Caria (/ˈkɛəriə/; from Greek: Καρία, Karia, Turkish: Karya)
was a region of western
Anatolia extending along the coast from
Ionia (Mycale) south to
Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian
and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian
population in forming Greek-dominated states there. The inhabitants of
Caria, known as Carians, had arrived there before the Ionian and
Dorian Greeks. They were described by Herodotos as being of Minoan
Greek descent, while the
Carians themselves maintained that they
were Anatolian mainlanders intensely engaged in seafaring and were
akin to the
Mysians and the Lydians. The
Carians did speak an
Anatolian language, known as Carian, which does not necessarily
reflect their geographic origin, as Anatolian once may have been
widespread. Also closely associated with the Carians
were the Leleges, which could be an earlier name for
Carians or for a
people who had preceded them in the region and continued to exist as
part of their society in a reputedly second-class status.[citation
1 Municipalities of Caria
1.1 Coastal Caria
1.2 Inland Caria
2.1 Pre-Classical Greek states and people
2.2 Sovereign state hosting the Greeks
2.3 Lydian province
2.4 Persian satrapy
2.5 Macedonian empire
2.6 Roman-Byzantine province
2.7 Dissolution under the
Byzantine Empire and passage to Turkish rule
3 See also
6 Sources and external links
Municipalities of Caria
Carian cities in white. This map depicts the current rivers and
coastline and certain features have changed over the years, notably
Miletus, Heracleia, and Myus were on the south side of a gulf and
Priene on the north side; the river
Maeander has since filled in the
gulf. Also politically Telmessos, Miletus, and Kalynda were sometimes
considered Carian and sometimes not
Cramer's detailed catalog of Carian towns in classical Greece is based
entirely on ancient sources. The multiple names of towns and
geomorphic features, such as bays and headlands, reveal an ethnic
layering consistent with the known colonization.
Caria begins with
Didyma south of Miletus, but
been placed in the pre-Greek Caria. South of it is the Iassicus Sinus
Güllük Körfezi) and the towns of Iassus and Bargylia, giving an
alternative name of Bargyleticus Sinus to
Güllük Körfezi, and
nearby Cindye, which the
Carians called Andanus. After
Caryanda or Caryinda, and then on the
Bodrum Peninsula Myndus
(Mentecha or Muntecha), 56 miles (90 km) from Miletus. In the
vicinity is Naziandus, exact location unknown.
On the tip of the
Bodrum Peninsula (Cape Termerium) is Termera
(Telmera, Termerea), and on the other side Ceramicus Sinus (Gökova
Körfezi). It "was formerly crowded with numerous towns."
Halicarnassus, a Dorian Greek city, was planted there among six Carian
towns: Theangela, Sibde, Medmasa, Euranium, Pedasa or Pedasum, and
Telmissus. These with
Myndus and Synagela (or Syagela or Souagela)
constitute the eight Lelege towns. Also on the north coast of the
Ceramicus Sinus is
Ceramus and Bargasus.
On the south of the Ceramicus Sinus is the Carian Chersonnese, or
Triopium Promontory (Cape Krio), also called Doris after the Dorian
colony of Cnidus. At the base of the peninsula (Datça Peninsula) is
Bybassus or Bybastus from which an earlier names, the Bybassia
Chersonnese, had been derived. It was now Acanthus and Doulopolis
South of the Carian Chersonnese is Doridis Sinus, the "Gulf of Doris"
(Gulf of Symi), the locale of the Dorian Confederacy. There are three
bays in it: Bubassius, Thymnias and Schoenus, the last enclosing the
town of Hyda. In the gulf somewhere are Euthene or Eutane, Pitaeum,
and an island:
Elaeus or Elaeussa near Loryma. On the south shore is
the Cynossema, or Onugnathos Promontory, opposite Symi.
South of there is the Rhodian Peraea, a section of the coast under
Rhodes. It includes
Loryma or Larymna in Oedimus Bay, Gelos, Tisanusa,
the headland of Paridion, Panydon or Pandion (Cape Marmorice) with
Physicus, Amos, Physca or Physcus, also called Cressa (Marmaris).
Beyond Cressa is the Calbis River (
Dalyan River). On the other side is
Caunus (near Dalyan), with Pisilis or Pilisis and Pyrnos between.
Then follow some cities that some assign to
Lydia and some to Caria:
Calynda on the Indus River, Crya, Carya, Carysis or Cari and Alina in
the Gulf of Glaucus (Katranci Bay or the Gulf of Makri), the Glaucus
River being the border. Other Carian towns in the gulf are Clydae or
Lydae and Aenus.
At the base of the east end of
Latmus near Euromus, and near Milas
where the current village Selimiye is, was the district of Euromus or
Eurome, possibly Europus, formerly Idrieus and Chrysaoris
(Stratonicea). The name Chrysaoris once applied to all of Caria;
moreover, Euromus was originally settled from Lycia. Its towns are
Tauropolis, Plarassa and Chrysaoris. These were all incorporated later
into Mylasa. Connected to the latter by a sacred way is Labranda.
Around Stratonicea is also
Lagina or Lakena as well as Tendeba and
Further inland towards
Aydin is Alabanda, noted for its marble and its
scorpions, Orthosia, Coscinia or Coscinus on the upper
Halydienses, Alinda or Alina. At the confluence of the
the Harpasus is
Harpasa (Arpaz). At the confluence of the
the Orsinus, Corsymus or Corsynus is Antioch on the
Maeander and on
the Orsinus in the mountains a border town with Phrygia, Gordiutichos
("Gordius' Fort") near Geyre. Founded by the
Leleges and called Ninoe
it became Megalopolis ("Big City") and Aphrodisias, sometime capital
Other towns on the Orsinus are Timeles and Plarasa.
Tabae was at
various times attributed to Phrygia,
Caria and seems to have
been occupied by mixed nationals.
Caria also comprises the headwaters
of the Indus and Eriya or Eriyus and Thabusion on the border with the
small state of Cibyra.
Pre-Classical Greek states and people
Further information: Carians
The name of
Caria also appears in a number of early languages: Hittite
Karkija (a member state of the
Assuwa league, c. 1250 BC), Babylonian
Old Persian Kurka. According to Herodotos, the
legendary King Kar, son of Zeus and Creta, founded
Caria and named it
after him, and his brothers Lydos and Mysos founded
Lydia and Mysia,
Sovereign state hosting the Greeks
Archaeologists studying a Carian tomb in Milas, Beçin
Caria arose as a
Neo-Hittite kingdom around the 11th century BC
(Reference needed). The coast of
Caria was part of the Doric hexapolis
("six-cities") when the
Dorians arrived after the Trojan War, in c.
13th century BC, in the last and southernmost waves of Greek migration
to western Anatolia's coastline and occupied former Mycenaean
settlements such us
Knidos and Halicarnassos (near present-day
Bodrum). Herodotus, the famous historian was born in Halicarnassus
during the 5th century BC. Greek apoikism (a form of colonization) in
Caria took place mostly on the coast, as well as in the interior in
great number, and groups of cities and towns were organized in local
Iliad records that at the time of the Trojan War, the city of
Miletus belonged to the Carians, and was allied to the Trojan cause.
Lemprière notes that "As
Caria probably abounded in figs, a
particular sort has been called Carica, and the words In Care
periculum facere, have been proverbially used to signify the
encountering of danger in the pursuit of a thing of trifling value."
The region of
Caria continues to be an important fig-producing area to
this day, accounting for most fig production in Turkey, which is the
world's largest producer of figs.
The expansionism of
Croesus (560-546 BC) incorporated
Caria briefly into
Lydia before it fell before the Persian advance.
Caria was then incorporated into the Persian
Achaemenid Empire as a
satrapy (province) in 545 BC. The most important town was
Halicarnassus, from where its sovereigns reigned. Other major towns
were Latmus, refounded as Heracleia under Latmus, Antiochia, Myndus,
Laodicea, Alinda and Alabanda.
Caria participated in the Ionian Revolt
(499–493 BC) against the Persian rule.
During the Second Persian invasion of Greece, the cities of
allies of Xerxes I and they fought at the
Battle of Artemisium
Battle of Artemisium and the
Battle of Salamis. Themistocles, before the battles of Artemisium and
Salamis, tried to split the
Carians from the Persian
coalition. He told them to come and be on his side or not to
participate at the battles, but if they were bound down by too strong
compulsion to be able to make revolt, when the battles begin, to be
purposely slack. Plutarch in his work, The Parallel Lives, at The
Themistocles wrote that: "Phanias (Greek: Φαινίας),
writes that the mother of
Themistocles was not a Thracian, but a
Carian woman and her name was Euterpe (Eυτέρπη), and Neanthes
(Νεάνθης) adds that she was from
Halicarnassus in Caria.".
After the unsuccessful Persian invasion of Greece the cities of Caria
became members of the Delian League.
Halicarnassus was the location of the famed Mausoleum dedicated to
Mausolus, a satrap of
Caria between 377–353 BC, by his wife,
Artemisia II of Caria. The monument became one of the Seven Wonders of
the Ancient World, and from which the Romans named any grand tomb a
Caria was conquered by Alexander III of
Macedon in 334 BC with the
help of the former queen of the land
Ada of Caria
Ada of Caria who had been
dethroned by the Persian Empire and actively helped Alexander in his
Caria on condition of being reinstated as queen. After
their capture of Caria, she declared Alexander as her heir.
As part of the
Roman Empire the name of
Caria was still used for the
geographic region but the territory administratively belonged to the
province of Asia. During the administrative reforms of the 4th century
this province was abolished and divided into smaller units. Caria
became a separate province as part of the Diocese of Asia.
Christianity was on the whole slow to take hold in Caria. The region
was not visited by St. Paul, and the only early churches seem to be
those of Laodicea and
Colossae (Chonae) on the extreme inland fringe
of the country, which itself pursued its pagan customs. It appears
that it was not until
Christianity was officially adopted in
Constantinople that the new religion made any real headway in
Dissolution under the
Byzantine Empire and passage to Turkish
In the 7th century, Byzantine provinces were abolished and the new
military theme system was introduced. The region corresponding to
Caria was captured by the Turks under the
Menteşe Dynasty in
the early 13th century.
There are only indirect clues regarding the population structure under
the Menteşe and the parts played in it by Turkish migration from
inland regions and by local conversions, but the first Ottoman Empire
census records indicate, in a situation not atypical for the region as
a whole, a large Muslim (practically exclusively Turkish) majority
reaching as high as 99% and a non-Muslim minority (practically
exclusively Greek supplemented with a small Jewish community in Milas)
as low as one per cent. One of the first acts of the Ottomans
after their takeover was to transfer the administrative center of the
region from its millenary seat in
Milas to the then much smaller
Muğla, which was nevertheless better suited for controlling the
southern fringes of the province. Still named Menteşe until the early
decades of the 20th century, the kazas corresponding to ancient Caria
are recorded by sources such as G. Sotiriadis (1918) and S.
Anagiostopoulou (1997) as having a Greek population averaging at
around ten per cent of the total, ranging somewhere between twelve and
eighteen thousand, many of them reportedly recent immigrants from the
islands. Most chose to leave in 1919, before the population exchange.
Ancient regions of Anatolia
^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Caria". Encyclopædia Britannica
(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
^ a b The Histories, Book I Section 171.
^ Cramer (1832), pages 170-224.
^ Page 170.
^ Page 176.
Herodotus Histories Book 5: Terpsichore
Herodotus Histories Book 8: Urania [19,22]
Themistocles By Plutarch "Yet Phanias writes that the mother of
Themistocles was not of Thrace, but of Caria, and that her name was
not Abrotonon, but Euterpe; and Neanthes adds farther that she was of
Halicarnassus in Caria."
^ Bean, George E. (2002). Turkey beyond the Maeander. London:
Frederick A. Praeger. ISBN 0-87471-038-3.
^ Muhammet Yazıcı (2002). "XVI. Yüzyılda Batı Anadolu Bölgesinde
(Muğla, İzmir, Aydın, Denizli) Türkmen Yerleşimi ve Demografik
Dağılım (Turkmen Settlement and the Demographic Distribution of
Anatolia in the 16th century), pp. 124-142 for Menteşe
Muğla University. Archived from the original
(PDF) on 4 March 2011.
Bean, George E. (1971). Turkey beyond the Maeander. London: Frederick
A. Praeger. ISBN 0-87471-038-3.
Cramer, J.A. (1832). Geographical and Historical Description of Asia
Minor; with a Map: Volume II. Oxford: University Press. Section X
Caria. Downloadable Google Books.
Herodotus (1910) [original c. 440 BC]. History of Herodotus.
Trans. George Rawlinson. Wikisource.
Riet van Bremen, Jan-Mathieu Carbon (ed.), Hellenistic Karia:
Proceedings of the First International Conference on Hellenistic
Karia, Oxford, 29 June-2 July 2006 (Talence: Ausonius Editions, 2010).
Lars Karlsson and Susanne Carlsson, Labraunda and Karia (Uppsala,
Sources and external links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caria.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Livius.org: History and Culture of Ancient Caria
Asia Minor Coins: ancient Greek and Roman coins from Caria
Ancient Caria: In the garden of the sun, CANAN KÜÇÜKEREN, Hürriyet
Daily News, 28 March 2011
Coordinates: 37°30′N 28°00′E / 37.5°N 28.0°E / 37.5;
History of Turkey
Provinces of the Achaemenid Empire
(Behistun / Persepolis / Naqsh-e Rustam / Susa /
1st Egypt / 2nd Egypt
See also Districts of the
Achaemenid Empire (according to Herodotus)
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 and parts of
Greece they survived under the themes until the early 9th century.
Western Empire (395–476)
Diocese of Gaul
Alpes Poeninae et Graiae
Diocese of Vienne1
Diocese of Spain
Diocese of the Britains
Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy
Apulia et Calabria
Lucania et Bruttii
Tuscia et Umbria
Diocese of Annonarian Italy
Liguria et Aemilia
Venetia et Istria
Diocese of Africa2
Africa proconsularis (Zeugitana)
Diocese of Pannonia3
Eastern Empire (395–c. 640)
Diocese of Dacia
Diocese of Macedonia
Macedonia II Salutaris
of the East
Diocese of Thrace5
Diocese of Asia5
Diocese of Pontus5
Armenia III (536)
Armenia IV (536)
Galatia II Salutaris5
Diocese of the East5
Palaestina III Salutaris
Phoenice II Libanensis
Syria II Salutaris
Diocese of Egypt5
Quaestura exercitus (536)
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
Historical regions of Anatolia
Ancient Kingdoms of Anatolia
Neo-Hittites (Atuna, Carchemish, Gurgum, Hilakku, Kammanu, Kummuh,