;[12] for whatever ground thereabouts was unlevel and unfit for the evolutions of cavalry, had long before been levelled by the Persians, and made fit for the easy rolling of chariots and for the galloping of horses. For there were some who persuaded Darius that he had forsooth got the worst of it in the battle fought at Issus, from the narrowness of the battle-field; and this he was easily induced to believe.

1. Cf. Aelian (Varia Historia, xii. 38).

2. Arachosia comprised what is now the south-east part of Afghanistan and the north-east part of Beloochistan.

3. Aria comprised the west and north-west part of Afghanistan and the east part of Khorasan.

4. Parthia is the modern Khorasan. Hyrcania was the country south and south-east of the Caspian Sea. The Tapurians dwelt in the north of Media, on the borders of Parthia between the Caspian passes. Cf. Ammianus, xxiii. 6.

5. The Cadusians lived south-west of the Caspian, the Albanians on the west of the same sea, in the south-east part of Georgia, and the Sacesinians in the north-east of Armenia, on the river Kur.

6. "The Red Sea was the name originally given to the whole expanse of sea to the west of India as far as Africa. The name was subsequently given to the Arabian Gulf exclusively. In Hebrew it is called Yam-Suph (Sea of Sedge, or a seaweed resembling wool). The Egyptians called it the Sea of Weeds.

7. The Uxians occupied the north-west of Persis, and Susiana was the country to the north and west of Persis.

8. The Sitacenians lived in the south of Assyria. ἐτετάχατο. is the Ionic form for τεταγμἑνοι ἦσαν.

9. The Greeks called this country Mesopotamia because it lies between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. In the Bible it is called Paddan-Aram (the plain of Aram, which is the Hebrew name of Syria). In Gen. xlviii. 7 it is called merely Paddan, the plain. In Hos. xii. 12, it is called the field of Aram, or, as our Bible has it, the country of Syria. Elsewhere in the Bible it is called Aram-naharaim, Aram of the two rivers, which the Greeks translated Mesopotamia. It is called "the Island," by Arabian geographers.

10. Curtius (iv. 35 and 45) states that Darius had 200,000 infantry, 45,000 cavalry, and 200 scythed chariots; Diodorus (xvii. 53) says, 800,000 infantry, 200,000 cavalry, and 200 scythed chariots; Justin (xi. 12) gives 400,000 foot and 100,000 horse; and Plutarch (Alex., 31) speaks of a million of men. For the chariots cf. Xenophon (Anab., i 8, 10); Livy, xxxvii. 41.

11. This is the first instance on record of the employment of elephants in battle.

12. This river is now called Ghasir, a tributary of the Great Zab. The village Gaugamela was in the district of Assyria called Aturia, about 69 miles from the city of Arbela, now called Erbil.


External links


  1. Herodotus, The Histories, Book 5, Chapter 49
  2. Van Dam, R. Kingdom of Snow: Roman rule and Greek culture in Cappadocia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, p.13.
  3. See R. Schmitt, "Kappadoker", in Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie, vol. 5 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1980), p. 399,
  4. Coindoz M. Archeologia / Préhistoire et archéologie, n°241, 1988, pp.48-59
  5. Petra Goedegebuure, “The Luwian Adverbs zanta ‘down’ and *ānni ‘with, for, against’”, Acts of the VIIIth International Congress of Hittitology, A. Süel (ed.), Ankara 2008, pp. 299-319.
  6. Yakubovich, Ilya (2014). Kozuh, M., ed. "From Lower Land to Cappadocia". Extraction and Control: Studies in Honor of Matthew W. Stolper. Chicago: Oriental Institute: 347–352.
  7. AotJ I:6
  8. Mary Boyce. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Psychology Press, 2001 ISBN 978-0415239028 p 85
  9. The coinage of Cappadocian kings was quite extensive and produced by highest standards of the time. See Asia Minor Coins - regal Cappadocian coins
  11. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Mandas,p.130-131
  12. The Anabasis of Alexander/3a, Ch.8