What Is the History of Asia Minor?


Quick Answer

The history of Asia Minor began with the Hittite Empire in 1700 B.C. and continued with the Neo-Hittite kingdoms in 1200 B.C., the Pergamon Empire in 262 B.C. and the Roman Empire in 25 B.C. The Apostle Paul preached Christianity throughout Asia Minor from 42 to 62 B.C. The area was a part of the Byzantine and later the Ottoman empires until World War I.

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Full Answer

The Hatti settled Asia Minor, or Anatolia, in 2500 B.C. and built the city of Hattusa. The Hittites invaded Asia Minor around 1700 B.C., absorbing the local customs and calling the area Assuwa. The resulting Hittite Empire thrived until 1200 B.C. and covered the entire area, including the city-states Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia, Lydia and Caria. During the Hittite Empire, the Trojan War occurred, although ancient writings disagree on the exact date; Duris of Samos claimed it occurred during 1334 B.C., whereas Herodotus claimed 1250 B.C. and Eratosthenes 1184 B.C.

The Phrygians attacked the Hittites in 1200 B.C., followed by Kaskan attacks in 1190 B.C., which weakened the empire enough that it dissolved into individual city-states until the Assyrians completely overran Asia Minor in 800 B.C. The Asia Minor city-state Lydia expanded through much of Asia Minor in 687 B.C. and held control until the Persian Empire invaded in 547 B.C.

Alexander the Great overcame the Assyrians and took over Asia Minor in 333 B.C., leaving a legacy that remained until the Roman Empire conquered the territory in 133 B.C. After Rome fell in 476 A.D., the Byzantine Empire took over, followed by the Seljuq Turks in 1068 A.D. and the Ottoman Empire in 1299 A.D. Asia Minor remained a part of the Ottoman Empire until it fell in 1921 after World War I and became Turkey.

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