The Info List - Lycaonia

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(/ˌlɪkiˈoʊniə/; Greek: Λυκαονία, Lykaonia, Turkish: Likaonya) was a large region in the interior of Asia Minor, north of the Taurus Mountains. It was bounded on the east by Cappadocia, on the north by Galatia, on the west by Phrygia
and Pisidia, while to the south it extended to the chain of Mount Taurus, where it bordered on the country popularly called in earlier times Cilicia
and in the Byzantine period Isauria; but its boundaries varied greatly at different times. The name is not found in Herodotus, but Lycaonia
is mentioned by Xenophon
as traversed by Cyrus the Younger
Cyrus the Younger
on his march through Asia. That author describes Iconium
as the last city of Phrygia; and in Acts 14:6 Paul, after leaving Iconium, crossed the frontier and came to Lystra
in Lycaonia. Ptolemy, on the other hand, includes Lycaonia
as a part of the province of Cappadocia, with which it was associated by the Romans for administrative purposes; but the two countries are clearly distinguished both by Strabo
and Xenophon and by authorities generally.


1 Etymology 2 Geography 3 History 4 References 5 See Also 6 Bibliography

Etymology[edit] There is a theory that the name "Lycaonia" is a Greek-adapted version (influenced by the Greek masculine name Lycaon) of an original Lukkawanna, which would mean "the land of the Lukka
people" in an old Anatolian language related to Hittite. Geography[edit] Lycaonia
is described by Strabo
as a cold region of elevated plains, affording pasture to wild asses and to sheep; and at the present day sheep abound, but asses are practically unknown. Amyntas, king of Galatia, to whom the district was for a time subject, maintained there not less than three hundred flocks. It forms part of the interior tableland of Asia Minor, and has an elevation of more than 1000 meters. It suffers from want of water, aggravated in some parts by abundance of salt in the soil, so that the northern portion, extending from near Iconium
to the salt lake of Tatta and the frontiers of Galatia, is almost wholly barren, only small patches being cultivated near Iconium
and the large villages. The soil, where water is supplied, is productive. In ancient times great attention was paid to storing and distributing the water, so that much land now barren was formerly cultivated and supported a large number of cities. The plain is interrupted by some minor groups of mountains, of volcanic character, of which the Kara Dagh in the south, a few miles north of Karaman, rises to 2288 meters, while the Karadja Dagh, north-east of it, though of inferior elevation, presents a striking range of volcanic cones. The mountains in the north-west, near Iconium and Laodicea Combusta, are the termination of the Sultan Dagh range, which traverses a large part of Phrygia. History[edit] The Lycaonians
appear to have been in early times to a great extent independent of the Persian empire, and were like their neighbors the Isaurians a wild and lawless race of freebooters; but their country was traversed by one of the great natural lines of high road through Asia Minor, from Sardis
and Ephesus
to the Cilician gates, and a few considerable towns grew up along or near this line. The most important was Iconium, in the most fertile spot in the country, of which it was always regarded by the Romans as the capital, although ethnologically it was Phrygian. It is still called Konya, and it was the capital of the Seljuk Turkish sultane for several centuries. A little farther north, immediately on the frontier of Phrygia, stood Laodicea Combusta (Ladik), surnamed Combusta, to distinguish it from the Phrygian city of that name; and in the south, near the foot of Mount Taurus, was Laranda, now called Karaman, which has given name to the province of Karamania. Derbe and Lystra, which appear from the Acts of the Apostles to have been considerable towns, were between Iconium
and Laranda. There were many other towns, which became bishoprics in Byzantine times. Lycaonia
was Christianized very early; and its ecclesiastical system was more completely organized in its final form during the 4th century than that of any other region of Asia Minor. After the defeat of Antiochus the Great, Lycaonia
was given by the Romans to Eumenes II, king of Pergamon. About 160 BC, part of it, the Tetrarchy of Lycaonia, was added to Galatia; and in 129 BC the eastern half (usually called during the following 200 years Lycaonia
proper) was given to Cappadocia
as an eleventh strategia. In the readjustment of the Provinces, 64 BC, by Pompey
after the Mithridatic Wars, he gave the northern part of the tetrarchy to Galatia
and the eastern part of the eleventh strategia to Cappadocia. The remainder was attached to Cilicia. Its administration and grouping changed often under the Romans. In 371, Lycaonia
was first formed into a separate province. The ancient coinage of Lycaonia
is quite limited. Judging from the number of types/issues known, coins appear to have been struck sporadically and perhaps mostly for prestige or some important occasion (like a visit by the Emperor). The Lycaonians
appear to have retained a distinct nationality in the time of Strabo, but their ethnical affinities are unknown. The mention of the Lycaonian language in the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
(14:11) shows that the native language was spoken by the common people at Lystra about 50; and probably it was only later and under Christian influence that Greek took its place. It is notable though that in the Acts of the Apostles Barnabas
was called Zeus, and Paul was thought to be Hermes by Lycaonians, and this makes some other researchers to believe that Lycaonian language was actually a Greek dialect,[citation needed] the remnant of which can still be found in the Cappadocian Greek language which is classified as a distinct Greek dialect. References[edit]

See Also[edit]

Ancient regions of Anatolia


W. M. Ramsay, Historical Geography of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
(1890), Historical Commentary on Galatians (1899) and Cities of St Paul (1907) An article on the topography in the Jahreshefte des Oesterr. Archaeolog. Instituts, 194 (Beiblatt) pp. 57–132. Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Coins - Lycaonia
Ancient Greek and Roman coins from Lycaonia

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History of Turkey

v t e

Ancient Kingdoms of Anatolia

Bronze Age

Ahhiyawa Arzawa Assuwa league Carchemish Colchis Hatti Hayasa-Azzi Hittite Empire Isuwa Kaskia Kizzuwatna Lukka Luwia Mitanni Pala Wilusa/Troy

Iron Age

Aeolia Caria Cimmerians Diauehi Doris Ionia Lycia Lydia Neo-Hittites
(Atuna, Carchemish, Gurgum, Hilakku, Kammanu, Kummuh, Quwê, Tabal) Phrygia Urartu

Classical Age

Antigonids Armenia Bithynia Cappadocia Cilicia Commagene Galatia Paphlagonia Pergamon Pontus

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Historical regions of Anatolia

Aeolis Bithynia Cappadocia Caria Cilicia Doris Galatia Ionia Lycaonia Lycia Lydia Mysia Pamphylia Paphlagonia Phrygia Pisidia Pontus Troad

v t e

Ancient Anatolians


Carians Cappadocians? Cataonians? Cilicians Commagenians? Hittites Isaurians Leleges? Leucosyri? Luwians Lycaonians Lycians/Termilae Lydians/Maeonians Mariandyni Milyans/Solymi Mysians Palaics Paphlagonians Pamphylians Philistines? Pisidians Sidians Trojans West Pontians?

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Late Roman provinces
Roman provinces
(4th–7th centuries AD)


As found in the Notitia Dignitatum. Provincial administration reformed and dioceses established by Diocletian, c. 293. Permanent praetorian prefectures established after the death of Constantine I. Empire permanently partitioned after 395. Exarchates of Ravenna and Africa established after 584. After massive territorial losses in the 7th century, the remaining provinces were superseded by the theme system in c. 640–660, although in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and parts of Greece they survived under the themes until the early 9th century.

Western Empire (395–476)

Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul

Diocese of Gaul

Alpes Poeninae et Graiae Belgica I Belgica II Germania I Germania II Lugdunensis I Lugdunensis II Lugdunensis III Lugdunensis IV Maxima Sequanorum

Diocese of Vienne1

Alpes Maritimae Aquitanica I Aquitanica II Narbonensis I Narbonensis II Novempopulania Viennensis

Diocese of Spain

Baetica Balearica Carthaginensis Gallaecia Lusitania Mauretania Tingitana Tarraconensis

Diocese of the Britains

Britannia I Britannia II Flavia Caesariensis Maxima Caesariensis Valentia (?)

Praetorian Prefecture of Italy

Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy

Apulia et Calabria Campania Corsica Lucania et Bruttii Picenum
Suburbicarium Samnium Sardinia Sicilia Tuscia et Umbria Valeria

Diocese of Annonarian Italy

Alpes Cottiae Flaminia et Picenum
Annonarium Liguria et Aemilia Raetia I Raetia II Venetia et Istria

Diocese of Africa2

Africa proconsularis (Zeugitana) Byzacena Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Sitifensis Numidia Cirtensis Numidia Militiana Tripolitania

Diocese of Pannonia3

Dalmatia Noricum mediterraneum Noricum ripense Pannonia I Pannonia II Savia Valeria ripensis

Eastern Empire (395–c. 640)

Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum

Diocese of Dacia

Dacia Mediterranea Dacia Ripensis Dardania Moesia I Praevalitana

Diocese of Macedonia

Achaea Creta Epirus Nova Epirus Vetus Macedonia Prima Macedonia II Salutaris Thessalia

Praetorian Prefecture of the East

Diocese of Thrace5

Europa Haemimontus Moesia II4 Rhodope Scythia4 Thracia

Diocese of Asia5

Asia Caria4 Hellespontus Insulae4 Lycaonia
(370) Lycia Lydia Pamphylia Pisidia Phrygia
Pacatiana Phrygia

Diocese of Pontus5

Armenia I5 Armenia II5 Armenia Maior5 Armenian Satrapies5 Armenia III
Armenia III
(536) Armenia IV
Armenia IV
(536) Bithynia Cappadocia
I5 Cappadocia
II5 Galatia
I5 Galatia
II Salutaris5 Helenopontus5 Honorias5 Paphlagonia5 Pontus Polemoniacus5

Diocese of the East5

Arabia Cilicia
I Cilicia
II Cyprus4 Euphratensis Isauria Mesopotamia Osroene Palaestina I Palaestina II Palaestina III Salutaris Phoenice I Phoenice II Libanensis Syria I Syria II Salutaris Theodorias (528)

Diocese of Egypt5

Aegyptus I Aegyptus II Arcadia Augustamnica I Augustamnica II Libya Superior Libya Inferior Thebais Superior Thebais Inferior

Other territories

Taurica Quaestura exercitus (536) Spania

1 Later the Septem Provinciae 2 Re-established after reconquest by the Eastern Empire in 534 as the separate Prefecture of Africa 3 Later the Diocese of Illyricum 4 Placed under the Quaestura exercitus in 536 5 Affected (i.e. boundaries modified, abolished or renamed) by Justinian I's administrative reorganization in 534–536

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lycaonia". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 151.  Coordinates: 38°N 33°E / 38°N