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Karia (Caria) - Region 12

Cities / Mints

1 - Alabanda
2 - Alinda
3 - Amyzon
4 - Antiocheia ad Maeander (Antiochia ad Maeandrum)
5 - Aphrodisias-Plarasa
6 - Apollonia Salbake (Salbace)
7 - Astypalaia (Astypalaea)
8 - Astyra
9 - Attuda
10 - Bargylia
11 - Chalke (Chalce)
12 - Chalketor (Chalcetor)
13 - Knidian Chersonesos (Chersonesus)
14 - Euhippe
15 - Euromos (Euromus)
16 - Gordioteichos (Gordiotechus)
17 - Halikarnassos (Halicarnassus)
18 - Harpagion (Harpagium)
19 - Harpasa
20 - Herakleia Salbake (Heraclea Salbace)
21 - Hydisos (Hydisus)
22 - Hyllarima
23 - Ialysos (Ialysus)
24 - Iasos (Iasus)
25 - Idyma
26 - Kalymna (Calymna)
27 - Kamiros (Camirus)
28 - Kaunos (Caunus)
29 - Keramos (Ceramus)
30 - Kidramos (Cidramus, Cidrama)
31 - Kindya (Cindya)
32 - Knidos (Cnidus)
33 - Kos (Cos)


34 - Kranaos (Cranaus)
35 - Lindos (Lindus)
36 - Megiste
37 - Mylasa
38 - Myndos (Myndus)
39 - Neapolis
40 - Nisyros (Nisyrus)
41 - Orthosia
42 - Poseidion
43 - Rhodos (Rhodes, Rhodus)
44 - Sebastopolis
45 - Stratonikeia (Stratonicaea)
46 - Syangela
47 - Syme
48 - Tabai (Tabae)
49 - Telos (Telus)
50 - Trapezopolis

51 - Karia Uncertain


- Tissaphernes (415-395 BC)
- Hekatomnos (392-377 BC)
- Maussollos (377-353 BC)
- Hidrieios (351-344 BC)
- Pixodaros (340-334 BC)
- Rhoontopates (334-333 BC)
- Memnon (ca 333 BC)

52 - Satraps of Karia

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In the southwest of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Karia (Caria in Latin) was incorporated in ca. 545 BC into the ancient Achaemenid empire as the satrapy Karkâ. Its capital was Halikarnassos (modern Bodrum), which had been originally founded by the Greeks. Karia and the Karians are mentioned for the first time in the cuneiform texts of the Old Assyrian and Hittite Empires between ca. 1800 and 1200 BC. The country was called Karkissa. After a gap of some four centuries in which they are mentioned only once, Greek poet Homer mentions Karians in the so-called Catalogue of ships. He tells that they lived in Miletos, on the Mycale peninsula, and along the river Meander. In the Trojan war, they had, according to the poet, sided with the Trojans.

The Karian language belongs to the Hittite-Luwian subfamily of the Indo-European languages, related to Lykian and Lydian.The Greeks settled on the coast of Asia Minor in the dark ages between ca. 1200 and 800 BC, where they and the Karians mixed. Karia is a country of mountains and valleys, poor in agricultural and other resources. What united the Karians, however, was their religion. One of their ritual centers was Mylasa, where they venerated a male supreme god, called 'the Karian Zeus' by Herodotus. Unlike his Greek counterpart, this Zeus was an army god. One of the Karian goddesses was Hekate, who was responsible for road crossings and became notorious in Greece as the source of witchcraft. Many Karians were mercenaries and military specialists, and Herodotus writes that the Greeks had been indebted to the Karians for three military inventions: making shields with handles, putting devices on shields, and fitting crests on helmets. Because of this last invention, the Persians called the Karians "cocks." The Karians were especially famous for serving the Egyptian pharaoh.

At the beginning of the fourth century, the Karians gained great independence and were ruled by satraps of Karian descent. The first of these was Hekatomnos of Mylasa (391-377 BC), who was not only satrap of Karia, but also of Miletos. He was succeeded by his son Maussolos, who took part in the so-called Revolt of the Satraps: Maussolos, Orontes of Armenia, Autophradates of Lydia and Datames of Kappadokia joined forces against their king, with support of the pharaohs of Egypt, Nektanebo I, Teos, and Nektanebo II. Although they were defeated, king Artaxerxes III Ochus had to reinstall Maussolos as satrap of Karia. One of the most remarkable aspects of his reign is his strict adherence to the ancient cults of Karia. Between 370 and 365 BC, Maussolos returned the Karian residence to Halikarnassos (from Mylasa). Its most famous building was the monument that the satrap built for himself, which has become known as the Mausoleum, and considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Hekatomnid dynasty lasted until Alexander III's arrival, and Queen Ada appears to have been the last Karian queen (whom Alexander retained as satrap). After Alexander's death, his successors contested the possession of Karia. First ruled by Antigonos Monophthalmos, it became part of the empire of Lysimachos in 301 BC, and later became a province of the Ptolemaic empire, only to change into Seleukid hands before the mid-third century. In 188 BC, the Romans defeated the Seleukids, and divided the country between the Pergamene kingdom in the north and Rhodes in the south. In 129 BC, the Romans decided to annex the Pergamene part of Karia, which became part of their province of Asia. The Rhodian part retained some of its independence, until it was, together with Rhodes, conquered by the Roman general Brutus in 42 BC. [Based on article by Jona Lendering - Livius.org]

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