My lovely country, Turkey, had numerous names throughout history. Every civilization lived here such as Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Goths, Byzantines and Turks had their ways of naming this land. Anatolia and Turkey might be the most commonly used names today but there was another name which was very well known all around the world about two millennia ago.
The name was ”Asia Minor” which was given by the Roman Empire. Romans named the western Anatolia Asia Province and used Asia Minor was a wider name they used for the whole Anatolian Peninsula. Originally there was a Roman province named Asia, which was in Asia Minor or in Anatolia. Eventually, about two thousand years ago, Roman citizens started to call Asia for the whole provinces on their east, so the peninsula Asia was renamed as Asia Minor or little Asia.
Asia Minor is surrounded by the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The whole land can be called a plateau. Asia Minor has several climates. The west and south coasts have warm, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The north coast is colder and more rainy. Elevation is very high at inland parts and eastern parts of Asia Minor which makes them cold and dry.
Asia Minor played a significant role in the Roman Empire since it was located in the crossroads of Roman Trade also by hosting city of Troy which was regarded as a holy city by Roman Emperors. Maybe the greatest effect that Asia Minor had on the Roman Empire was becoming home for early Christian saints such as Apostle Paul and Saint John the Evangelist. Also, the famous seven churches of Revelation mentioned in the Holy Bible are located in Asia Minor.
Little Asia still has a great cultural variety even today thanks to being located not just in between Asian and European Continents also being located in between western and eastern cultures.
Let’s have a look at the names and details of the Roman provinces of Asia Minor.
- Bithynia and Pontus
- The Roman province of Asia
- Roman Province of Cappadocia
- Roman Province of Galatia
- Roman Syria
- Lycia et Pamphylia
- Roman province of Mesopotamia
- Roman Province of Thracia
- Roman Armenia