Cilicia

Cilicia
Cilician, adj., n.
/si lish"euh/, n.
an ancient country in SE Asia Minor: later a Roman province.

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Ancient district, southern Anatolia.

The district was located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea south of the Taurus Mountains. In ancient times it comprised the only land route from Anatolia to Syria, making it a prized territory. Controlled by the Hittites (14th–13th century BC), the Assyrians (8th century), and the Persian Achaemenids (6th–4th century), it later came under Macedonian and Seleucid rule. In the 1st century BC it became a Roman province (see Roman Republic and Empire). The apostle Paul visited the district, which has early Christian monuments. Muslim Arabs occupied it (7th–10th century AD), at the end of which time it was reconquered by Byzantine Empire. It was absorbed by the Ottoman Empire in 1515 and after 1921 became part of the Republic of Turkey.

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▪ ancient district, Anatolia
      ancient district of southern Anatolia, bounded on the north and west by the Taurus Mountain Range, on the east by the Anti-Taurus, and on the south by the Mediterranean Sea. It is geographically divided into two contrasting regions, the western portion being wild and mountainous and the eastern consisting of rich plainland. In ancient times the only route from Anatolia to Syria passed through Cilicia.

      During the 14th and 13th centuries BC, eastern Cilicia was at first independent but subsequently became a vassal of the Hittites. About 1000 BC Mycenaean settlers arrived along the coast, and in the 8th century Cilicia was subject to the Assyrians. Under the Persians (from the 6th to the 4th century) the district enjoyed semiautonomous status; in the 4th century it came successively under Macedonian and Seleucid rule. The Seleucids founded, among other cities, Seleucia (Seleucia Tracheotis) (Silifke) on the Calycadnus River, later renowned for its culture. In the 1st century BC Cilicia became a Roman province.

      St. Paul visited Cilicia, and the district is rich in early Christian monuments. Muslim Arabs occupied eastern Cilicia from the 7th century AD until 964, when Nicephorus II Phocas reconquered it for Byzantium. In 1080 emigrating Armenians established in the Taurus a principality that was later enlarged and became a kingdom, called Cilician (Little Armenia), or Lesser, Armenia. It fell in 1375 to the Egyptian Mamlūks and in 1515 to the Ottoman Turks. After World War I, part of Cilicia was awarded to French Syria by the Treaty of Sèvres (Sèvres, Treaty of), but, in the face of stubborn Turkish resistance, France in 1921 abandoned its claims.

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Universalium. 2010.

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