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Cilicia

Cilicia (sĬlĬsh´ə), ancient region of SE Asia Minor, in present S Turkey, between the Mediterranean and the Taurus range. It included a high and barren plateau, Cilicia Trachia or Cilicia Tracheia, and a fertile plain, Cilicia Pedias. The area was under the domination of the Assyrian Empire before it became part of the Persian Empire. Greeks early settled on the coast, and Cilicia was hellenized to a great extent. In the Hellenistic period the region was disputed by the Seleucid kings of Syria and the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. Tarsus and Seleucia (not to be confused with the port of Antioch) were the principal cities. They flourished after the region became part of the Roman Empire (a portion in 102 BC, but most of it only after Pompey's campaign against the pirates there in 67 BC). Later Cilicia was included in the Byzantine Empire and in the 8th cent. was invaded by the Arabs. In 1080, Prince Reuben set up an Armenian state there, which became a kingdom in 1098 and is generally called Little Armenia. The Armenians cooperated with the rulers of the neighboring Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. They maintained their independence against the Turks until 1375, when the Mamluks conquered them. (For the later history of the region, see Armenia.) Cilicia is mentioned in the Bible (Acts 6.9; 21.39; 22.3; Gal. 1.21).

See T. S. Boase, ed., Cilician Kingdom of Armenia (1979).

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Cilicia

CILICIA

valley in southern turkey situated between the taurus mountains and the mediterranean sea, bordering syria.

Cilicia is an important agricultural region. Adana is its largest city, and Alexandretta and Mersin are its major ports. In the late nineteenth century, Cilicia's growing cotton industry attracted large numbers of Muslim refugees from the Balkans and Russia. Cilicia's centuries-old Armenian population, descended from the eleventh century Kingdom of Little Armenia in Cilicia, was largely exiled or killed in the revolts and wars of the early twentieth century. The French occupied Cilicia from 1918 to 1921, when it was incorporated by the FranklinBouillon Agreement into the Turkish Republic.

see also adana; alexandretta.


Bibliography


Shaw, Stanford, and Shaw, Ezel Kural. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. 2 vols. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 19761977.

Elizabeth Thompson

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