Cappadocia


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Cappadocia

(kăpədō`shə), ancient region of Asia Minor, watered by the Halys River (the modern Kizil Irmak), in present E central Turkey. The name was applied at different times to territories of varying size. At its greatest extent Cappadocia stretched from the Halys valley E to the Euphrates River, from the Black Sea S to the heights of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus ranges. Mostly a high plateau, it was famous for its mineral resources, particularly its copper and iron. Cappadocia maintained its local Asian traditions in contrast to the Mediterranean seacoast of Asia Minor, which was dominated by the Aegean culture.

Several thousand tablets, written in cuneiform by Assyrian colonists in Cappadocia, have been found at Kültepe (Kanesh); they show that a highly developed trade existed between Assyria and Asia Minor before 1800 B.C. At that time Cappadocia was the heart of an old Hittite state. Later the Persians controlled Cappadocia. It did not yield fully to the conquest of Alexander the Great, and during the 3d cent. B.C. it gradually developed as an independent kingdom. PontusPontus,
ancient country, NE Asia Minor (now Turkey), on the Black Sea coast. On its inland side were Cappadocia and W Armenia. It was not significantly penetrated by Persian or Hellenic civilization. In the 4th cent. B.C.
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 now became completely separated from Cappadocia. The kings had their capital at Mazaca (later Caesarea MazacaCaesarea Mazaca
, ancient city of Asia Minor, also called Caesarea of Cappadocia. As Mazaca it was the residence of the Cappadocian kings. The city was renamed (c.10 B.C.) Caesarea by Archelaus, king of Cappadocia.
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); the only other important cities were Tyana and Melitene, though Iconium was at times in Cappadocia.

In the 2d and 1st cent. B.C. the Cappadocian dynasty maintained itself largely by siding with Rome. Invaded in 104 B.C. by Mithradates VI and c.90 B.C. by his son-in-law, Tigranes of Armenia, Cappadocia was restored by Pompey. Antony replaced the king, who had been disloyal to Rome in the Parthian invasion at the time of Julius Caesar, and in A.D. 17 Rome annexed the region as a province and Cappadocia became prosperous. It was a refuge for persecuted Christians in 2d cent. A.D., and several major saints came from there, including St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Kayseri.

Modern Cappadocia is famed for its unusual rock formations and caves. Deep valleys bordered by steep cliffs have formed out of rock and ash from prehistoric volcanic eruptions. Among the unusual formations are "fairy chimneys," cones of volcanic tufa and ash that resemble hats perched on columns. Ancient peoples dug underground cities that date back to the 4th cent. B.C. or earlier, including Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu, S of Neyşehir, and a more recently discovered one at Neyşehir itself. Christian monks carved caves and churches out of the cliffs; notable examples are found at Göreme, in the center of the region 45 mi (72 km) W of Kayseri.

Cappadocia

 

an ancient region in the central part of Asia Minor. The ancient inhabitants called themselves the Hatti (Hat-tians). In the middle of the third millennium b.c., Indo-European tribes began invading Cappadocia from the northwest, and by the 18th-17th centuries b.c., their merging with part of the Hatti was complete (the nationality that formed as a result was known as the Hittite). In the 20th-19th centuries b.c., there were Assyrian trade colonies in Cappadocia. In the 1880’s the so-called Cappadocian Tablets were found in Cappadocia in the archives of the ancient Assyrian colony of Kanesh, or Kanes (at Kiiltepe, Turkey). The center of the Hittite kingdom was located in Cappadocia in the second millennium B.C.

In the early sixth century b.c., Cappadocia was captured by Media, and during the late sixth century, it was part of the Persian Kingdom of the Achaemenids. During this time, Cappadocia was divided into two satrapies: Greater Cappadocia, which occupied the inner part (main city, Mazaca), and Pontic Cappadocia (or Pontus), along the coast of the Black Sea (main city, Sinope). The name Cappadocia was subsequently kept only for the former. In the fourth century b.c., Cappadocia was nominally part of the state of Alexander the Great. At the end of the fourth century b.c. it was subordinate to the Seleucids, but in the middle of the third century b.c. it became an independent kingdom. In the first century b.c. it became a dependency of Rome, and in a.d. 17 a Roman province. Cappadocia subsequently became part of the Byzantine Empire. In 1074 it was seized by the Seljuks. In the 15th century it became part of the Ottoman Empire.

REFERENCES

Ranovich, A. Vostochnye provintsii Rimskoi imperii v I-III vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Golubtsova, E. S. Ocherki sotsiaVno-politicheskoi istorii Maloi Azii v I-III vv. Moscow, 1962.
Goetze, A. Kleinasien, 2nd ed. Munich, 1957.

T. M. SHEPUNOVA

Cappadocia

an ancient region of E Asia Minor famous for its horses
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