Cilicia

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Author: Laxman Burdak, IFS (R).
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Cilicia 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.

Variants of name

Jat clan

Kilak - Kilak Jat clan may probably gets name after a place name Kilikia in Asia Minor, modern Turkey. Cilicia 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. In 67 BC, Pompey, after crushing the Cilician pirates, subjected Tarsus to Rome, and it became capital of the Roman province of Cilicia.[1]

Location

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. 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.[2][3] 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[4] founder of the dynasty that ruled Cilicia Pedias was Mopsus,[5][6] identifiable in Phoenician sources as Mpš,[7][8] the founder of Mopsuestia[9][10] who gave his name to an oracle nearby.[11] Homer mentions the people of Mopsus, identified as Cilices (Κίλικες), as from the Troad in the northernwesternmost part of Anatolia.[12]

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")[13][14][15] is a rugged mountain district[16] formed by the spurs of Taurus, which often terminate in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors,[17] a feature which, in classical times, made the coast a string of havens for pirates[18] and, in the Middle Ages, outposts for Genoese and Venetian traders. The district is watered by the Calycadnus[19] 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,[20] for its abundance (euthemia),[21] filled with sesame and millet and olives and pasturage for the horses imported by Solomon.[22] 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.

History

Early history: Cilicia was settled from the Neolithic period onwards.[23][24] 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.[25]: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,[26] 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).[27]

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.[28]

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.[29]

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.[30]

In the 8th century BC, the region was unified under the rule of the dynasty of Mukšuš, whom the Greeks rendered Mopsos[31] and credited as the founder of Mopsuestia,[32] 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.

Persian Empire-Achaemenid satrapy: Under the Persian empire Cilicia 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.[33] 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 the Great: 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.[34]

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.

Roman and Byzantine Cilicia: 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;[35] but these were finally united to the province by Vespasian, AD 72.[36] Containing 47 known cities, it had been deemed important enough to be governed by a proconsul.[37]

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.[38] 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.[39]

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.

Armenian Kingdom: During the time of the Crusades, 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.[40] 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.[37][38] 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.

Anatolian beyliks: 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.

Greek History

Arrian[41] writes ....The next day he (Alexander the Great) sent out to Ancyrain Galatia, where he was met by an embassy from the Paphlagonians, offering to surrender their nation to him and to enter into an alliance with him; but they requested him not to invade their land with his forces. He therefore commanded them to submit to the authority of Galas, the viceroy of Phrygia. Marching thence into Cappadocia, he subjugated all that part of it which lies on this side of the river Halys and much of that which lies beyond it. Having appointed Sabictas viceroy of Cappadocia, he advanced to the Gates of Cilicia, and when he arrived at the Camp of Cyrus, who (went) with Xenophon, and saw that the Gates were occupied by strong guards.


Arrian[42] writes ....After this he (Alexander the Great) sent Parmenio to the other Gates which separate the land of the Cilicians from that of the Assyrians, in order to capture them before the enemy could do so, and to guard the pass. He gave him the allied infantry, the Grecian mercenaries, the Thracians who were under the command of Sitalces, and the Theassalian cavalry. He afterwards marched from Tarsus, and on the first day arrived at the city of Anchialus, A city of Cilicia on the coast, a Little west of the mouth of the Cydnus. According to report, this city was founded by Sardanapalus the Assyrian; (last of the Assyrian kings) and both from the circumference and from the foundations of the walls it is evident that a large city had been founded and that it had reached a great pitch of power. Also near the wall of Anchialus was the monument of Sardanapalus, upon the top of which stood the statue of that king with the hands joined to each other just as they are joined for clapping. An inscription had been placed upon it in Assyrian characters, which the Assyrians asserted to be in metre. The meaning which the words expressed was this:—"Sardanapalus, son of Anacyndaraxas, built Anchialus and Tarsus in one day; but do thou, O stranger, eat, drink, and play, since all other human things are not worth this!" referring, as in a riddle, to the empty sound which the hands make in clapping. It was also said that the word translated play had been expressed by a more lewd one in the Assyrian language.

Mythological namesake

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.

References

  1. Bosworth, C. E. (1992). "The City of Tarsus and the Arab-Byzantine Frontiers in Early and Middle ʿAbbāsid Times". Oriens. 33: 269. ISSN 0078-6527. JSTOR 1580607.
  2. Ramsay, William Mitchell (1908) The Cities of St. Paul Their Influence on His Life and Thought: The cities of Eastern Asia Minor A.C. Armstrong, New York, page 112
  3. Baly, Denis and Tushingham, A. D. (1971) Atlas of the Biblical world World Publishing Company, New York, page 148, OCLC 189385
  4. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 680, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  5. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 680, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  6. Fox, Robin Lane (2009) Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer Alfred A. Knopf, , New York, pages 211-224, ISBN 978-0-679-44431-2
  7. Fox, Robin Lane (2009) Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer Alfred A. Knopf, , New York, page 216, ISBN 978-0-679-44431-2
  8. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 364, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  9. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 364, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  10. Smith, William (1891) A Classical Dictionary of Biography, Mythology, and Geography based on the Larger Dictionaries (21st edition) J. Murry, London, page 456, OCLC 7105620
  11. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 364, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  12. Sayce, A. H. (October 1922) "The Decipherment of the Hittite Hieroglyphic Texts" The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 4: pp. 537–572, page 554
  13. Sayce, A. H. (October 1922) "The Decipherment of the Hittite Hieroglyphic Texts" The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 4: pp. 537–572, page 554
  14. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 422, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  15. Toynbee, Arnold Joseph and Myers, Edward DeLos (1961) A Study of History, Volume 7 Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, page 668, OCLC 6561573
  16. In general see: Bean, George Ewart and Mitford, Terence Bruce (1970) Journeys in Rough Cilicia, 1964–1968 (Volume 102 of Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse.Denkschriften) Böhlau in Komm., Vienna, ISBN 3-205-04279-4
  17. Rife, Joseph L. (2002) "Officials of the Roman Provinces in Xenophon's "Ephesiaca"" Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 138: pp. 93–108 , page 96
  18. Rife, Joseph L. (2002) "Officials of the Roman Provinces in Xenophon's "Ephesiaca"" Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 138: pp. 93–108 , page 96
  19. Wainwright, G. A. (April 1956) "Caphtor - Cappadocia" Vetus Testamentum 6(2): pp. 199–210, pages 205–206
  20. Xenophon, Anabasis 1.2.22, noted the sesame and millet.
  21. Remarked by Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008:73 and following pages
  22. 1 Kings 10:28, noted by Fox 2008:75 note 15.
  23. Akpinar, E. 2004. Hellenistic and Roman Settlement Patterns in the Plain of Issus and the Westerly Slopes of the Amanus Range. Ankara: Bilkent University.
  24. Mellink, M.J. 1991. Anatolian Contacts with Chalcolithic Cyprus.
  25. Mellink, M.J. 1991. Anatolian Contacts with Chalcolithic Cyprus.
  26. Iliad 6.201.
  27. Fox 2008:75 notes these city names.
  28. Hallo, William W. (1971). The Ancient Near East: A History. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 111–112.
  29. Hallo, p. 112.
  30. Hallo, pp. 119–120.
  31. Fox, Robin Lane (2009) Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer Alfred A. Knopf, , New York, pages 211-224, ISBN 978-0-679-44431-2
  32. Edwards, I. E. S. (editor) (2006) The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 2, Part 2, History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C. (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, page 364, ISBN 0-521-08691-4
  33. Grant, Michael (1997). A Guide to the Ancient World. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc. p. 169. ISBN 0-7607-4134-4.
  34. Fox, Robin Lane (1974). Alexander the Great. The Dial Press. pp. 154–155.
  35. WRIGHT, N.L. 2012: “The house of Tarkondimotos: a late Hellenistic dynasty between Rome and the East.” Anatolian Studies 62: 69-88.
  36. A Dictionary of the Roman Empire. By Matthew Bunson. ISBN 0-19-510233-9. See page 90.
  37. Edwards, Robert W., “Isauria” (1999). Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, eds., G.W. Bowersock, Peter Brown, & Oleg Grabar. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 377. ISBN 0-674-51173-5.
  38. Edwards, Robert W., “Isauria” (1999). Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, eds., G.W. Bowersock, Peter Brown, & Oleg Grabar. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 377. ISBN 0-674-51173-5.
  39. Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, ii. 869–908
  40. Edwards, Robert W. (1987). The Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia: Dumbarton Oaks Studies XXIII. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University. pp. 3–288. ISBN 0-88402-163-7.
  41. The Anabasis of Alexander/2a, Ch. 4
  42. The Anabasis of Alexander/2a, Ch.5