Sunday, June 6, 2021


Lycia lies on the south-west coast of Asia Minor, between Caria and Pam-phylia. Known as the land of lights, the history of Lycia traced back to 2000 BC. The early inhabitants called the area Trmmise or mountain peak in their language Luvi.

The "Lycians" is a name given to the people who inhabited the southwestern parts of Anatolia by the early first millennium and spoke an Indo-European language.

Herodotus states that the Lycians came from Crete under Serapedon, probably through Miletus.

They were named after Lycus, the son of Pandion II, king of Athens who was exiled by his brother Aegeus and settled among the Termilae.

The most significant feature of the Lycia region that distinguishes it from other ancient places in Anatolia is the appreciation of local cultures and the creation of Lycian rock tombs. It was reported that the Lycians built the most interesting and magnificent civilization in Anatolia. They owned architectural items carved on and made from the rock.

In 1284 BC – Lycians allied with Hittites in Kades war between Hittites and Egypt. Egyptians referred to Lycians as one the sea peoples.

Lycia was under the control of the Persian Empire in 546 B.C. when one of the generals of Cyrus II conquered Asia Minor and they ruled Lycia until 468 BC.

At the period of its smallest extent, at the time of the Persian conquest, the Lycian state covered an area comparable in size to Attica, ex-tending over most of the territory of the Xanthos valley, probably as far north as Araxa, more than forty kilometers away from Xanthos, and nearly fifty from the Mediterranean.

The Xanthos Valley in the west of the country seems always to have been at the heart of Lycian political and cultural life. Between 700–600 BC, Xanthos was the capital of Lycia.

Lycia later was conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 BC. In 309 BC Ptolemy took over Lycia and during this period Greek culture, art and language were adopted by the Lycians. In 197 B.C. Antiochus III conquered Lycia and the Lycians were granted freedom in 169 BC.

The Lycian language and script continued in use down to the end of the 4th century BC when it was supplanted by Greek which had been used alongside Lycian for the previous century.

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