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In
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
, Phrygia (; grc, Φρυγία, ''Phrygía'' ; tr, Frigya) (also known as the Kingdom of Muska) was a kingdom in the west central part of
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, in what is now Asian
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, centred on the
Sangarios River The Sakarya ( tr, Sakarya Irmağı; gr, Σαγγάριος, translit=Sangarios; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
. After its conquest, it became a region of the great empires of the time. Stories of the heroic age of
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
tell of several legendary
Phrygian
Phrygian
kings: *
GordiasGordias ( grc, Γορδίας, ''Gordías''; also Γόρδιος, ''Górdios'', "Gordius") was the name of at least two members of the royal house of Phrygia. The best-known Gordias was reputedly the founder of the Phrygian capital city Gordium, ...
, whose Gordian Knot would later be cut by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
*
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
, who turned whatever he touched to gold * Mygdon, who warred with the
Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the Labours of Hercules, the ''Argonautica ...

Amazons
According to
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
's ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
'', the Phrygians participated in the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
as close allies of the
Trojans Trojan or Trojans may refer to: * Of or from the ancient city of Troy * Trojan language, the language of the historical Trojans Arts and entertainment Music * ''Les Troyens'' ('The Trojans'), an opera by Berlioz, premiered part 1863, part 1890 ...

Trojans
, fighting against the Achaeans. Phrygian power reached its peak in the late 8th century BC under another, historical, king:
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
, who dominated most of western and central Anatolia and rivaled
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
and
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the for the kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its , the Kingdom of Van, centered around in the historic . The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but went into grad ...

Urartu
for power in eastern Anatolia. This later Midas was, however, also the last independent king of Phrygia before
Cimmerians The Cimmerians (also Kimmerians; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
sacked the Phrygian capital,
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
, around 695 BC. Phrygia then became subject to
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...

Lydia
, and then successively to
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...

Persia
,
Alexander Alexander is a male given name. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia who created one of the largest empires in ancient history. Etymology T ...

Alexander
and his
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
successors,
Pergamon Pergamon or Pergamum ( or ; grc-gre, Πέργαμον), also referred to by its modern Greek form Pergamos (), was a rich and powerful ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 ...

Pergamon
, the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
and the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
. Over this time Phrygians became Christian and Greek-speaking, assimilating into the Byzantine state; after the
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...
conquest of Byzantine Anatolia in the late Middle Ages, the name "Phrygia" passed out of usage as a territorial designation.


Geography

Phrygia describes an area on the western end of the high Anatolian plateau, an arid region quite unlike the forested lands to the north and west of it. Phrygia begins in the northwest where an area of dry steppe is diluted by the Sakarya and Porsuk river system and is home to the settlements of
Dorylaeum Dorylaeum or Dorylaion ( el, Δορύλαιον), called ''Şarhöyük'' in Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (''İstanbul Türkçesi'') or Turkey Turkish (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spok ...
near modern
Eskişehir Eskişehir ( , ; from "old" and "city") is a city in northwestern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Gre ...

Eskişehir
, and the Phrygian capital
Gordion Gordion ( el, Γόρδιον, ''Górdion''; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient Phrygia. It was located at the site of modern Yassıhüyük, about southwest of Ankara (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity ...
. The climate is harsh with hot summers and cold winters. Therefore, olives will not easily grow here so the land is mostly used for livestock grazing and barley production. South of Dorylaeum, there an important Phrygian settlement, Midas City ( Yazılıkaya, Eskişehir), is situated in an area of hills and columns of volcanic
tuff Tuff is a type of Rock (geology), rock made of volcanic ash ejected from a Volcano, vent during a volcanic eruption. Following ejection and deposition, the ash is lithified into a solid rock. Rock that contains greater than 75% ash is consider ...

tuff
. To the south again, central Phrygia includes the cities of
Afyonkarahisar Afyonkarahisar (, tr, afyon "poppy, opium", ''kara'' "black", ''hisar'' "fortress") is a city in western Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. I ...
(ancient Akroinon) with its marble quarries at nearby Docimium (İscehisar), and the town of Synnada. At the western end of Phrygia stood the towns of
Aizanoi Aizanoi ( grc, Αἰζανοί), Latinized as Aezani, was an Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek city in western Anatolia. Located in what is now Çavdarhisar, near Kütahya, its ruins are situated astride the River Penkalas, some above sea level. The c ...
(modern Çavdarhisar) and Acmonia. From here to the southwest lies the hilly area of Phrygia that contrasts to the bare plains of the region's heartland. Southwestern Phrygia is watered by the Maeander (
Büyük Menderes River The Büyük Menderes River (historically the Maeander or Meander, from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC ...
) and its tributary the Lycus, and contains the towns of
Laodicea on the Lycus Laodicea on the Lycus ( el, Λαοδίκεια πρὸς τοῦ Λύκου ''Laodikia pros tou Lykou''; la, Laodicea ad Lycum, also transliterated as ''Laodiceia'' or ''Laodikeia'') (modern tr, Laodikeia) was an ancient city built on the river ...
and
Hierapolis Hierapolis ( grc, Ἱεράπολις, lit. "Holy City") was an ancient Greek city located on hot springs in Greco-Roman culture, classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently compr ...

Hierapolis
.Peter Thonemann (ed), 2013, ''Roman Phrygia: culture and society'', Cambridge University Press


Origins


Legendary ancient migrations

According to ancient tradition among Greek historians, the Phrygians anciently migrated to
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
from the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
says that the Phrygians were called
Bryges Bryges or Briges ( el, Βρύγοι or Βρίγες) is the historical name given to a people of the ancient Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent ...
when they lived in Europe.Herodotus VII.73. He and other Greek writers also recorded legends about King
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
that associated him with or put his origin in
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
; Herodotus, for example, says a wild rose garden in Macedonia was named after Midas. Some classical writers also connected the Phrygians with the Mygdones, the name of two groups of people, one of which lived in northern Macedonia and another in
Mysia Mysia (UK , US or ; el, Μυσία, lat, Mysia, tr, Misya) was a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhab ...

Mysia
. Likewise, the
Phrygians The Phrygians (Greek language, Greek: Φρύγες, ''Phruges'' or ''Phryges'') were an ancient Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited central-western Anatolia in antiquity. They were related to the Greeks. Ancient ...

Phrygians
have been identified with the
BebrycesThe Bebryces ( el, Βέβρυκες) were a tribe of people who lived in Bithynia. According to Strabo they were one of the many Thracian tribes that had crossed from Europe into Asia, although modern scholars have rather argued for a Celtic origin. ...
, a people said to have warred with
Mysia Mysia (UK , US or ; el, Μυσία, lat, Mysia, tr, Misya) was a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhab ...

Mysia
before the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
and who had a king named Mygdon at roughly the same time as the Phrygians were said to have had a king named Mygdon. The classical historian
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
groups Phrygians, Mygdones,
Mysians 200px, Land of the Mysians, who were at the origin of the historic name of the region ('' Anatolia.html"_;"title="Mysia'')_in_northwest_Anatolia">Mysia'')_in_northwest_Anatolia_ Mysians__(_la.html" ;"title="Anatolia_.html" ;"title="Anatolia.html" ; ...
,
BebrycesThe Bebryces ( el, Βέβρυκες) were a tribe of people who lived in Bithynia. According to Strabo they were one of the many Thracian tribes that had crossed from Europe into Asia, although modern scholars have rather argued for a Celtic origin. ...
and
Bithynians Bithynia (; Koine Greek: , ''Bithynía'') was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, and the Black Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Paphlagonia to the north ...
together as peoples that migrated to Anatolia from the Balkans. This image of Phrygians as part of a related group of northwest Anatolian cultures seems the most likely explanation for the confusion over whether
Phrygians The Phrygians (Greek language, Greek: Φρύγες, ''Phruges'' or ''Phryges'') were an ancient Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited central-western Anatolia in antiquity. They were related to the Greeks. Ancient ...

Phrygians
,
BebrycesThe Bebryces ( el, Βέβρυκες) were a tribe of people who lived in Bithynia. According to Strabo they were one of the many Thracian tribes that had crossed from Europe into Asia, although modern scholars have rather argued for a Celtic origin. ...
and Anatolian Mygdones were or were not the same people.


Phrygian language

Phrygian continued to be spoken until the 6th century AD, though its distinctive alphabet was lost earlier than those of most Anatolian cultures. One of the
Homeric Hymns The ''Homeric Hymns'' () are a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), gener ...
describes the
Phrygian language The Phrygian language () was the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcont ...
as not mutually intelligible with that of
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
,
Homeric Hymns The ''Homeric Hymns'' () are a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), gener ...
number 5, ''To Aphrodite''.
and inscriptions found at
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
make clear that Phrygians spoke an
Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
with at least some vocabulary similar to
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
. Phrygian clearly did not belong to the family of
Anatolian languages The Anatolian languages are an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the endling, last individual of ...
spoken in most of the adjacent countries, such as
Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** Hittite religion ** ...
. The apparent similarity of the
Phrygian language The Phrygian language () was the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcont ...
to Greek and its dissimilarity with the
Anatolian languages The Anatolian languages are an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the endling, last individual of ...
spoken by most of their neighbors is also taken as support for a European origin of the Phrygians. From what is available, it is evident that Phrygian shares important features with
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
and
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
. Phrygian is part of the
centum Languages of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family are classified as either centum languages or satem languages according to how the dorsal consonants (sounds of "K" and "G" type) of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language ( ...
group of Indo-European languages. However, between the 19th and the first half of the 20th century Phrygian was mostly considered a satəm language, and thus closer to Armenian and
Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in ancient history.. "The Thracians were an Indo-European people who occupied ...
, while today it is commonly considered to be a centum language and thus closer to Greek. The reason that in the past Phrygian had the guise of a satəm language was due to two secondary processes that affected it. Namely, Phrygian merged the old labiovelar with the plain velar, and secondly, when in contact with palatal vowels /e/ and /i/, especially in initial position, some consonants became palatalized. Furthermore, (1988) presented common sound changes of Thracian and Armenian and their separation from Phrygian and the rest of the palaeo-Balkan languages from an early stage. Modern consensus regards Greek as the closest relative of Phrygian, a position that is supported by Brixhe, Neumann, Matzinger, Woodhouse, Ligorio, Lubotsky, and Obrador-Cursach. Furthermore, 34 out of the 36 Phrygian isoglosses that are recorded are shared with Greek, with 22 being exclusive between them. The last 50 years of Phrygian scholarship developed a hypothesis that proposes a proto-Graeco-Phrygian stage out of which Greek and Phrygian originated, and if Phrygian was more sufficiently attested, that stage could perhaps be reconstructed.


Recent migration hypotheses

Some scholars dismiss the claim of a Phrygian migration as a mere legend, likely arising from the coincidental similarity of their name to the
Bryges Bryges or Briges ( el, Βρύγοι or Βρίγες) is the historical name given to a people of the ancient Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent ...
, and have theorized that migration into Phrygia could have occurred more recently than classical sources suggest. They have sought to fit the Phrygian arrival into a narrative explaining the downfall of the
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
and the end of the high Bronze Age in Anatolia,. According to the "recent migration" theory, the Phrygians invaded just before or after the collapse of the Hittite Empire at the beginning of the 12th century BC, filling the political vacuum in central-western Anatolia, and may have been counted among the "
Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of ...
" that Egyptian records credit with bringing about the Hittite collapse. The so-called Handmade Knobbed Ware found in Western Anatolia during this period has been tentatively identified as an import connected to this invasion.


Relation to their Hittite predecessors

Some scholars accept as factual the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
s account that the Phrygians were established on the
Sakarya River The Sakarya ( tr, Sakarya Irmağı; gr, Σαγγάριος, translit=Sangarios; Latin: ''Sangarius'') is the third longest river in Turkey. It runs through the region known in ancient times as Phrygia. It was considered one of the principal rive ...

Sakarya River
before the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
, and thus must have been there during the later stages of the
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
, and probably earlier, and consequently dismiss proposals of recent immigration to Phrygia. These scholars seek instead to trace the Phrygians' origins among the many nations of western Anatolia who were subject to the
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
. This interpretation also gets support from Greek legends about the founding of Phrygia's main city
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
by
GordiasGordias ( grc, Γορδίας, ''Gordías''; also Γόρδιος, ''Górdios'', "Gordius") was the name of at least two members of the royal house of Phrygia. The best-known Gordias was reputedly the founder of the Phrygian capital city Gordium, ...
and of
Ancyra Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over 5 ...
by
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
, which suggest that Gordium and Ancyra were believed to date from the distant past before the Trojan War. No one has conclusively identified which of the many subjects of the
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
might have represented early Phrygians. According to a classical tradition, popularized by
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...
, Phrygia can be equated with the country called
Togarmah Togarmah (Hebrew language, Hebrew: ) is a figure in the "table of nations" in Genesis 10, the list of descendants of Noah that represents the peoples known to the Hebrew people, ancient Hebrews. Togarmah is among the descendants of Japheth and is ...
by the ancient Hebrews, which has in turn been identified as the Tegarama of Hittite texts and Til-Garimmu of
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n records.
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
called Togarmah "the Thrugrammeans, who, as the Greeks resolved, were named Phrygians". However, the Greek source cited by
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
is unknown, and it is unclear if there was any basis for the identification other than name similarity. Scholars of the Hittites believe Tegarama was in eastern Anatolia – some locate it at Gurun – far to the east of Phrygia. Some scholars have identified Phrygia with the
Assuwa Assuwa was a confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written ...
league, and noted that the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
'' mentions a Phrygian (Queen
Hecuba Hecuba (; also Hecabe; grc, Ἑκάβη ''Hekábē'', ) was a queen in , the wife of King of during the , She had 19 children, who included major characters of 's ' such as the warriors and , as well as the prophetess . Two of them, and , ...

Hecuba
's brother) named Asios. Another possible early name of Phrygia could be Hapalla, the name of the easternmost province that emerged from the splintering of the Bronze Age western Anatolian empire
Arzawa Arzawa was the name of a region and a political entity (a " kingdom" or a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regio ...
. However, scholars are unsure if Hapalla corresponds to Phrygia or to
Pisidia Pisidia (; el, Πισιδία, ''Pisidía''; tr, Pisidya) was a region of ancient Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paenins ...
, further south.


Relation to Armenians

Ancient Greek historian
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
(writing circa 440 BCE), suggested that Armenians migrated from Phrygia, which at the time encompassed much of western and central
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
: "the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists" (7.73) (') According to Herotodus, the Phrygians had originated in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, in an area adjoining Macedonia, from where they had emigrated to Anatolia during the
Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
. This led later scholars, such as
Igor Diakonoff Igor Mikhailovich Diakonoff (russian: И́горь Миха́йлович Дья́конов; 12 January 1915 – 2 May 1999) was a Russian historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earlie ...
, to theorize that Armenians also originated in the Balkans and moved east with the Phrygians. However, an Armenian origin in the Balkans, although once widely accepted, has been facing increased scrutiny in recent years due to discrepancies in the timeline and lack of genetic and archeological evidence. In fact, some scholars have suggested that the Phrygians and/or the apparently related
Mushki The Mushki (sometimes transliterated as Muški) were an people of who appear in sources from but not from the . Several authors have connected them with the (Μόσχοι) of Greek sources and the tribe of the . identified the ''Moschoi'' ...
people were originally from Armenia and moved westward. A number of linguists have rejected a close relationship between Armenian and Phrygian, despite saying that the two languages do share some features. Phrygian is now classified as a
centum Languages of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family are classified as either centum languages or satem languages according to how the dorsal consonants (sounds of "K" and "G" type) of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language ( ...
language more closely related to Greek than Armenian, whereas Armenian is mostly
satem Languages of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family are classified as either centum languages or satem languages according to how the dorsal consonants (sounds of "K" and "G" type) of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language (P ...
.


History


Around the time of the Trojan war

According to the Iliad, the homeland of the Phrygians was on the , which would remain the centre of Phrygia throughout its history. Phrygia was famous for its wine and had "brave and expert" horsemen. According to the
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
, before the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
, a young king
Priam In Greek mythology, Priam (; grc-gre, Πρίαμος, ) was the legendary king of Troy during the Trojan War. His many children included notable characters like Hector and Paris (mythology), Paris. Etymology Most scholars take the etymology ...
of
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
had taken an army to Phrygia to support it in a war against the
Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the Labours of Hercules, the ''Argonautica ...

Amazons
. Homer calls the Phrygians "the people of Otreus and godlike Mygdon". According to
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης ''Eurīpídēs'', ; ) was a tragedian Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a form of drama based on human suffering and, mainly, the terrible or sorrowfu ...

Euripides
,
Quintus Smyrnaeus Quintus Smyrnaeus (also Quintus of Smyrna; el, Κόϊντος Σμυρναῖος, ''Kointos Smyrnaios'') was a Greek epic poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others ...
and others, this Mygdon's son,
Coroebus In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...
, fought and died in the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
; he had sued for the hand of the Trojan princess
Cassandra Cassandra or Kassandra (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Gr ...

Cassandra
in marriage. The name ''Otreus'' could be an eponym for
Otroea ''Otroea'' is a genus of longhorn beetles of the subfamily Lamiinae,Biolib.cz - ''Otroea''
Retrieved on 8 Septemb ...
, a place on Lake Ascania in the vicinity of the later Nicaea, and the name ''Mygdon'' is clearly an eponym for the Mygdones, a people said by
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
to live in northwest Asia Minor, and who appear to have sometimes been considered distinct from the
Phrygians The Phrygians (Greek language, Greek: Φρύγες, ''Phruges'' or ''Phryges'') were an ancient Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited central-western Anatolia in antiquity. They were related to the Greeks. Ancient ...

Phrygians
. However, Pausanias (geographer), Pausanias believed that Mygdon's tomb was located at Stectorium in the southern Phrygian highlands, near modern Sandikli. According to the ''Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus), Bibliotheca'', the Greek hero Heracles slew a king Mygdon of the
BebrycesThe Bebryces ( el, Βέβρυκες) were a tribe of people who lived in Bithynia. According to Strabo they were one of the many Thracian tribes that had crossed from Europe into Asia, although modern scholars have rather argued for a Celtic origin. ...
in a battle in northwest Anatolia that if historical would have taken place about a generation before the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
. According to the story, while traveling from Minoa to the
Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the Labours of Hercules, the ''Argonautica ...

Amazons
, Heracles stopped in
Mysia Mysia (UK , US or ; el, Μυσία, lat, Mysia, tr, Misya) was a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhab ...

Mysia
and supported the
Mysians 200px, Land of the Mysians, who were at the origin of the historic name of the region ('' Anatolia.html"_;"title="Mysia'')_in_northwest_Anatolia">Mysia'')_in_northwest_Anatolia_ Mysians__(_la.html" ;"title="Anatolia_.html" ;"title="Anatolia.html" ; ...
in a battle with the Bebryces. According to some interpretations, Bebryces is an alternate name for Phrygians and this Mygdon is the same person mentioned in the
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
. King
Priam In Greek mythology, Priam (; grc-gre, Πρίαμος, ) was the legendary king of Troy during the Trojan War. His many children included notable characters like Hector and Paris (mythology), Paris. Etymology Most scholars take the etymology ...
married the Phrygian princess Hecabe (or
Hecuba Hecuba (; also Hecabe; grc, Ἑκάβη ''Hekábē'', ) was a queen in , the wife of King of during the , She had 19 children, who included major characters of 's ' such as the warriors and , as well as the prophetess . Two of them, and , ...

Hecuba
) and maintained a close alliance with the Phrygians, who repaid him by fighting "ardently" in the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
against the Greeks. Hecabe was a daughter of the Phrygian king Dymas of Phrygia, Dymas, son of Eioneus, son of Proteus. According to the
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
, Hecabe's younger brother Asius (mythology), Asius also fought at Troy (see above); and
Quintus Smyrnaeus Quintus Smyrnaeus (also Quintus of Smyrna; el, Κόϊντος Σμυρναῖος, ''Kointos Smyrnaios'') was a Greek epic poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others ...
mentions two grandsons of Dymas that fell at the hands of Neoptolemus at the end of the Trojan War: "Two sons he slew of Meges rich in gold, Scion of Dymas – sons of high renown, cunning to hurl the dart, to drive the steed in war, and deftly cast the lance afar, born at one birth beside Sangarius' banks of Periboea to him, Celtus one, and Eubius the other." Teleutas, father of the maiden Tecmessa, is mentioned as another mythical Phrygian king. There are indications in the Iliad that the heart of the Phrygian country was further north and downriver than it would be in later history. The Phrygian contingent arrives to aid
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
coming from Lake Ascania in northwest Anatolia, and is led by Phorcys of Phrygia, Phorcys and Ascanius (disambiguation), Ascanius, both sons of Aretaon. In one of the so-called
Homeric Hymns The ''Homeric Hymns'' () are a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), gener ...
, Phrygia is said to be "rich in fortresses" and ruled by "famous Otreus".


Peak and destruction of the Phrygian kingdom

During the 8th century BC, the Phrygian kingdom with its capital at
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
in the upper
Sakarya River The Sakarya ( tr, Sakarya Irmağı; gr, Σαγγάριος, translit=Sangarios; Latin: ''Sangarius'') is the third longest river in Turkey. It runs through the region known in ancient times as Phrygia. It was considered one of the principal rive ...

Sakarya River
valley expanded into an empire dominating most of central and western Anatolia and encroaching upon the larger Assyrian Empire to its southeast and the kingdom of
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the for the kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its , the Kingdom of Van, centered around in the historic . The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but went into grad ...

Urartu
to the northeast. According to the classical historians
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, Eusebius and Julius Africanus, the king of Phrygia during this time was another
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
. This historical
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
is believed to be the same person named as Mita in Assyrian texts from the period and identified as king of the
Mushki The Mushki (sometimes transliterated as Muški) were an people of who appear in sources from but not from the . Several authors have connected them with the (Μόσχοι) of Greek sources and the tribe of the . identified the ''Moschoi'' ...
. Scholars figure that Assyrians called Phrygians "Mushki" because the Phrygians and
Mushki The Mushki (sometimes transliterated as Muški) were an people of who appear in sources from but not from the . Several authors have connected them with the (Μόσχοι) of Greek sources and the tribe of the . identified the ''Moschoi'' ...
, an eastern Anatolian people, were at that time campaigning in a joint army. This Midas is thought to have reigned Phrygia at the peak of its power from about 720 BC to about 695 BC (according to Eusebius) or 676 BC (according to Julius Africanus). An Assyrian inscription mentioning "Mita", dated to 709 BC, during the reign of Sargon II, Sargon of Assyria, suggests Phrygia and
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
had struck a truce by that time. This
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
appears to have had good relations and close trade ties with the Greeks, and reputedly married an Aeolian Greek princess. A system of writing in the
Phrygian language The Phrygian language () was the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcont ...
developed and flourished in Gordium during this period, using a Phoenician-derived alphabet similar to the Greek one. A distinctive Phrygian pottery called Polished Ware appears during this period. However, the Phrygian Kingdom was then overwhelmed by Cimmerians, Cimmerian invaders, and
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
was sacked and destroyed. According to Strabo and others,
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
committed suicide by drinking bulls' blood. A series of digs have opened
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
as one of Turkey's most revealing archeological sites. Excavations confirm a violent destruction of Gordium around 675 BC. A tomb from the period, popularly identified as the "Tomb of Midas", revealed a wooden structure deeply buried under a vast tumulus, containing grave goods, a coffin, furniture, and food offerings (Archaeological Museum, Ankara).


As a Lydian province

After their destruction of
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
, the Cimmerians remained in western Anatolia and warred with
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...

Lydia
, which eventually expelled them by around 620 BC, and then expanded to incorporate Phrygia, which became the Lydian empire's eastern frontier. The Gordium site reveals a considerable building program during the 6th century BC, under the domination of Lydian kings including the proverbially rich King Croesus. Meanwhile, Phrygia's former eastern subjects fell to
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
and later to the Medes. There may be an echo of strife with Lydia and perhaps a veiled reference to royal hostages, in the legend of the twice-unlucky Phrygian prince Adrastus (son of Gordias), Adrastus, who accidentally killed his brother and exiled himself to
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...

Lydia
, where King Croesus welcomed him. Once again, Adrastus accidentally killed Croesus' son and then committed suicide.


As Persian province(s)

Some time in the 540s BC, Phrygia passed to the Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid (Great Persian) Empire when Cyrus the Great conquered
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...

Lydia
. After Darius the Great became Persian Emperor in 521 BC, he remade the ancient trade route into the Persian "Royal road, Royal Road" and instituted administrative reforms that included setting up satrapies. The Phrygian satrapy (province) lay west of the Halys River (now Kızıl River) and east of
Mysia Mysia (UK , US or ; el, Μυσία, lat, Mysia, tr, Misya) was a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhab ...

Mysia
and Lydia. Its capital was established at Dascylium, modern Ergili. In the course of the 5th century, the region was divided in two administrative satrapies: Hellespontine Phrygia and Greater Phrygia.


Under Alexander and his successors

The Macedonian Greek conqueror
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
passed through
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
in 333 BC and severed the Gordian Knot in the temple of Sabazios ("Zeus"). According to a legend, possibly promulgated by Alexander's publicists, whoever untied the knot would be master of Asia. With Gordium sited on the Persian Royal Road that led through the heart of
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, the prophecy had some geographical plausibility. With Alexander, Phrygia became part of the wider
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
world. Upon Alexander's death in 323 BC, the Battle of Ipsus took place in 301 BC.


Celts and Attalids

In the chaotic period after Alexander's death, northern Phrygia was overrun by Celts, eventually to become the province of Galatia. The former capital of
Gordium Gordion (: ; el, Γόρδιον, translit=Górdion; tr, Gordion or ; la, Gordium) was the capital city of ancient . It was located at the site of modern , about southwest of (capital of Turkey), in the immediate vicinity of district. Gor ...
was captured and destroyed by the Gauls soon afterwards and disappeared from history. In 188 BC, the southern remnant of Phrygia came under the control of the Attalids of
Pergamon Pergamon or Pergamum ( or ; grc-gre, Πέργαμον), also referred to by its modern Greek form Pergamos (), was a rich and powerful ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 ...

Pergamon
. However, the
Phrygian language The Phrygian language () was the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcont ...
survived, although now written in the Greek alphabet.


Under Rome and Byzantium

In 133 BC, the remnants of Phrygia passed to Rome. For purposes of provincial administration, the Romans maintained a divided Phrygia, attaching the northeastern part to the province of Galatia and the western portion to the province of Asia (Roman province), Asia. There is some evidence that western Phrygia and Caria were separated from Asia in 254–259 to become the new province of Phrygia and Caria. During the reforms of Diocletian, Phrygia was divided anew into two provinces: "Phrygia I", or Phrygia Salutaris (meaning "healthy" in Latin), and Phrygia II, or Pacatiana (Greek Πακατιανή, "peaceful"), both under the Diocese of Asia. Salutaris with Synnada as its capital comprised the eastern portion of the region and Pacatiana with
Laodicea on the Lycus Laodicea on the Lycus ( el, Λαοδίκεια πρὸς τοῦ Λύκου ''Laodikia pros tou Lykou''; la, Laodicea ad Lycum, also transliterated as ''Laodiceia'' or ''Laodikeia'') (modern tr, Laodikeia) was an ancient city built on the river ...
as capital of the western portion. The provinces survived up to the end of the 7th century, when they were replaced by the Theme system. In the Late Roman, early "Byzantine" period, most of Phrygia belonged to the Anatolic theme. It was overrun by the Turks in the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert (1071). The Turks had taken complete control in the 13th century, but the ancient name of ''Phrygia'' remained in use until the last remnant of the Byzantine Empire was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453.


Culture

The ruins of Gordion and Midas City prove that Phrygia had developed an advanced Bronze Age culture. This Phrygian culture interacted in a number of ways with Greek culture in various periods of history. The "Great Mother", Cybele, as the Greeks and Romans knew her, was originally worshiped in the mountains of Phrygia, where she was known as "Mountain Mother". In her typical Phrygian form, she wears a long belted dress, a ''polos'' (a high cylindrical headdress), and a veil covering the whole body. The later version of Cybele was established by a pupil of Phidias, the Sculpture, sculptor Agoracritus, and became the image most widely adopted by Cybele's expanding following, both in the Aegean civilization, Aegean world and at Rome. It shows her humanized though still enthroned, her hand resting on an attendant lion and the other holding the ''Timpani, tympanon'', a circular frame drum, similar to a tambourine. The Phrygians also venerated Sabazios, the sky and father-God (male deity), god depicted on horseback. Although the Greeks associated Sabazios with Zeus, representations of him, even in Roman times, show him as a horseman god. His conflicts with the indigenous Mother Goddess, whose creature was the Lunar Bull, may be surmised in the way that Sabazios' horse places a hoof on the head of a bull, in a Roman sculpture#Relief sculptures, Roman relief at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The earliest traditions of Music of Greece, Greek music derived from Phrygia, transmitted through the Greek colonies in Anatolia, and included the Phrygian mode, which was considered to be the warlike mode in ancient Greek music. Phrygian
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
, the king of the "golden touch", was tutored in music by Orpheus himself, according to the myth. Another musical invention that came from Phrygia was the aulos, a reed instrument with two pipes. Marsyas, the satyr who first formed the instrument using the hollowed antler of a stag, was a Phrygian follower of Cybele. He unwisely competed in music with the Twelve Olympians, Olympian Apollo and inevitably lost, whereupon Apollo flaying, flayed Marsyas alive and provocatively hung his skin on Cybele's own sacred tree, a pine. Phrygia was also the scene of another musical contest, between Apollo and Pan (god), Pan.
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
was either a judge or spectator, and said he preferred Pan's pipes to Apollo's lyre, and was given donkey's ears as a punishment. The two stories were often confused or conflated, as by Titian. Classical Greek iconography identifies the Troy, Trojan Paris (mythology), Paris as non-Greek by his Phrygian cap, which was worn by Mithras and survived into modern imagery as the "Phrygian cap, Liberty cap" of the American and French revolutionaries. The Phrygians spoke an
Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
. (''See
Phrygian language The Phrygian language () was the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcont ...
.'') Although the Phrygians adopted the alphabet originated by the Phoenicians, only a few dozen inscriptions in the Phrygian language have been found, primarily funereal, and so much of what is thought to be known of Phrygia is second-hand information from Greek sources.


Mythic past

The name of the earliest known mythical king was Nannacus (aka Annacus). This king resided at Iconium, the most eastern city of the kingdom of Phrygia at that time; and after his death, at the age of 300 years, a great flood overwhelmed the country, as had been foretold by an ancient oracle. The next king mentioned in extant classical sources was called Manis or Masdes. According to Plutarch, because of his splendid exploits, great things were called "manic" in Phrygia. Thereafter, the kingdom of Phrygia seems to have become fragmented among various kings. One of the kings was Tantalus, who ruled over the north western region of Phrygia around Mount Sipylus. Tantalus was endlessly punished in Tartarus, because he allegedly killed his son Pelops and sacrificially offered him to the Olympians, a reference to the suppression of human sacrifice. Tantalus was also falsely accused of stealing from the lotteries he had invented. In the mythic age before the Trojan war, during a time of an interregnum, Gordias, Gordius (or Gordias), a Phrygian farmer, became king, fulfilling an oracular prophecy. The kingless Phrygians had turned for guidance to the oracle of Sabazios ("Zeus" to the Greeks) at Telmissus, in the part of Phrygia that later became part of Galatia. They had been instructed by the oracle to acclaim as their king the first man who rode up to the god's temple in a cart. That man was Gordias (Gordios, Gordius), a farmer, who dedicated the ox-cart in question, tied to its shaft with the " Gordian Knot". Gordias refounded a capital at Gordium in west central Anatolia, situated on the old trackway through the heart of Anatolia that became Darius the Great, Darius's Persian "Royal Road" from Pessinus to
Ancyra Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over 5 ...
, and not far from the Sakarya River, River Sangarius. The Phrygians are associated in Greek mythology with the Dactyl (mythology), Dactyls, minor gods credited with the invention of iron smelting, who in most versions of the legend lived at Mount Ida in Phrygia.
GordiasGordias ( grc, Γορδίας, ''Gordías''; also Γόρδιος, ''Górdios'', "Gordius") was the name of at least two members of the royal house of Phrygia. The best-known Gordias was reputedly the founder of the Phrygian capital city Gordium, ...
's son (adopted in some versions) was
Midas Midas (; grc-gre, Μίδας) is the name of one of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This ca ...

Midas
. A large body of myths and legends surround this first king Midas. connecting him with a mythological tale concerning Attis. This shadowy figure resided at Pessinus and attempted to marry his daughter to the young Attis in spite of the opposition of his lover Agdestis and his mother, the goddess Cybele. When Agdestis and/or Cybele appear and cast madness upon the members of the wedding feast. Midas is said to have died in the ensuing chaos. King Midas is said to have associated himself with Silenus and other satyrs and with Dionysus, who granted him a "golden touch". In one version of his story, Midas travels from Thrace accompanied by a band of his people to Asia Minor to wash away the taint of his unwelcome "golden touch" in the river Pactolus. Leaving the gold in the river's sands, Midas found himself in Phrygia, where he was adopted by the childless king Gordias and taken under the protection of Cybele. Acting as the visible representative of Cybele, and under her authority, it would seem, a Phrygian king could designate his successor. The Phrygian Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Phrygia. According to
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
, the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichus II had two children raised in isolation in order to find the original language. The children were reported to have uttered ''bekos'', which is Phrygian for "bread", so Psammetichus admitted that the Phrygians were a nation older than the Egyptians.


Christian period

Visitors from Phrygia were reported to have been among the crowds present in Jerusalem on the occasion of Pentecost as recorded in . In the Apostle Paul and his companion Silas travelled through Phrygia and the region of Galatia proclaiming the Christian Gospel, Christian gospel. Their plans appear to have been to go to Asia (Roman province), Asia but circumstances or guidance, "in ways which we are not told, by inner promptings, or by visions of the night, or by the inspired utterances of those among their converts who had received the gift of prophecy" prevented them from doing so and instead they travelled westwards towards the coast. The Christian heresy known as Montanism, and still known in Orthodoxy as "the Phrygian heresy", arose in the unidentified village of Ardabau in the 2nd century AD, and was distinguished by ecstatic spirituality and women priests. Originally described as a rural movement, it is now thought to have been of urban origin like other Christian developments. The new Jerusalem its adherents founded in the village of Pepouza has now been identified in a remote valley that later held a monastery.


See also

* Ancient regions of Anatolia *
Phrygians The Phrygians (Greek language, Greek: Φρύγες, ''Phruges'' or ''Phryges'') were an ancient Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited central-western Anatolia in antiquity. They were related to the Greeks. Ancient ...

Phrygians
*
Bryges Bryges or Briges ( el, Βρύγοι or Βρίγες) is the historical name given to a people of the ancient Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent ...
* Paleo-Balkan languages * Phrygian cap *
Phrygian language The Phrygian language () was the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcont ...


References


Bibliography

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External links

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