Written by Strabo circa 7 BC
Cappadocia consists of many parts, and has experienced frequent changes.
The nations speaking the same language are chiefly those who are bounded on the south by the Cilician Taurus, as it is called; on the east by Armenia, Colchis, and by the intervening nations who speak different languages; on the north by the Euxine1, as far as the mouth of the Halys2; on the west by the Paphlagonians3, and by the Galatians4, who migrated into Phrygia, and spread themselves as far as Lycaonia, and the Cilicians, who occupy Cilicia Tracheia (Cilicia the mountainous).
Among the nations that speak the same language, the ancients placed the Cataonians by themselves, contra-distinguishing them from the Cappadocians, whom they considered as a different people. In the enumeration of the nations they placed Cataonia after Cappadocia, then the Euphrates, and the nations on the other side of that river, so as to include even Melitene in Cataonia, although Melitene lies between Cataonia and the Euphrates, approaches close to Commagene, and constitutes a tenth portion of Cappadocia, according to the division of the country into ten provinces. For the kings in our times who preceded Archelaus5 usually divided the kingdom of Cappadocia in this manner.
Cataonia is a tenth portion of Cappadocia. In our time each province had its own governor, and since no difference appears in the language of the Cataonians compared with that of the other Cappadocians, nor any difference in their customs, it is surprising how entirely the characteristic marks of a foreign nation have disappeared, yet they were distinct nations; Ariarathes, the first who bore the title of king of the Cappadocians, annexed the Cataonians to Cappadocia.
This country composes the isthmus, as it were, of a large peninsula formed by two seas; by the bay of Issus, extending to Cilicia Tracheia, and by the Euxine lying between Sinope and the coast of the Tibareni.
The isthmus cuts off what we call the peninsula; the whole tract lying to the west of the Cappadocians, to which Herodotus gives the name of the country within the Halys. This is the country the whole of which was the kingdom of Crœsus. Herodotus calls him king of the nations on this side the river Halys. But writers of the present time give the name of Asia, which is the appellation of the whole continent, to the country within the Taurus.
This Asia comprises, first, the nations on the east, Paphlagonians, Phrygians, and Lycaonians; then Bithynians, Mysians, and the Epictetus; besides these, Troas, and Hellespontia; next to these, and situated on the sea, are the Æolians and Ionians, who are Greeks; the inhabitants of the remaining portions are Carians and Lycians, and in the inland parts are Lydians. We shall speak hereafter of the other nations.
The Macedonians obtained possession of Cappadocia after it had been divided by the Persians into two satrapies, and permitted, partly with and partly without the consent of the people, the satrapies to be altered to two kingdoms, one of which they called Cappadocia Proper, and Cappadocia near the Taurus, or Cappadocia the Great; the other they called Pontus, but according to other writers, Cappadocia on Pontus.
We are ignorant at present how Cappadocia the Great was at first distributed; upon the death of Archelaus the king, Cæsar and the senate decreed that it should be a Roman province. But when the country was divided in the time of Archelaus and of preceding kings into ten provinces, they reckoned five near the Taurus, Melitene, Cataonia, Cilicia, Tyanītis, and Garsaurītis; the remaining five were Laviansene, Sargarausene, Saravene, Chamanene, Morimene. The Romans afterwards assigned to the predecessors of Archelaus an eleventh province formed out of Cilicia, consisting of the country about Castabala and Cybistra, extending to Derbe, belonging to Antipater, the robber. Cilicia Trachea about Elæussa was assigned to Archelaus, and all the country which served as the haunts of pirates.
- The Black Sea.
- Kizilirmak River in modern Turkey.
- Paphlagonia was located in north-central Anatolia, along the Black Sea.
- Galatia was located just south of Paphlagonia.
- Archelaus received from Augustus (B. C. 20) some parts of Cilicia on the coast and the Lesser Armenia. In A. D. 15 Tiberius treacherously invited him to Rome, and kept him there. He died, probably about A. D. 17, and his kingdom was made a Roman province.