Asia Minor is an area of ​​506 thousand square kilometers, linking the two parts of the world into a single continent called Eurasia. This peninsula is washed by four seas: the Aegean, the Black, the Marble and the Mediterranean. The second name of Asia Minor - Anatolia - takes its roots from the province of the Ottoman Empire, which belongs to the Asian possessions of the peninsula. The European part of the empire at that time was concentrated in the province of Rumelia. Today, the Peninsula of Asia Minor is represented by part of Turkey from the west to the east from the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to the borders of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Armenia.

History of peoples

The first settlers in the territory of modern Turkey were the peoples of the huts, settled on the peninsula in the 15th century BC. e. Their language was similar to Abkhaz-Adyghe. Northeast Cape from the 15th to the 8th century BC. e. settled tribes of hard hats. In the southeast, Hurrians lived. From 1650 BC, the territory of the Hittites - the peoples of Asia Minor, belonging to the Indo-European language group - began to occupy the territory. From the middle of the same century, the progress of the peoples who communicated in the Indo-European language continued: the Phrygians and Achaean Greeks appeared in the west of the peninsula.

Asia Minor: Characteristics and Interesting Facts

The Hittites became the first historical community of people who created the state. The capital of the Hittite kingdom was the city of Hattus. Then came the Lydian, Troyan and Phrygian kingdoms.

The Persian kings, A. Macedonian, were in power. It was a peninsula by the province of the Roman Empire, after the split of which Byzantium was formed. In the XIII century the peninsula was the center of the Ottoman Empire.

Russian-Turkish wars marked the XVI and XVII centuries in the history of Anatolia. In 1914 the Young Turk rulers involved the state in the First World War on the side of Germany. Ten years later, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed, the capital of which was Ankara. Modern Asia Minor on the map is represented mostly by Turkey.

Interesting facts about the Hittite Kingdom

In ancient sources there is no mention of the existence of the Hittite state. The Bible contains information about the Hittites allegedly from the Eastern Mediterranean. Hieroglyphic inscriptions found in the territory of Northern Syria and Asia Minor, could not be identified to a certain point and connected with known cultures. But in 1887, research progressed with the discovery of the Tell-Amarna archive. According to the discovery, the Hittite king in correspondence with the Egyptian pharaoh has the same status and prefix to his name as "brother". This was a breakthrough and determined the appropriation of the position of the great power of antiquity to the Hittite kingdom.

The history of Asia Minor was reflected in the works of modern researchers B. Grozny and A. Goetz. The discovery by B. Grozny that the Hittite language belonged to the Indo-European group was very important. Prior to this, the famous ancient Indo-European cultural values ​​- the Vedas, the poems of Homer - dated several centuries later than the Hittite texts of the second century BC. e.

States of Asia Minor: the Phrygian Kingdom

The next historical areas of the Anatolian peninsula after the fall of the country of the Hittites were the Phrygian and Lydian kingdoms. Their existence is confirmed by the excavations of the capital Gordion, Sard and the discovery in their place of temples, palaces, necropolises, fortifications.

South-West Asia in the 2nd century BC. e. was inhabited by Phrygians. The ancient people engaged in farming, cattle breeding, growing grapes, processing stone and wood, making carpets. The ancient Phrygian law impose the highest penalty - death - for the spoilage of the agricultural tools and the killing of the ox.

Phrygia, being under the influence of the Persian, Hellenic, Macedonian and Roman cultures, retained its language and bank notes until the VI century. The cities of Asia Minor in the Phrygian kingdom: Kelen, Perapol, Colossi, Doriley, Laodochia, Sinnada.

Until the beginning of the I century BC. e. The state with a female name was a part of the Phrygian kingdom, after disintegration of which Lydia was allocated in the independent country. South-West Asia became a springboard for the location of an ancient feudal state with access to the Aegean Sea. Such a favorable position, connecting the Greek and the ancient Eastern worlds, the Lydians owed to King Giges of the Mernad dynasty. Thanks to him, partly Phrygia, Troas, Caria and Mysia departed to Lydia.

Active trade in fabrics, ceramics, paints (Sard ocher), brick was the impetus for the introduction of coins as a means of circulation and payment for goods. In the VII century BC. e. the alloy of gold and silver became the material for making the first banknotes. Invasion of the Persians in 547 BC. e. defeated the Lydian army and put an end to the existence of the ancient state.

The Little Kingdom of Asia: Hare

In the second century BC. e. The territory of Kariya was inhabited by the Hittites, who by that time formed family ties with the Carians. Greek colonization, the Persian Empire promoted the spread in the historical field of Greek culture, cities and language. The campaigns of A. Macedon completely ruined the Karian state.

The Mediterranean coast from the mouth of the Maendra River to the Indus with the cities of Miletus, Knid, Kavn and Halicarnassus was the territory of such a country of Asia Minor as Caria. She bordered with Phrygia, Lydia and Lycia. From the IV to the XI century. the state was part of Byzantium, from the 14th century it is already part of the Ottoman Empire. The ancient state in modern Turkey is concentrated in the administrative district of Mugla. It is known for its city of Halicarnassus, who became the keeper of one of the seven wonders of the world.

The sheep breeding and winemaking flourished in the ancient kingdom. The distribution of the last branch is illustrated by excavated coins with the image of a cluster of grapes.

The Little Kingdom of Asia: Lykia

Asia Minor in the south in ancient times served as a springboard for the development of Lycia. On the modern map of the world, the above-mentioned power is located in the provinces of Antalya and Mugla. The western neighbor of Lycia was Kary, the eastern neighbor was Pamphylia, and the north-eastern neighbor was Pisidia. The cultural heritage of the ancient power became the city of Xanth (the capital) and the sanctuary of the goddess Summer. These historical sites are now included in the UNESCO list.

Like all the largest states on the peninsula of Asia Minor, Lykia at different periods of its existence was under the hegemony of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Turks. However, the primitive ethnography of the people was preserved: writing, language, architecture. Mention of the people is in the Iliad of Homer.

Interesting facts about Asia Minor

  • Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, is located simultaneously on two continents.
  • The first church, erected by man, is in Antioch, the modern name is Antakya.
  • Written language appeared in Anatolia.
  • The rivers Euphrates and Tigris, flowing through the paradise gardens mentioned in the Bible, originate in Turkey.
  • The Temple of Artemis and the house of the Virgin Mary are located in Ephesus.
  • Mount Ararat, known by the Biblical tradition as the stopping point of Noah's Ark, is located in the east of Anatolia.
  • Sirkeci Train Station in Istanbul is the harbor for trains connecting Europe with Asia and the historic train station "Orient Express".
  • The largest diamond in the world is stored in the Topkapi Palace, the famous residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
  • In the south-eastern part of Asia Minor, in the city of Harran, is the world's first spiritual university.
  • Apollo and Artemis have Asian roots.

The Peninsula of Asia Minor and the wonders of the world

In the world culture, presumably by the ancient Greek engineer Philo of Byzantium, seven human creations were distinguished, called miracles of light:

  • Egyptian pyramids.
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
  • Alexandrian lighthouse.
  • Statue of Zeus.
  • The Halicarnassus Mausoleum.
  • The Colossus of Rhodes.
  • Temple of Artemis.

Ancient Anatolia had on its territory two miracles of the world: the Temple of Artemis and the Halicarnassus Mausoleum. The island of Rhodes, famous for its giant statue of the sun god and one of the seven wonders of the world - the Colossus of Rhodes, is also located off the coast of Asia Minor.

Temple of Artemis

Western Asia on the map is known for its ancient city of Ephesus. Glorification he received due to the existing cult of the goddess of fertility and hunting Artemis. In the IV century BC. e. the inhabitants of the city erected a temple in her honor. The architectural structure is striking in its complex execution and includes 127 marble columns. The temple was built with an area of ​​6 thousand square meters 120 years.

The temple was attacked on the order of seven times, which led to the destruction of a unique design. In 356 BC. e. the construction of the arson of Herostratus, an ordinary resident of Ephesus, who decided to perpetuate his name in such a blasphemous way. The temple was later restored by the Ephesians. In the II century BC. e. The ancient structure was plundered by the Goths, who captured the city. During the Byzantine Empire, the marble cladding of the temple was dismantled. After tens of millennia, in the XIX century, before the English archeologists appeared the ruins of a great structure.

Legend of the construction of the temple

There is a belief that Ephesus is a facing material, marble, which was later used for the construction of the shrine. Shepherd Pixodor, during the sheep walking, witnessed a stubborn skirmish between two animals that could not disperse on the same path. As a result, one of the sheep decided to show their advantage over the opponent, fled and instead of the intended victim crashed into the rock. The breakaway piece of the cliff was marble. This discovery was the impetus for the construction of one of the wonders of the world. And the shepherd in the Gospel was glorified by the man who brought the good news.

Another legend relates to the engineering solution for transporting columns. Works on preparation of constructive elements of the temple were carried out at a distance of 12 km from the main site. Therefore, huge columns had a delivery problem. Architect Kharsefron made a wise decision: it was required to make holes in the columns, insert in them an armature with wheels and transport without problems pillared elements of the future church.

Halicarnassus Mausoleum

In the IV century BC. e. Asia Minor was famous for Halicarnassus, a city in the state of Cary, and present-day Turkey attracts tourists with Bodrum, a modern resort known in the past as the keeper of the mausoleum erected by Tsar Mavsol.

Hard ruler Mavsol, who made a profit on ordinary people through taxes, decided to build a temple in honor of himself, where he would be honored. He could not see the completed object because of his death, so the mausoleum was completed by his wife - Artemisia.

In architectural design, the mausoleum combined three styles: Ionic, Carian and Doric. The area of ​​the structure was more than 5000 m 2. On the pedestal a tomb was surrounded, surrounded by 36 columns, which served as a support for the roof in the form of a 24-step pyramid. The creation lasted 1800 years. In the XV century, the Crusaders destroyed the ancient mausoleum.

The Colossus of Rhodes

A well-known bronze statue was built by the Rhodians in honor of the patron of Helios, the sun god who, according to legend, was the creator of the island, located near the south-western coasts of Asia Minor.

The metal for the sculpture was mined thanks to the melting of shells and siege machines left after the unsuccessful conquest of the island by the commander Demetrius. Work on the Colossus began in 300 BC. e. and ended twelve years later. The statue stood for 50 years, after the earthquake the monument lay on the ground for a long time, surprising with its size: not everyone could clasp a thumb on the hand of Colossus.

It turns out that Asia Minor is not only a treasury of historical facts, legends, but also a territory that kept three of the seven recognized wonders of the world.