18 Facts About Lycia


Lycia was populated by speakers of the Luwian language group.

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Many cities in Lycia were wealthy as shown by their elaborate architecture starting at least from the 5th c BC and extending to the Roman period.

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Lycia fought for the Persians in the Persian Wars, but on the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by the Greeks, it became intermittently a free agent.

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Lycia comprised what is the westernmost portion of Antalya Province, the easternmost portion of Mugla Province, and the southernmost portion of Burdur Province.

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The name of western Lycia was given by Charles Fellows to it and points of Lycia west of it.

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Principal cities of ancient Lycia were Xanthos, Patara, Myra, Pinara, Tlos and Olympos and Phaselis.

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Lycia hosted a small enclave of Dorian Greeks for some centuries and Rhodes was mainly inhabited by Dorians at the time.

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Complete assimilation to Greek occurred sometime in the 4th century, after Lycia had come under the control of Alexander the Great and his fellow Macedonians.

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Lycia continued to exist as a vassal state under the Roman Empire until its final division after the death of Theodosius I at which point it became a part of the Byzantine Empire under Arcadius.

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Lycia was a son of either Zeus or Ares; his mother's name is variously given as Chaldene, Caldene, Calchedonia, or Chalcea "the nymph".

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Lycia was frequently mentioned by Homer as an ally of Troy.

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Lycia assigned the task to Harpagus, a Median general, who proceeded to subdue the various states of Anatolia, one by one, some by convincing them to submit, others through military action.

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An Iranian family producing some other Harpagids, did live in Lycia and was of sufficient rank to marry the king's daughter.

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Lycia had a single monarch, who ruled the entire country from a palace at Xanthos.

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Lycia was ruled directly by the Carian dynast Pixodarus, son of Hecatomnus, as shown in the Xanthos trilingual inscription.

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Lycia was ruled by men such as Mithrapata, whose name was Persian.

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The annexation of Lycia seems to fit the common reason for annexing Roman client states or allies in this period: the loss on stability due to internal strife or, in some cases, the weakening or end of a ruling dynasty.

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Lycia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire and eventually became part of Turkey.

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