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(sĭlĭsh`ə), ancient region of SE Asia Minor, in present S Turkey, between the Mediterranean and the Taurus range. It included a high and barren plateau, Cilicia Trachia or Cilicia Tracheia, and a fertile plain, Cilicia Pedias. The area was under the domination of the Assyrian Empire before it became part of the Persian Empire. Greeks early settled on the coast, and Cilicia was hellenized to a great extent. In the Hellenistic period the region was disputed by the Seleucid kings of Syria and the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. Tarsus and Seleucia (not to be confused with the port of Antioch) were the principal cities. They flourished after the region became part of the Roman Empire (a portion in 102 B.C., but most of it only after Pompey's campaign against the pirates there in 67 B.C.). Later Cilicia was included in the Byzantine Empire and in the 8th cent. was invaded by the Arabs. In 1080, Prince Reuben set up an Armenian state there, which became a kingdom in 1098 and is generally called Little Armenia. The Armenians cooperated with the rulers of the neighboring Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. They maintained their independence against the Turks until 1375, when the Mamluks conquered them. (For the later history of the region, see ArmeniaArmenia
, Armenian Hayastan, officially Republic of Armenia, republic (2015 est. pop. 2,917,000), 11,500 sq mi (29,785 sq km), in the S Caucasus. Armenia is bounded by Turkey on the west, Azerbaijan on the east (the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan is on its
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.) Cilicia is mentioned in the Bible (Acts 6.9; 21.39; 22.3; Gal. 1.21).


See T. S. Boase, ed., Cilician Kingdom of Armenia (1979).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Little Armenia), a mountainous region on the upper reaches of the Euphrates, Lycus, andHalys rivers. The formation of the Armenian people and the ancient Armenian language is linked with this territory, which was called the land of the Hayasa in Hittite sources.

It was in Cilicia that the first alliance of tribes headed by the Hays—a designation which is still used as the native name of the Armenian people—was formed. Cilicia became part of the Achaemenid state. Under Alexander the Great, Cilicia came under Macedonian rule, and from A . D. 322 it was an independent kingdom with its capital at Ani-Kamakh. At the end of the second century B. C., Cilicia became part of the realm of Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus, who erected 75 fortified castles in that region. After his death, Cilicia passed from one Roman ruler to another. Its administrative boundaries shifted constantly. Under the emperor Vespasian it became part of the Roman province of Cappadocia; under Diocletian at the end of the third century A. D. it was made into a separate province, and under Theodosius it was divided into two provinces.


Ocherki istorii SSSR: Pervobytno-obshchinnyi stroi i drevneishie gosudarstva na territorii SSSR. Moscow, 1956.




an ancient district in Asia Minor, in the southern part of modern central Turkey. The region was divided into two parts: Cilicia Trachea (the Taurus Mountains) and Cilicia Pedias (the territory adjoining the Mediterranean Sea). The name “Cilicia” is first encountered in Assyrian inscriptions (Hilakku) in the designation “Cilicia the Rugged.” In the second millennium B.C., Cilicia became part of the Hittite empire. From the 12th to sixth centuries B.C., one or more independent kingdoms existed in Cilicia. In the sixth century B.C., the district became part of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenidae. In 333 B.C., Alexander the Macedonian conquered Cilicia. From 297 to 190, the region was under the dominion of the Seleucids. In 102, Cilicia was conquered by Rome, and it was finally pacified in 67 B.C. Around A.D. 200, Cilicia was divided into two provinces: Cilicia I and Cilicia II. In the Middle Ages, Byzantium, the Arabs, and the Seljuks struggled over the district. From 1080 to 1375, the Cilician Armenian state ruled by the Rubenid dynasty existed in the district, until it was seized by the Mamelukes. In 1515 the Turks conquered Cilicia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
International Conference of Rough Cilicia: New Historical and Archaeological Approaches (2007: Lincoln, Nebraska) Ed.
In a message delivered to Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Roknabadi, the head of the Holy Sea of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church described the high turnout of the Iranian nation in the election as a unique event in the world.
Ciceron en Cilicia: estrategias de autofiguracion epistolar en Att.
In this context, Nerses called the Armenian bishop from Cilicia and the vardabets to an urgent consultation.
By Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia. Antelias, Lebanon: Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, 2007.
He stayed at the Catholicosate, or religious compound, of the Great House of Cilicia in a suburb of Beirut, traveled in the Middle East, and met many Armenian Orthodox.
Although the main priority for Roman armies at the end of the second century BC was combating the incursions of Germanic tribes into northern Italy, the pressure from allied communities, combined with the Roman aristocracy's hunger for military glory, produced an expedition, led by Marcus Antonius the Orator, to the area of southern Turkey known as Cilicia. The Cilicians had acquired a reputation for piracy since they were recruited as allies in the 140s BC by Diodotus Tryphon, a pretender to the Syrian throne.
Branches of the Armenian nobility, the Hetumids and the Rubenids, established an Armenian kingdom in Cilicia, in the southern part of Asia Minor bordering on the Mediterranean, a kingdom which had close relations with the Crusaders who established minor principalities to the south and east.
But one might ask why, if Paul's evangelization prior to the conference ranged as far as Macedonia and Achaia, he speaks so restrictively in Gal 1:21 of activity in "Syria and Cilicia" only?
869-70 Smith) as [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]], referring to a promontory in Cilicia.(3) All modern commentators on this passage seem to have accepted the scholiast,(4) and in the 1940 edition of LSJ `promontory, spit of sand' are given as translations of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in this passage.(5)