Please help us pay for the servers and web services required to operate our non-profit organization's website. Ancient Asia Minor is a geographic region located in the south-western part of Asia comprising most of what is present-day Turkey.
The earliest reference to the region comes from tablets of the Akkadian Dynasty BCE where it is known as 'The Land of the Hatti ' and was inhabited by the Hittites. The Hittites themselves referred to the land as 'Assuwa' or, earlier, Aswiya which actually only deated the area around the delta of the river Cayster but came to be applied to the entire region.
Assuwa is considered the Bronze Age origin for the name 'Asia' as the Romans later deated the area. It was called, by the Greeks, ' Anatolia ' literally, 'place of the rising sun', for those lands to the east of Greece. The Byzantine Empire of the 9th century CE referred to the region as 'East Thema' which meant, simply, Eastern Administrative Division, and later sailors called it 'The Levant ' which meant 'the rising' or 'to rise' referring to how the land rose up out on the horizon of the sea.
In the ancient world, Asia Minor was the seat of the kingdoms and cities of:. The accomplishments and advancements of the people of Asia Minor are vast and comprise a catalogue of some of the most famous people, places, and events in ancient history.
In the city of Miletus, in Ionia, the first western philosopher Thalesand his followers Anaximander and Anaximenessought the First Cause of existence, the matter which gave birth to all things, and initiated scientific inquiry and method. Herodotusthe 'Father of History' was born at Halicarnassus. The great philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was born on the island of Samos and Heraclitus, another important figure of Greek philosophyat Ephesuswhere he lived and wrote.
Cilicia included the city of Tarsus where the Apostle Paul was born, a region known for its expertise in tent making, which was Paul's vocation. Lydia was the kingdom of the great King Croesus who defied the Persian Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great and claimed to be the happiest man in the world until his defeat and capture by the Persians.
Lydia was also the site where, in Greek mythologythe Titan called Asia lived and, earlier, where the great mother goddess Potnia Aswiya Mistress of Assuwa was worshipped who became Artemis and whose great temple was dedicated in the capital of Lydia, at Ephesus. The region of Asia Minor is regarded as the birthplace of coinage and the first to use coined money in trade ; which of the kingdoms were the first to do this, however, is much disputed.
Between and BCE the Sea Peoples invaded from the south, making incursions into Greece, harassing Egyptand finally driving the Hittites from the region of Assuwa. The Sea Peoples did not remain to colonize the area, however at least not to any important degree and eventually moved on to settle, in part, to the south in Canaan.
Greek colonists, mainly from Athens and dating Attica, settled the coastline of Asia Minor from the Mediterranean up to the Black Sea. It was these Ionian colonies which, supported and funded by Athens and Eretria, rose in revolt when the area came under Persian control, provoking the wrath of the Persian king Darius I and the first invasion of Greece in BCE which was repelled at the Battle of Marathon.
In Gordiumcapital of Phrygia, Ano is asya to have famously cut the Gordian Knot which the oracles claimed meant Alexander would be king of Asia. Following his deathpangalan land was governed by his general Antigonus I in the north and west and his other general Seleucus I Nicator to the south and east and was prominently involved in the Wars of the Diadochi the wars of Alexander's successors.
Under Roman rule, the land became stabilized; ro were built and the infrastructures of many of the cities improved. The coastal communities flourished and Ephesus, especially, enjoyed great prosperity until the rise of Christianity when 'earthly' advances in the region ang neglected in anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ. Turkish control increased in the region until CE when Asia Minor became part of the Ottoman Empire and, after its collapse, became Turkey.
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Mark published on 04 May Listen to this article. Translated text available in: Malay. Remove Advertisement. Editorial Review This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.
Bibliography Durant, W. Our Oriental Heritage. Durant, W. The Life of Greece.
Freeman, K. Companion to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers. Harvard University Press, Hamilton, E. The Greek Way. University Of Chicago Press, Jordan, P. Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Longman, Worthington, I. Alexander the Great. Translations We want people all over the world to learn about history. Help us and translate this definition into another language! So far, we have translated it to: Malay. About the Author Joshua J. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt.
He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. Related Content Filters: All. Teaching Materials 1. Become a Member Donate.
Written by Hovannisian, Richard G. Written by Price, S. An Englishwoman in Angora. Add External Link External Links citysanctuary.
The Seven Wonders. Thales of Miletus. The Asia Minor Website. Chicago Style Mark, Joshua J. Free Newsletter Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week:. History Enthusiast Teacher Student Librarian.
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