CAPPADOCIA, Anatolian Achaemenid satrapy, Hellenistic-era Iranian kingdom, and imperial Roman province. The Old Persian name of the satrapy was Katpatuka; the Sasanian inscriptions have Middle Persian kpwtkyʾy/kpwtkydʾy, Parthian kpwtkyʾ. In Greek sources we find the Cappadocians called Leukosurioi or Surioi (e.g., Herodotus, 3.90, 5.49.6, 7.72; Strabo, Geography 12.542, 544), a practice which probably reflects the imprecise western perception of regions some distance from mainland Greece.
1. Landscape and resources.
Cappadocia extended from Lake Tatta east to the upper Euphrates and from the Black Sea south to Cilicia and can be divided into two parts (Strabo, Geography 12.534; Polybius, frag. 54): 1. Cappadocia proper, i.e., the central and southern portions (Cappadocia near the Taurus, Cappadocia the larger), which is the subject of this article, and 2. Pontic Cappadocia, in the north, the later Iranian kingdom of Pontus.
A rolling plateau cut by mountains, nearly isolated by winter snows, Cappadocia in the east contains bare central highlands, in the west a nearly treeless landscape, and in the north mountainous tracts marked by fertile valleys, especially on the lower Halys river. In the south greater economic value is found on the plains around Tyana and Cybistra, in the well-watered Melitene plateau, and in the region of Cataonia. In the center stands Mount Argaeus and at its well-timbered side lies Mazaca, royal, then provincial, capital.
Agriculture, livestock, and mining made Cappadocia wealthy (Strabo, 11.525, 12.535). The realm provided wheat (e.g., Athenaeus, 3.112c, 113a-b) and Melitene fruits (Strabo, 12.535). Cattle (along the Halys; at Mazaca; Strabo, 12.539), sheep, and wild asses (Strabo, 12.540, 546) all created revenue. Mining garnered red ochre, translucent marble, silver and stone (these two from the land around Mazaca; Strabo, 12.540), salt, and iron (Pliny, Natural History 34.14.41). Horses provided tribute and defense (Strabo, 11.525). Timber was at a premium, save in Cataonia and on the slopes of the Argaeus (Strabo, 12.538).
The two routes that ran through Cappadocia gave it strategic value: the central route through Mazaca to Melitene and thence to Tomisa fort at the Euphrates crossing; the western one through Tyana to the Cilician gates (which the rebel Cyrus the Younger, 401 B.C., traveled on going to his defeat).
The sources shed little light on Cappadocia. From the district itself there are coinages, e.g., royal issues difficult to assign but providing evidence of a dynasty that portrayed itself as hellenized and equal in culture to more western powers; inscriptions preserved by chance offer glimpses into cities’ internal affairs and of Roman attempts to improve the province’s infrastructure; and the writings of church fathers document the coexistence of old and new social structures. Cappadocia is mentioned in outside sources only when it is a participant in larger events, such as in the wars of powers greater than itself and in the deeds of rival Roman generals. Marcus Tullius Cicero’s letters as governor of adjoining Cilicia (50 B.C.) are unique as a source; in these the writer details the apparent strife among nobles during the reigns of Ariobarzanes II and III. Of great value is Strabo’s sketch of the kingdom at the death of its last king, Archelaus. But most of these sources are anecdotal and contain only scattered notices.
The portrait which emerges of Cappadocia in these sources is one of continuity: of an Achaemenid political and economic landscape which, although strongly influenced throughout its history by western models and the demands of its frontier, lasted into the later Roman empire.
2. The satrapy of Cappadocia (after 559-331 B.C.).
Sources. Cappadocian events are documented by Greco-Roman historians only when they involved inhabitants from the Aegean and its environs. Thus, Herodotus (5th cent. B.C.) and Xenophon (who was himself an employee of the rebel Cyrus; 5th-4th cents. B.C.) provide some glimpses; Datames’ (ca. 380s-360s) generalship in central and southern Anatolia earned him a chapter in Nepos’s biographical work (1st cent. b.c); the coinage (Iranian types with Aramaic inscriptions) records satrapial expansion towards the Black Sea, the exercise of influence over coastal cities (e.g., Sinope), and efforts to mount resistance to Macedonian invaders.
Administrative landscape. Herodotus (1.71, 72, 76) reports that it was Cyrus, defending his western frontier against the Lydian Croesus (ca. 546 B.C.), who added Cappadocia to the Achaemenid empire, but concerning the satrapy and its natives before this conquest and its disposition at the conquest there is no agreement among the historians; Diodorus (31.19.2) differs from Xenophon (Cyropaedia 2.1, 8.6) and Ctesias (frag. 2, in Müller, Fragmente, no. 628).
Provincial government was headed by the satrap, a royal appointee responsible for maintaining order and forwarding tribute to Susa (precious metals, horses, livestock; Strabo, 11.525; Herodotus, 3.90), but evidence is lacking for specific efforts by satraps to improve their satrapy’s economic status. Datames’ career provides evidence for policing actions against “less stable peoples” (Nepos, Datames 4, 5.6, 6) and Greek cities (Polyaenus, 7.21.2; Aeneas Tacticus, 40.4). Cappadocia also contributed resources to larger campaigns, e.g., the satrap Ariaramnes (see ARIYĀRAMNA) in the reign of Darius I against Scythia (Ctesias, frag. 13.20, in Müller, Fragmente, no. 688); during Xerxes’ western operations Cappadocian Critalla served as a mustering point, and Cappadocians were recruited for troops (Herodotus, 7.26, 72); Ariarathes’ brother Orophernes served Artaxerxes III in the pacification of Egypt (Diodorus, 31.19.3).
In better documented satrapies of the period it is possible to determine blood ties between the governor and the king; however, Cappadocia’s satraps are imperfectly known (see Table 45) and their backgrounds are obscure, except in the case of Datames’ father, who was of Carian descent and a lesser officer from the adjoining satrapy of Cilicia (Nepos, Datames 1), and Ariarathes’ father Ariamnes, who was a lesser officer and later apparently satrap in northern Cappadocia during Artaxerxes’ II reign (Diodorus, 31.19, where his position is clearly exaggerated).
As in other Anatolian satrapies (e.g., Dascylium, see Xenophon, Hellenica 3.4.13, 4.1.15), the satrap would be based on a large estate containing his residence (cf. Ariarathes’ Gazioura, site of palace and mint, in Strabo, 13.547).
Subordinate to the satrap were a series of lesser officers about whom little is known. Xenophon (Anabasis 1.2.20) refers to a number clustered in the vicinity of Tyana. Members of the satrapial family account for some of the lesser officers we know: Datames’ father-in-law Mithrobarzanes (Diodorus, 15.91; Nepos, Datames 6) and Orophernes, brother of Ariarathes (Diodorus, 31.19.2, cf. 18.16.1-3). If the Hellenistic-era system of strategiai (see below; cf. Strabo, 12.533-34) is based upon an Achaemenid-era practice, then we may assume that there was one lesser officer—an Achaemenid parallel to the strategos—who stood above his colleagues (the other lesser officers) within a subdivision of the satrapy (which by Hellenistic times was called a strategia). Plutarch (Eumenes 3.7) and Nepos (Datames 5, 10) enumerate other lesser officers (fort commanders, judges, finance officers); their evidence suggests that the satrap could appoint these lesser officers.
Examination of other Anatolian Achaemenid satrapies reveals a pattern of rurally based control. Most of the lesser officers Cyrus found at Tyana were no doubt local nobles, holders of estates. The estates had attached villages which were defended by the cavalry of the nobles’ personal following and protected by fortified strong points (according to the sources these fortresses, villages, and revenues from estates were common objects of banditry; Nepos, Datames 10; Polyaenus, 7.29.1; cf. Herodotus, 1.76). The pattern permitted a peaceful economic development, which is readily apparent in Strabo’s account of Archelaus’ kingdom and which also emerges from scattered evidence for the Achaemenid-era satrapy. Cappadocia was well-known for its horses, and its cavalry remained significant (Strabo, 11.525; Herodotus, 3.90, cf. Xenophon, Cyropaedia 2.1.5; Arrian, Anabasis 3.11.7; Diodorus, 18.16; Plutarch, Eumenes 4). The famous temple estates at Comana (Strabo, 12.535) and Venasa (Strabo, 12.537), as well as the temple of Anāhitā, “the Persian Artemis,” at Castabala (Strabo, 12.537, cf. 15.733), must have existed in Achaemenid times.
History of the satrapy. One suggestible pattern appears in the scantily documented history of the satrapy, namely a strengthening of control which probably led to its division into two. In the reigns of Darius and Xerxes (521-486, 486-65) Cappadocian troops played a role in extending Achaemenid control westward and in policing less stable peoples; thus, Ariaramnes’ coastal influence permitted raising a fleet (Ctesias, frag. 13.20, in Jacoby, Fragmente, no. 688; cf. Strabo, 12.547, on Amisus). A century later, in the reign of Artaxerxes II, Cyrus the younger superceded the normal government (Xenophon, Anabasis 1.9.7), and lesser officers split over the question of supporting treachery against the king (ibid., 1.2.20 for Megaphernes; 7.8.25 plus 2.5.35 for Mithridates). Tyana appears as a major administrative center (Xenophon, Anabasis 1.2.20).
From the 370s to about 360 Datames held Cappadocia (Nepos, Datames; Diodorus, 15.91; Polyaenus, 7.21, 29). He policed less stable peoples, extended his influence over Sinope and Amisus (where he struck coins), and possessed a fleet which operated along the Black Sea coast. Filial treachery made him the object of attack by Artaxerxes’ forces from Lydia and the east (e.g., Nepos, Datames 7), but he was left in power until he was murdered (e.g., Nepos, Datames 9-11), though his satrapy was damaged by renewed invasion and banditry. The family of Ariamnes and his sons Ariarathes and Orophernes provided lesser officers (Diodorus, 31.19).
It was probably shortly after Artaxerxes’ III accession that Cappadocia was divided in two (Strabo, 12.534), the division being a reaction to Datames’ greater power and a desire to facilitate more effective administration. By the 340s Ariarathes was satrap in the north (the future Pontus) and his sector stable enough to spare troops for the pacification of Egypt. A story about the granting of southern Cappadocia may be preserved in Polybius (frag. 54, where the mountain mentioned could be Mount Argaeus).
The reign of Darius III (336-31) saw the Macedonian invasion and satrapial resistance. Mithrobouzanes, satrap of the south (Berve nr. 527; Arrian, Anabasis 1.16.3; Diodorus, 17.21.3) died at Granicus; a lesser officer (?), Sabictas (Berve, nr. 690, to be identified with Abistamenes, Berve nr. 4), was the Macedonian appointee and sunk into oblivion (Arrian, Anabasis 2.4.2; Curtius, 3.4.1). Most of Cappadocia remained a focal point of resistance and a staging area for the attempted reconquest of western Anatolia (Diodorus, 17.48.5-6; Curtius, 4.5.13, 4.1.34-35), and campaign coinage was struck in Sinope (see Harrison). Chief among the resisters was Ariarathes, whose own satrapy was barely touched by the invasion (Berve nr. 113; the same man as Ariakes, Berve nr. 111). Ariarathes led troops at Gaugamela (Arrian, Anabasis 3.8.5) and fought Macedon until his death at the age of eighty (322 B.C.; Hieronymus, frags. 3-4, in Jacoby Fragmente, no. 154 = Appian, Mithridatic Wars 8-9; Lucian, Macrobii 13). Then came the pretense of rule by alien forces more interested in fighting each other (Plutarch, Eumenes 3-4; Appian, Mithridatic Wars 9).
Greek tradition held that Ariarathes and all his followers were executed (Diodorus, 18.16; cf. Justin, 13.6; Plutarch, Eumenes 3) but Cappadocian tradition that his nephew, Ariarathes (II), escaped and later gained a kingdom with Armenian assistance (Diodorus, 31.19).
3. The post-Achaemenid kingdom (ca. 320s B.C.-A.D. 17).
After the fall of the Achaemenid empire the satrapies became kingdoms: Northern Cappadocia, the kingdom of Pontus, was ruled by a cadet branch of Dascylium’s satrapial house. Southern Cappadocia was ruled by three families in succession, all derived from local nobles. The House of Ariarathes tied itself (Diodorus, 31.19.1-3) to Achaemenid royalty (Cyrus and Darius’ Seven) and satraps (Datames, the brothers Ariarathes and Orophernes) in a stemma pruned of indications of treachery and internecine strife; the Seleucid-era dynast Ariamnes, scion of an Achaemenid-era family who apparently survived the fall, is the first certain member. With Pontic intermarriage and Roman interference the kingship passed to the House of Ariobarzanes (95-36 B.C.), chosen by the Cappadocians (Justin, 38.2; Strabo, 12.540; cf. Appian, Mithridatic Wars 9-10, for Mithridates’ view), and then to Archelaus (= Sisines? 36 B.C.-17 A.D.; Strabo, 12.540), a lesser noble of Pontic descent seemingly tied to Pontic Comana and Mithridates VI’s staff. His heirs remained prominent outside Cappadocia (described in Sullivan).
Dynastic histories. Cappadocian history is recalled foremost in the context of sometimes stormy relations with larger and more powerful western powers (a rare notice depicting the Ariarathids as king-makers is found in Diodorus, 31.22 with 31.19a). With Susa eclipsed and Antioch powerful, Cappadocia sought close ties with the Seleucids, who were themselves anxious that the routes to the east should be in friendly hands. Ariarathes III, the first of his family to style himself king on coins, married Stratonice, daughter of Antiochus II (Diodorus, 31.19.6). Their son, Ariarathes IV, married Antiochis, daughter of Antiochus III, and fought on Antiochus’s side against Pergamene Eumenes II and his Roman allies (Diodorus, 31.19.7; Livy, 37.40). Then, with Antioch eclipsed and Pergamum powerful, Ariarathes’ daughter was married to Eumenes II, whose new father-in-law helped fight enemy Pontus (182-79 B.C.; Polybius, 23.9, 24.1, 14-15, 25.2, 27.7). The half-Seleucid Ariarathes V then ascended, and Demetrius I sought to reassert familial influence, first through proposed marriage, then through support for a pretender (Orophernes). When Roman diplomacy proved ineffective, Cappadocian and Attalid forces returned the crown to Ariarathes (156 B.C.); Ariarathes died decades later while battling a pretender to the Pergamene throne (Polybius, 31-32, 33.6).
During the period of Roman exploitation of western Anatolia, Iranian Pontus was revitalized; thus, the reigns of Ariarathes VI-VIII were marked by Pontic attempts to exert its influence over Cappadocia at the expense of Bithynia and Rome both by marriage (Laodice, daughter of Mithridates V, to Ariarathes VI; Appian, Mithridatic Wars 10; Justin, 38.1) and by murder (of Ariarathes VI in 116 B.C.; of Ariarathes VII in 101 B.C.). Mithridates VI installed his own son, Ariarathes, as king.
Well-documented wars of Pontic and Roman generals and internal distrust marked the reigns of Ariobarzanes and his heirs, thought by many to hold the kingdom wrongfully (cf. Plutarch, Sulla 5.3, and Lucullus 14.6). Ariobarzanes I’s support for Rome first won him frequent expulsions, then new forts and land (Tomisa, Sophene, part of southeast Lycaonia; Strabo, 12.535). Fatigued, he abdicated (Appian, Mithridatic Wars 105). Ariobarzanes II had married Athenais, daughter of Mithridates VI, a step that failed to prevent the dissension and exiling which led to his death (Cicero, De provinciis consularibus 4, and Epistula ad familiares 15.2, 4). The disaffection of nobles and the wars among Roman generals tainted Ariobarzanes III’s reign; unable to collect revenues and deeply in debt (Cicero, Epistula ad Atticum 6.1, and ad familiares 15.1), Ariobarzanes was killed by his populace (Appian, Civil War 4.63). His younger brother Ariarathes IX then ruled, fitfully (Diodorus 49.32).
The last king, Archelaus, was at first a local noble, who had his palace at Cadena and his treasury at Nora (Strabo, 12.537). His reign (36 B.C.-A.D. 17), which overlapped that of Augustus, brought stability. An emperor’s favor and marriage to the Pontic widow Pythodoris (Diodorus, 57.17; Suetonius, Tiberius 8; Diodorus, 54.9; Strabo, 12.540, 555-56) gave Archelaus a realm equal in size to Datames’ satrapy. Augustus held the king as a man whose political wisdom was to be sought (cf. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 16.357-60, and Jewish War 1.538). With stability came economic growth; Archelaus developed Elaioussa (Strabo, 12.537, 14.671; Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 16.131), wrote on horses, mining, and agriculture (Pliny, Natural History 1.8, 18.30.73, 36.45.1); to Comana (see below) he was savior and founder (OGIS, no. 358). Tiberius summoned him to Rome, where, unconvicted for suspected trouble, he died of old age (Diodorus, 57.17; Suetonius, Tiberius 37; Tacitus, Annals 2.42; Philostratus, Vita Apollonii 1.12). Cappadocia was now part of the princeps’ house.
Administrative landscape. The evidence of Strabo, coinage, and inscriptions permits the reconstruction of a landscape displaying both a continuity from Achaemenid times and the scenery of Hellenization, that is, the result of the prominence of Greco-Macedonian kingdoms and royal desire to win greater acceptability for the dynasty and realm.
The satrap was replaced by a king, whose responsibility it was to maintain internal order and protect the kingdom and thus to facilitate economic development. Unpopular monarchs collected no revenues (Cicero, Epistula ad Atticum 6.1.3, and ad familiares 15.1.6). Powerful foreign friends conferred benefits, for instance, Rome (Strabo, 14.671; Appian, Mithridatic Wars 115; Strabo, 12.534-35). Anecdotal evidence from Pliny and Strabo portray the kings as developers, e.g., of Mazaca (Strabo, 12.538-39; irrigation, cattle-raising, and timber harvesting), Elaioussa (Strabo, 12.537, 14.671), and of mines (Strabo, 12.540: discoveries under Archelaus, cf. above; Pliny, 36.45.1: Archelaus’s book on mining).
Cappadocia was divided into ten, later eleven, satrapies, called by the Greek term strategiai, each headed by the strategos, who was an important noble (Comana’s priest was strategos for Cataonia, OGIS, no. 364, cf. Diodorus, 31.21, on the importance of their support); Strabo (12.534-35, cf. 14.671) lists the satrapies as Melitene, Cataonia, Cilicia, Tyanitis, Garsauritis, Laouiansene, Sargarausene, Saraouene, Chamanene, Morimene, and Cilicia Tracheia (a later territorial addition to the realm).
Control was still primarily based on rural estates and fortification maintained by local nobles. Two types of estates may be discerned: those centered on the residence of a noble, whose power was foremost temporal, and temple estates, whose priests played both a religious and temporal role. Thus, second to the king was the priest of Ma at Comana (often a member of the royal family), third the priest of Zeus at Venasa (Strabo, 12.536-37; these two held office for life, cf. Pontic Comana: Caesar, Bellum alexandrinum 66; Appian, Mithridatic Wars 121; Strabo, 12.558), and fourth the priest of Zeus Dacieus in Morimene.
Mazaca, the royal capital was of the first type of estate. It was the center of a well-developed and settled estate, surrounded by smaller plantations and villages (Strabo, 12.539), all protected by fortifications controlled by members of the royal family and nobles. Archelaus’ possessions at Nora and Cadena offer further examples; Cadena was settled enough to resemble a city (Strabo, 12.537).
Temple estates could be large and wealthy. That of Ma at Comana was settled with 6,000 temple servants and followers, who split loyalty between the king and the priest/strategos, whose power too lay in revenues derived from the exploitation of agricultural resources. The temple of Zeus at Venasa possessed 3,000 servants and 15 talents of revenue per year from its resources.
The landscape was protected in Achaemenid fashion by cavalry and forts (for the former see Plutarch, Eumenes, 4.2, 6.4, 12.3; Livy, 37.40; Caesar, Civil War 3.43; Appian, Civil War 2.49; Cicero, Epistula ad familiares 15.4.6). The forts formed part of estates (at Mazaca, Strabo, 12.539) or were scattered about the kingdom (Tomisa on the Euphrates, ibid., 12.535; mountain strongholds, ibid., 12.537, cf. 12.540; the nature of the officers in charge is uncertain).
The nobles of Cappadocia, some of whom must have been survivors from the Achaemenid era, represented a source of support for the king (Diodorus, 31.21) and a group which foreign powers could exploit to disrupt the monarchy (so Mithridates VI with Gordius, Justin, 38.1, 2, 5; Appian, Mithridatic Wars 65; cf. Sisines in Strabo, 12.537). Cicero (Epistula ad familiares 15.2, 4, 6, and ad Atticum 5.20) offers a picture of wavering nobility, split in its support for the House of Ariobarzanes or for particular members (cf. Caesar, Bellum alexandrinum 66), a portrait perhaps enhanced by accusations made by the royal family (cf. Gabinius’ elimination of nobles upon Ariobarzanes III’s request, Cicero, De provinciis consularibus 4).
Iranian religious practices survived (Strabo 15.733, cf. Pausanias, 5.27 for west Asian parallel), and the landscape was dotted with sanctuaries of Iranian or Iranized deities. Their importance or wonders associated with them caused Strabo (12.537) to note, in addition to the larger temple estates (above), the following: Zeus Dacieus in Morimene, Cataonian Apollo at Dastarcum (the model for other Cappadocian temples), and Anāhitā (Persian Artemis) at Castabala. Inscriptions add Astarte at Anisa, the magus Sagarios at Ariaramneia (see Grégoire), and Ahura-Mazdā/Bēl at Arebsum. Hellenic scenery perhaps cloaked native deities at Tyana (“Hermes,” “Herakles,” mentioned in Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 1.466) and Anisa (“Zeus,” “Herakles”).
Cappadocia was not urbanized in the manner of west Anatolia or Seleukis province; rather, increased settlement associated with estates, forts, or roads gave villages the “appearance” of a city (Strabo, 12.537, about Cadena). By western standards there were only two cities, Mazaca and Tyana, both renamed Eusebeia as a mark of royal embellishment. The first, “Eusebeia near the Argaeus,” was the royal capital and derived evenly matched advantages and disadvantages from its location in a volcanic area (timber, grazing, safe central location; Strabo, 12.538). After war damage in the first century B.C. Pompey helped rebuild it (Appian, Mithridatic Wars 115). By Archelaus’s reign there is evidence for the organs of self-government (a nomodos, and an ancestral constitution—assigned to the figure Charondas). The Anisa bronze tablet (see Cumont) refers to its officers (an officer “in charge of the city,” and a minister of finance). The second, “Eusebeia at the Taurus,” was a fortified mound surrounded by level and fertile territory. An inscription from Ariarathes VI’s reign (Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 1.466) refers to gymnasiarchs and a contest in honor of Hermes and Herakles.
Other settlements were smaller in size (Strabo, 12.537). Anisa Minor (Michel, no. 546) possessed a full set of civic officials with Greek titles and a festival in honor of Zeus Soter and Herakles. A bilingual inscription in Aramaic and Greek from Ariaramneia indicates that the Cappadocian noble in charge of religious ceremonies for Mithra was also strategos, which here meant officer in charge of the settlement (see Grégoire).
Foreigners expected to find cities and citizens. A Hellenistic Athenian decree honors the son of Mithraxides (Inscriptiones Graecae II, no. 980), called Ariaratheus, citizen of Ariaratheia (which I believe to be a settlement founded or developed by a king, and probably in connection with the Mazaca irrigation project).
Hellenization. The kings hellenized institutions so as to make their realm appear similar to the larger western realms of the Seleucids and Attalids. Thus, the House of Ariarathes, followed by that of Ariobarzanes, hellenized elements of their life and of their personal expression of power. Family members received a Greek education (Diodorus, 31.19; Justin, 38.2), became involved in the trappings of Hellenic culture (OGIS, no. 352: Ariarathes V’s support for the Dionysiac artists; Inscriptiones Graecae II, no. 1039, frags. b’ + c’ + p: Ariobarzanes II’s sons as Athenian ephebes; cf. Vitruvius, 5.9, Inscriptiones Graecae II, no. 3426), took Hellenic royal titles (basileus, not šāh; Eusebes, Epiphanes). Coinage, first and foremost a royal prerogative, shifted from Iranian types and Aramaic inscriptions to Greek types and inscriptions under Ariarathes III. In imitation of Seleucid practice newly founded or expanded settlements were given king’s names: the Eusebeiai, Ariaramneia, Ariaratheia, Archelais (Garsauira). All three royal houses were honored by Greek cities because of their good will (OGIS, nos. 350, 352-57, 359-63). Organs of civic government were couched in Greek terms, though their inner workings are not known, only their names. Anecdotes also refer to Hellenization on an individual level, such as Chrysippus of Tyana’s writings (mentioned in Athenaeus, 3.112c). But all in all, Cappadocia remained an Iranian kingdom, one which developed from an Achaemenid satrapy.
4. Cappadocia as Roman province (A.D. 1st-4th centuries).
Reduced to Archelaus’ kingdom without that of Pythodoris, Cappadocia remains a poorly illuminated frontier province; only information gleaned from scattered anecdotes bridges the gap between the writings of Strabo (A.D. 1st cent.) and the church fathers (A.D. 3rd-4th cents.). The apparent aim of Roman administration seems to have been to improve the provincial infrastructure in order to facilitate defense of the Euphrates frontier, witness the occasional redrawing of provincial boundaries plus the upgrading of the status of officers sent to govern, the construction of road networks for troop movements, and increased settlement associated with the construction and expansion of military bases; otherwise, things remained as they were in Achaemenid times. Roman rule was apparently unchallenged; there is no report of dissension, real or imagined, which the Parthians to the east or their supporters could seize upon (Tacitus, Annals 2.56).
Administrative landscape. Cappadocia was part of the house of the princeps, who controlled its resources and defended its land. Tiberius reduced royal taxes, which at this time were paid to the Roman militare aerarium (Tacitus, Annals 2.42). By replacing the king and through confiscation he and his heirs became the largest landowners. By A.D. 371/2 Cappadocia was divided in two, and only Mazaca-Caesarea remained outside imperial property in Cappadocia I (Justinian, Novella 30); all else was controlled by an estate manager (comes domorum per Cappadociam). Through his agents the princeps harvested the well-known provincial wealth (Florus, 3.12.4). Horses, for cavalry, remained of high quality (Oppian, Cynegetica 1.197-98; Vegetius, 3.6; Historia Augusta: Gordianus 4.5; private herds, confiscated, Müller, Fragmente 4.145). A “wealth of slaves” became a literary topos.
The princeps contributed strongly to the expansion or upgrading of existing and founding new settlements, none of which, however, reached the level of Mazaca or Tyana (the latter was a colonia under Caracalla, A.D. 198-217). Garsauira-Archelais became the colonia Archelais under Claudius (A.D. 41-54; Pliny, Natural History 6.35); Arca (Dessau, ILS, no. 1403), later raised in status to a colonia, was apparently founded by Hadrian (A.D. 117-38). The colonia Faustiniana was founded by Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 161-80; Historia Augusta: Marcus 26).
On coinage princeps replaced “king”; Mazaca-Caesarea, whose mines were imperial territory, remained a significant eastern mint into the third century, its coins being dated by the emperor’s regnal years (which were cloaked in Republican titulature by counting years from the granting of the power to the emperor of the office of tribune). On coins were soon reflected both local geography (coins showing Mount Argaeus on the reverse) and Mazaca’s growing importance for the frontier (in inscriptions, types, find spots). Trajan (A.D. 98-117) began minting at Tyana to meet war demands.
The princeps’ first satraps were governors drawn from the Republican equestrian, i.e., lesser, ranks (Diodorus, 57.17, Tacitus, Annals 2.42). Under the Flavians (68-96 A.D.), who were experienced in the east and concerned with upgrading frontier defense, governors were drawn from the Republican consular, i.e., higher, ranks (Suetonius, Vespasian 8.4) and were already familiar with the east. Assisted by praetorian legates in the rendering of justice, they gave much attention to the construction of frontier defensive works and roads. The names and activities of governors have been preserved by chance in historical references (the bungler Paelignus in Tacitus, Annals 12.49), coinage (Trajan’s Ruso on the bronze coinage from Cybistra), and inscriptions (usually milestones associated with public works, cf. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum III, no. 6056).
The administrative structure of the Roman province of Cappadocia much resembled those of the Achaemenid satrapy and the post-Achaemenid kingdom. Mazaca (apparently called Caesarea since the reign of Archelaus) remained the capital (the name Eusebeia still appears in inscriptions and on coins, e.g., Inscriptiones Graecae ad Res Romanas Pertinentes IV, nos. 1588, 1645), growing larger, wealthier (Ammianus, 20.9; Zonaras, 12.23), and walled (so on the coinage of Gordian, A.D. 238-44). The strategiai continued, according to the scattered references in Pliny, Ptolemy, and the church fathers. Anecdotes point to the permanence of estates, temple and civil, whose nobility supported Rome (Tacitus, Annals 2.56) by providing military forces (cf. Tacitus, Annals 12.49, 15.6). St. Basil refers to the survival of the old social structure (see Teja).
Roman rule left its imprint in its high-quality fortifications and roads (discussed in detail by Mitford). The annexation of Cappadocia gave Rome crucial roads east from the wealthy province of Asia to the Euphrates and forts such as Tomisa. Augustus’s heirs took measures to improve defense; thus, Claudius is perhaps responsible for the fort at Dascusa; but Nero’s suicide (A.D. 68) left unfulfilled his plans for Cappadocia, a staging point in the near open war with Parthia over Armenia (Tacitus, Annals 15.6, 12, 17; Histories 2.6, 81).
Active like Darius, Vespasian laid out for his sons and officers plans to improve the Euphrates frontier, of which Cappadocia was a key part. Cappadocia (with Galatia added) was assigned to experienced men of consular rank. Roads to facilitate the movements of troops and of the fruits of the province were laid out and constructed. A. Caesonius Callus and T. Pomponius Bassus emerge from milestones as the master builders. Two legions—XII Fulminate and XVI Flavia—were stationed in Cappadocia and new forts constructed. Melitene, home to the first legion, grew and was granted city-status by Trajan.
The Flavian groundwork survived into the seventh century A.D., outlasting alterations in provincial boundaries and military policy. Under Trajan Cappadocia, Armenia, and Armenia Minor were combined into a large frontier province (a harbinger of attempts to direct the destiny of regions east of the Euphrates) until A.D. 117, when Cappadocia reemerged as a single province with the addition first of Armenia Minor, then later of the inland portion of east Pontus. In the late second century emphasis shifted to Mesopotamia for defense, then back to the Euphrates and Cappadocia, to be damaged in the third century by Goth and Sasanian invasions. The Sasanian King Šāpūr I (A.D. 240-70) boasts of his ravaging and conquest of Cappadocia, which provided troops to Emperor Valerian, but these were temporary (inscription of Šāpūr on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt, ed. Maricq, 1965, pp. 310-11, 312-13, cf. p. 342; inscription of Kirdēr on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt, ed. Back, p. 425; cf. Gignoux).
Romanization. Roman rulers did not attempt to make Mount Argaeus the “eighth hill.” Mundane continuity marked an Iranian landscape which contained a few more Romans than earlier, most of them having come east in association with the army (cf. Flavia Prima’s dedication to Anāhitā near Archelais reported briefly in Robert, 1972, no. 538); on the other hand we also find Cappadocians who moved to other portions of their new king’s house (e.g., Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum III, nos. 7532, 10540, 11057). Prosperity under Archelaus continued under the principes; Comana’s urban center grew, and there is 2nd-century evidence for the organs of civic government (Inscriptiones Graecae ad Res Romanas Pertinentes III, nos. 121, 122, 125); Mazaca-Caesarea, in imitation of and response to westerners, built a circus noted by St. Basil (see Teja). Teja’s list of urban centers achieving the status of cities under the empire is remarkably small; Tyana, originally an important Achaemenid center, and Mazaca, the result of Ariarathid efforts, continued to stand far above the rest.
Studies. Achaemenid satrapy: Of the works on Achaemenid Cappadocia those of Briant are valuable in placing Cappadocia in a larger context. Most of the others concern themselves with the Macedonian invasion and the disposition of Cappadocia during and after: Beloch provides a survey of the satrapy; Berve should be corrected by consulting Bosworth. Briant, 1973, discusses the satrapial resistance; Briant, 1982, contains a series of studies on the empire including an examination of Eumenes of Cardia, assigned to Cappadocia after Ariarathes’ death; Harrison presents the numismatic evidence for Achaemenid resistance; Hornblower prints and comments upon, with full references to earlier scholarship, the fragments of Hieronymus cited by Appian on the rise of post-Achaemenid Cappadocia and also discusses the stemma in Diodorus, 31.19; Weiskopf, in EIr., has been partly updated in the present article. Post-Achaemenid kingdom and Roman province: Following the lead of their ancient sources modern scholars often discuss Cappadocia in light of the expansion of Roman influence. The three valuable studies by Teja, Sullivan, and Mitford, all three in ANRW II/7, 2, contain full bibliographical references. For the permanence of the Achaemenid-era landscape see Robert, 1964; Magie also remains of value; Will discusses Hellenistic-era dynastic history and gives all the ancient references; Polybius’s evidence is discussed in Walbank.
Ancient sources: For the following authors any current edition (Teubner, Oxford, Loeb, etc.) may be used: Aeneas Tacticus, Appian, Arrian, Athenaeus (Deipnosophistai), Caesar, Cicero, Curtius, Diodorus Siculus, Florus, Herodotus, Historia Augusta, Josephus (Jewish Antiquities), Justin, Livy, Lucian, Nepos, Philostratus (Vita Apollonii), Pliny, Plutarch, Polyaenus, Polybius (Teubner edition has frag. 54; also Fragments, ed. T. Büttner-Wobst, Leipzig, 1882-1905), Strabo, Suetonius, Tacitus, Vegetius (De arte veterinaria), Xenophon, and Zonaras (fragments in the Teubner and Loeb editions of Dio Cassius). Other ancient sources: Th. Mommsen et al., Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Leipzig and Berlin, 1862-.
H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Berlin, 1892-1916.
Inscriptiones Graecae II, 2nd ed., ed. I. Kirchner, Berlin, 1913-40.
Inscriptiones Graecae ad Res Romanas Pertinentes, 2 vols., ed. R. Cagnat et al., Paris, 1911, 1927.
Justinian, Novella, is mentioned in Teja, p. 1115.
Oppian of Apamaea, Cynegetica, ed. P. Boudreaux, Paris, 1908.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, Leiden, 1923-.
Studies: M. Back, Die sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, Acta Iranica 18, Tehran and Liège, 1978.
K. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte, 2nd ed., III/2, Leipzig, 1923.
H. Berve, Das Alexanderreich auf prosopographischer Grundlage, Munich, 1926.
A. B. Bosworth, A Historical Commentary on Arrian’s History of Alexander, Oxford, 1980.
P. Briant, Antigone le Borgne, Annales littéraires de l’Université de Besançon 152, 1973.
Idem, Rois, tributs et paysans, Paris, 1982.
F. Cumont, “A propos d’un décret d’Anisa en Cappadoce,” REA 34, 1932, pp. 135-38.
Ph. Gignoux, “La liste des provinces de l’Ēran dans les inscriptions de Šābuhr et de Kirdīr,” Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 19, 1971, pp. 83-94.
H. Grégoire, “Note sur une inscription gréco-araméenne trouvée à Farasa (Ariaramneia-Rhodandos),” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1908, pp. 434-47.
C. Harrison, “Persian Names on Coins of Northern Anatolia,” JNES 41, 1982, pp. 181-94.
J. Hornblower, Hieronymus of Cardia, Oxford, 1981.
D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, Princeton, 1950.
A. Maricq, “Res Gestae Divi Saporis,” Syria 35, 1958, pp. 295-360 (repr. in Classica et Orientalia, Paris, 1965).
T. B. Mitford, “Cappadocia and Armenia Minor. Historical Setting of the Limes,” in ANRW II/7, 2, Berlin, 1980, pp. 1169-1228.
L. Robert, Noms indigènes dans l’Asie Mineure gréco-romaine, Paris, 1963.
Idem, “Année épigraphique,” Revue des études grecques 68, 1972, pp. 108-10.
R. D. Sullivan, “The Dynasty of Cappadocia,” in ANRW II/7, 2, Berlin, 1980, pp. 1125-68.
R. Teja, “Die römische Provinz Kappadokien in der Principatzeit,” in ANRW II/7, 2, Berlin, 1980, pp. 1083-1124.
F. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Oxford, 1957-79.
M. Weiskopf, “Asia Minor,” in EIr. II/7, pp. 757-64.
E. Will, Histoire politique du monde hellénistique, 2nd ed., II, Nancy, 1979-82.
Originally Published: December 15, 1990
Last Updated: December 15, 1990
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 7-8, pp. 780-786