1902 Encyclopedia > Phrygia


PHRYGIA was the name of a large country in Asia Minor, inhabited by a race which the Greeks called ____, Freemen.' Roughly speaking, Phrygia comprised the western part of the great central plateau of Anatolia, extending as far east as the river Halys; but its bound-aries were vague, and varied so much* at different periods that a sketch of its history must precede any account of the geography. According to unvarying Greek tradition the Phrygians were most closely akin to certain tribes of Macedonia and Thrace; and their near relationship to the Hellenic stock is proved by all that is known of their language and art, and is accepted by almost every modern authority. The country named Phrygia in the better known period of history lies inland, separated from the sea by Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, and Lydia. Yet we hear of a Phrygian " thalassocracy " at the beginning of the 9th century _._. The Troad and the district round Mount Sipylus are frequently called Phrygian, as also is the sea-port Sinope; and a district on the coast between Sestus and the river Cius was regularly named Little Phrygia. Again, Abel has pointed to the wide currency of names like Mygdones, Doliones, and Phryges or Briges both in Asia Minor and in Europe, and many other examples might be added. The inference has been generally drawn that the Phrygians were a stock widespread in the countries which lie round the Aegean Sea. There is, however, no decisive evidence, and no agreement among modern scholars, as to whether this stock came from the East over Armenia, or whether it was European in origin and crossed the Hellespont into Asia Minor.

According to Greek tradition there existed in early time a Phrygian kingdom in the Sangarius valley, ruled by kings among whom the names Gordius and Midas were common. It was known to the ancient Greeks of Ionia and the Troad as something great and half-divine. When the goddess appeared to her favourite Anchises she repre-sented herself as daughter of the king of Phrygia; the Phrygians were said to be the oldest people, and their language the original speech of mankind ; the Phrygian kings were familiar associates of the gods, and the heroes of the land tried their skill against the gods themselves; we hear of the well-walled cities of Phrygia and of the riches of its kings. Tradition is completely corroborated by archaeological evidence. In the mountainous region on the upper waters of the Sangarius, between Kutayah and Afiuni Kara Hissar, there exist numerous monuments of great antiquity, showing a style of marked individuality, and implying a high degree of artistic skill among the people who produced them. On two of these monuments are engraved the names of " Midas the King " and of the goddess "Kybile the Mother." Even the title "king"(_____) appears to have been borrowed by Greek from Phrygian.

It is impossible to fix a date for the beginning of the Phrygian kingdom. It appears to have arisen on the ruins of an older civilization, whose existence is revealed to us only by the few monuments which it has left. These monuments, which are found in Lydia, Phrygia, Cappa-docia, and Lycaonia, point to the existence of a homogene-ous civilization over those countries; they show a singularly marked style of art, and are frequently inscribed with a peculiar kind of hieroglyphics, engraved boustrophedon, which have not as yet been deciphered. There can be traced in Asia Minor an ancient road-system, to which belongs the "royal road" from Sardis to the Persian capital, Susa (Herod., v. 55). The royal road followed a route so difficult and circuitous that it is quite unintelli-gible as the direct path from any centre in Persia, Assyria, or Syria to the west of Asia Minor. It can be understood only by reference to an imperial centre far in the north. The old trade-route from Cappadocia to Sinope, which had passed out of use centuries before the time of Strabo (pp. 510, 546), fixes this centre with precision. It must be far enough west to explain why trade tended to the distant Sinope, hardly accessible behind lofty and rugged mountains, and not to Amisus by the short and easy route which was used in the Graeco-Roman period. This road-system, then, points distinctly to a centre in northern Cappadocia near the Halys. Here must have stood the capital of some great empire connected with its extremities, Sardis or Ephesus on the west, Sinope on the north, the Cilician Gates on the south, by roads so well made as to continue in use for a long time after the centre of power had changed to Assyria, and the old road-system had become circuitous and unsuitable. The precise spot on which the city stood is marked by the great ruins of Boghaz Keui, probably the ancient Pteria, of which the wide circuit, powerful walls, and wonderful rock-sculptures make the site indis-putably the most remarkable in Asia Minor.

The ancient road from Pteria to Sardis crossed the upper Sangarius valley, and its course may be traced by the monuments of this early period. Close to its track, on a lofty plateau which overhangs the Phrygian monu-ment inscribed with the name of " Midas the King," is a great city, inferior indeed to Pteria in extent, but sur-rounded by rock-sculptures quite as remarkable as those of the Cappadocian city. The plateau is between 2 and 3 miles in circumference, and presents on all sides a per-pendicular face of rock 50 to 200 feet in height. In part, at least, this natural defence was crowned by a wall built of large squared stones. This city was evidently the centre of the old Phrygian kingdom of the Sangarius valley, but at least one of the monuments in it seems to belong to the older period of Cappadocian supremacy, and to prove that the city already existed in that earlier time. The Phrygian kingdom and art therefore took the place of an older civilization. It is as yet impossible to determine the relation in which the Phrygians stood to the ruling race of that older period, whether they came in from the north-west, or whether they were a primitive people taught, and for a time ruled, by foreigners from Cappadocia, but at last expelling their teachers. It is probable that the tradition of battles between the Phrygians and the Amazons on the banks of the Sangarius preserves the memory of a struggle between the two races.


eity beside it; see Perrot, Explor. Archeol., p. 169 and pi. viii.


Of the monuments that exist around this city two classes may be confidently referred to the period of Phrygian greatness. That which is inscribed with the name of "Midas the King" is the most remarkable example of one class, in which a large perpendicular surface of rock is covered with a geometrical pattern of squares, crosses, and mseanders, surmounted by a pediment supported in the centre by a pilaster in low relief. In some cases a floral pattern occupies part of the surface, and in one case the two sides of the pediment are filled by two sphinxes of extremely archaic type. In some of these monuments a doorway is carved in the lower part; the door is usually closed, but in one case, viz., the sphinx monument just alluded to, the valves of the door are thrown wide open and give access to a little chamber, on the back of which is sculptured in relief a rude image of the Mother-goddess Cybele, having on each side of her a lion which rests its forepaws on her shoulder and places its head against hers. Sometimes a grave has been found hidden behind the carved front; in other cases no grave can be detected, but it is probable that they are all sepulchral. The imitation of wood-work is obvious on several monuments of this kind. The second class is marked by the heraldic type of two animals, usually lions rampant, facing one another, but divided by a pillar or some other device. This type is occasionally found conjoined with the preceding; and various details common to both classes show that there was no great difference in time between them. The heraldic type is used on the monuments which appear to be the older, and the geometrical pattern is often employed on the inscribed monuments, which are obviously later than the uninscribed. Monuments of this class are carved on the front of a sepulchral chamber, the entrance to which is a small doorway placed high and inaccessible in the rocks.

Early Phrygian art stands in close relationship with the art of Cappadocia, but has such individuality, such freedom from conventionality, such power of varying and combining types learned from other peoples, as to show that the Phrygians possessed high artistic faculty very similar in character to the Greek. The monuments of the type of the Midas tomb are obviously imitated from patterns employed in cloth and carpets. Such patterns were used in Cappadocia, and the priest in the rock-sculpture at Ibriz wears an embroidered robe strikingly similar in style to the pattern on the Midas tomb; but the idea of using the pattern as the Phrygians did seems peculiar to themselves. The heraldic type of the second class is found also in the art of Assyria, and was undoubt-edly adopted by the Phrygians from earlier art; but it is used so frequently in Phrygia as to be specially character-istic of that country. While Phrygian art is distinctly non-Oriental in spirit, its resemblance to archaic Greek art is a fact of the greatest importance. It is not merely that certain types are employed both in Phrygia and in Greece, but most of the favourite types in early Greek art can be traced in Phrygia, employed in similar spirit and for similar purposes. The heraldic type of the two lions is the device over the principal gateway of Mycense, and stamps this, the oldest great monument on Greek soil, with a distinctly Phrygian character. Mycense was the city of the Pelo-pidse, whom Greek tradition unhesitatingly declares to be Phrygian immigrants. A study of the topography of the Argive plain leads to the conclusion that Mycense, Midea, and Tiryns form a group of cities founded by an immi-grant people in opposition to Argos, the natural capital of the plain and the stronghold of the native race. Midea appears to be the city of Midas, and the name is one more link in the chain that binds Mycenae to Phrygia. This connexion, whatever may have been its character, belongs to the remote period when the Phrygians inhabited the iEgean coasts. In the 8th and probably in the 9th cen-tury B.C. communication with Phrygia seems to have been maintained especially by the Greeks of Cyme, Phocaea, and Smyrna. About the end of the 8th century Midas king of Phrygia married Damodice, daughter of Agamemnon, the last king of Cyme. Gyges, the first Mermnad king of Lydia (687-653), had a Phrygian mother. The worship of Cybele spread over Phocaea to the west as far as Massilia : rock monuments in the Phrygian style and votive reliefs of an Anatolian type are found near Phocasa. Smyrna was devoted to the Phrygian Meter Sipylene. It is then natural that the lays of the Homeridae refer to Phrygia in the terms above described, and make Priam's wife a Phrygian woman. After the foundation of the Greek colony at Sinope in 751 there can be no doubt that it formed the link of connexion between Greece and Phrygia. Phrygian and Cappadocian traders brought their goods, no doubt on camels, to Sinope, and the Greek sailors, the deivavrai of Miletus, carried home the works of Oriental and Phrygian artisans. The Greek alphabet was carried back to Phrygia and Pteria, either from Sinope or more probably from Cyme, in the latter part of the 8th century. The immense importance of Sinope in early times is abun-dantly attested, and we need not doubt that very intimate relations existed at this port between the Ionic colonists and the natives. The effects of this commerce on the development of Greece were very great. It affected Ionia in the first place, and the mainland of Greece indirectly; the art of Ionia at this period is almost unknown, but it was probably most closely allied to that of Phrygia. A striking fact in this connexion is the frequent use of a very simple kind of Ionic capital on the early Phrygian monuments, making it practically certain that the "proto-Ionic" column came to Greece over Phrygia. It is obvious that the revolution which took place in the relations between Phrygians and Greeks must be due to some great movement of races which disturbed the old paths of communication. Abel is probably correct in placing the inroads of the barbarous European tribes, Bithynians, Thyni, Mariandyni, &c, into Asia Minor about the beginning of the 9th century B.C. The Phrygian element on the coast was weakened and in many places annihilated; that in the interior was strengthened; and we may suppose that the kingdom of the Sangarius valley now sprang into greatness. The kingdom of Lydia appears to have become important about the end of the 8th century, and to have completely barred the path between Phrygia and Cyme or Smyrna. Ionian maritime enterprise opened a new way over Sinope.

The downfall of the Phrygian monarchy can be dated with comparative accuracy. Between 680 and 670 the Cimmerians in their destructive progress over Asia Minor overran Phrygia; the king Midas in despair put an end to his own life ; and from henceforth the history of Phrygia is a story of slavery, degradation, and decay, which contrasts strangely with the earlier legends. The catastrophe seems to have deeply impressed the Greek mind, and the memory of it was preserved. The date of the Cimmerian invasion is fixed by the concurrent testimony of the contemporary


It is to be presumed that the cities of the Sangarius valley gradually lost importance in the Persian period. Formerly the great line of communication across Anatolia traversed the Sangarius valley, but a better and shorter path south of the Salt Desert came into use in this period, from which these cities were far distant. The final cata-strophe was the invasion of the Gauls about 270 to 250; and, though the circumstances of this invasion are almost


poets Archilochus and Callinus, of the late chronologers Eusebius, &c, and of the inscriptions of the Assyrian king Essar-haddon. The Cimmerians were finally expelled from Asia Minor by Alyattes before his war with the Medes under Cyaxares (590-585 B.C.). The Cimmerians, therefore, were ravaging Asia Minor, and presumably held possession of Phrygia, the only country where they achieved complete success, till some time between 610 and 590. Phrygia then fell under the Lydian power, and by the treaty of 585 the Halys was definitely fixed as the boundary between Lydia and Media. The period from 675 to 585 must there-fore be considered as one of great disturbance and probably of complete paralysis in Phrygia. After 585 the country was ruled again by its own princes, under subjection to Lydian supremacy. To judge from the monuments, it appears'to have recovered some of its old prosperity, but the art of this later period has to a great extent lost the strongly-marked individuality of its earlier bloom. The later sepulchral monuments belong to a class which is widely spread over Asia Minor, from Lycia to Pontus. The graves are made inside a chamber excavated in the rock, and the front of the chamber imitates a house or temple. No attempt is made to conceal the entrance or render it inaccessible. The architectural details are in some cases unmistakably copied without intentional modi-fication from the architecture of Greek temples, others point perhaps to Persian influence, while several—which are perhaps among the early works of this period—show the old freedom and power of employing in new and original ways details partly learned from abroad. This style continued in use under the Persians, under whose rule the Phrygians passed when Cyrus defeated Crcesus in 546, and probably lasted till the 3d century B.C. One monument appears to presuppose a development of Greek plastic art later than the time of Alexander^ It would, however, be quite wrong to suppose that the influence of truly Hellenic art on Phrygia began with the conquest of Alexander. Under the later Mermnad kings the Lydian empire was penetrated with Greek influence, and Xanthus, the early Lydian historian, wrote his history in Greek. Under the Persian rule perhaps it was more difficult for Greek manners to spread far east; but we need not think that European influence was absolutely unfelt even in Phrygia. The probability is that Alexander found in all the large cities a party favourable to Greek manners and trade. Very little is to be learned from the ancient writers with regard to the state of Phrygia from 585 to 300. The slave-trade flourished : Phrygian slaves were common in the Greek market, and the Phrygian names Midas and Manes were stock-names for slaves. Herodotus (i. 14) records that a king Midas of Phrygia dedicated his own chair at Delphi; the chair stood in the treasury of Cypselus, and cannot have been deposited there before 680 to 660 B.C. It is not improbable that the event belongs to the time of Alyattes or Croesus, when Greek influence was favoured throughout the Lydian empire; and it is easy to understand how the offering of a king Midas should be considered, in the time of Herodotus, as the earliest made by a foreign prince to a Greek god. The Phrygian troops in the army of Xerxes were armed like the Armenians and led by the same commander.


unknown, yet we may safely reckon among them the com-plete devastation of northern Phrygia. At last Attalus I. settled the Gauls permanently in eastern Phrygia, and a large part of the country was henceforth known as Galatia. Strabo mentions that the great cities of ancient Phrygia were in his time either deserted or marked by mere villages. The great city over the tomb of Midas has remained un-inhabited down to the present day. About 5 miles west of it, near the modern Kumbet, stood Merus, a bishopric in the Byzantine time, but never mentioned under the Roman empire.

Alexander the Great placed Phrygia under the command of Antigonus, who retained it when the empire was broken up. When Antigonus was defeated and slain at the decisive battle of Ipsus, Phrygia came under the sway of Seleucus. As the Pergamenian kings grew powerful, and at last confined the Gauls in eastern Phrygia, the western half of the country was incorporated in the kingdom of Pergamum. Under the Roman empire Phrygia had no political existence under a separate government, but formed part of the vast province of Asia. In autumn 85 B.C. the pacification of the province was completed by Sulla, and throughout the imperial time it was common for the Phrygians to date from this era. The imperial rule was highly favourable to the spread of Hellenistic civilization, which under the Greek kings had affected only a few of the great cities, leaving the mass of the country purely Phrygian. A good deal of local self-government was permitted: the cities struck their own bronze coins, in-scribed on them the names of their own magistrates, and probably administered their own laws in matters purely local. The western part of the country was pervaded by Graeco-Roman civilization very much sooner than the central, and in the country districts the Phrygian language continued in.common use at least as late as the 3d century after Christ.

When the Roman empire was reorganized by Diocletian at the end of the 3d century Phrygia was divided into two provinces, distinguished at first as Prima and Secunda, or Great and Little, for which the names Pacatiana and Salutaris* soon came into general use. Pacatiana com-prised the western half, which had long been completely pervaded by Grseco-Roman manners, and Salutaris the eastern, in which the native manners and language were still not extinct. Each province was governed by a " praeses " or fiye.jt.6v about 412 A.D., but shortly after this date an officer of consular rank was sent to each province (Hierocles, Synecd.). About 535 Justinian made some changes in the provincial administration : the governor of Pacatiana was henceforth a "comes," while Salutaris was still ruled by a " consularis." When the provinces of the Eastern empire were reorganized and divided into " themata" the two Phrygias were broken up between the Anatolic, Opsician, and Thracesian themes, and the name Phrygia finally dis-appeared. Almost the whole of the Byzantine Phrygias is now included in the vilayet of Broussa or Khodavendikya, with the exception of a small part of Parorius and the district about Themisonium (Karayuk Bazar) and Ceretapa (Kayadibi), which belong to the vilayet of Koniyeh, and the district of Laodicea and Hierapolis, which belongs to Aidin. The principal modern cities are Kutayah (Cotyseum), Eski Sheher (Dorylaeum), Afium Kara Hissar (near Prymnessus), and Ushak (near Trajanopolis).

Phrygian. Mount Dindymus (Murad Dagh) marked the frontier of Mysia, and the entire valley of the Tem-brogius or Tembris (Porsuk Su) was certainly included in Phrygia. The boundaries of the two Byzantine Phrygias were not always the same. Taking Hierocles as authority, the extent of the two provinces at the beginning of the 6th century will be readily gathered from the accompany-ing list, in which those towns which coined money under the Roman empire are italicized and the nearest modern village is appended.

I. PACATIANA.—1. Laodicea (Eski Hissar); 2. Hierapolis (Pambuk Kalessi) ; 3. Mosyna (Geveze) ; [4. Meteliopolis, only in Notitim Episcop. (Geuzlar)]; 5. Attudda (Assar, south-west from Serai Keui); 6. Trapezopolis (perhaps between Davas Ova and Karayuk Ova) ; 7. Colossas (near Chonas) ; 8. Ceretapa Dioceesarea (Kayadibi) ; 9. Themisonium (Karayuk Bazar) ; 10. Tacina (Yarishli) ; 11. Sanaus (Sari Kavak, in Daz Kiri) ; 12. Dionysopolis (Orta Keui) ; 13. Ana-stasiopolis, originally a village of the Hyrgalis (Utch Kuyular) ; 14. Attanassus (Eski Aidan) ; 15. Lunda (Eski Seid) ; 16. Peltae (Karayashlar) ; 17. Eumenea (Ishekly) ; 18. Siblia (Homa) ; 19. Pepuza (Yannik Euren) ; 20. Bria (Garbasan or Suretly) ; 21. Sebaste (Sivasly) ; 22. Eluza or Aludda (Hadjimlar) ; 23. Aemonia (Ahat Keui); 24. Alia (Kirka) ; 25. Hierocharax (Otourak); 26. Dioclea (Dola) ; 27. Aristium (Karaj Euren, in Sitchanly Qva) ; 28. Cidyessus (Cutch Eyuk) ; 29. Apia (Abia) ; 30. Cotyseum (Kutayah) ; 31. JEzani (Tchavdir Hissar) ; 32. Tiberiopolis (Altyntash) ; 33. Cadm (Gediz) ; 34. Ancyra (Kilisse Keui) ; 35. Synaus (Simav) ; 36. Flaviopolis Temenothyree (Kara Tash) ; 37. Trajanopolis Qrimeno-thyras (Giaour Euren, near Orta Keui) ; 38. Blaundus (Suleimanly).

II. SALUTARIS. —1. Euearpia (near Mentesh) ; 2. Hierapolis (Kotch, Hissar) ; 3. Otrous (Tchor Hissar) ; 4. Stectorium (Emir Assar) ; 5. Bruzus(Kara Sandykly) ; 6. Beudus (Aghzi Kara) ; 7. Augustopolis, formerly Anabura (Surmeneh) ; 8. Sibidunda (perhaps Yeni Keui); 9. Lysias (perhaps Bazar Agatch) ; 10. Synnada (Tchifut Cassaba) ; 11. Prymnessus (Seulnn) ; 12. Ipsus, formerly Julia (near Sakly) ; 13. Polybotus (Bolawadun) ; 14. Docimium (Istcha Kara Hissar) ; 15. Metropolis, including Conni (B. Tchorgia) and Ambasus (Ambanaz) ; 16. Merus (Kumbet) ; 17. Nacolea (Seidi Ghazi) ; 18. Dorylneum (Eski Sheher) ; 19. Midwum (Kara Eyuk) ; 20. Lycaones (Kalejik) ; 21. Aulocra (in Dombai Ova) ; 22 and 23. Amadassus and Prse- penissus (unknown). In later times the important fortress (and bishopric) of Acroenus was founded on the site of the present Afium Kara Hissar.
Besides these, certain cities beyond the bounds of the Byzantine Phrygias belonged under the Roman empire to the province of Asia and are usually considered Phrygian—(1) in Byzantine Pisidia, Philomelium (Ak Sheher), Hadrianopolis (Arkut Khan) ; (2) in Byzantine Galatia, Amorium (Assar near Hamza Hadji), Oreistus (Alikel or Alekian), Tricomia or Trocmada or Trocnada (Kainiaz) ; (3) in Byzantine Lycia, Cibyra (Horzum).

s Ococlia, which is known only from coins, probably belongs to this province. Hierocles adds Theodosia, probably a name of Daldis (Demirji), which is usually included in Lydia. Mionnet gives coins of Mosyna, but they are falsely read and belong to the Mosteni.
6 Nos. 1-5 were called the Phrygian " Pentapolis. "

Phrygia contains several well-marked geographical districts. (1) PARORIUS, the narrow, flat, elevated valley stretching north-west to south-east between the Sultan Dagli and the Emir Dagh from Holmi (about Tchai) to Tyriaeum (Ilghin) ; its waters collect within the valley, in three lakes, which probably supply the great foun-tains in the Axylum, and through them the Sangarius. (2) AXYLUM, the vast treeless plains on the upper Sangarius ; there burst forth at various points great perennial springs, the Sakaria fountains

(Strabo, p. 543), Ilije Baslii, Bunar Bashi, Geuk Bunar, Uzuk Bashi, which feed the Sangarius. Greaj part of the Axylum was assigned to Galatia. (3) The rest of Phrygia is mountainous (except the great plateau, Banaz Ova), consisting of hill-country intersected by rivers, each of which flows through a fertile valley of varying breadth. The northern half is drained by rivers which run to the Black Sea; of these the eastern ones, Porsuk Su (Tembris or Tembrogius), Seidi Su (Parthenius), Bardakchi Tchai (Xerabates), and Bayat Tchai (Alandrus), join the Sangarius, while the western, Taushanly Tchai (Rhyndacus) and Simav Tchai (Macestus), meet and flow into the Propontis. The Hermus drains a small district included in the Byzantine Phrygia, but in earlier times assigned to Lydia and Mysia. Great part of southern and western Phrygia is drained by the Meander with its tributaries, Sandykly Tchai (Glaucus), Banaz Tchai, Kopli Su (Hippurius), and Tchuruk Su (Lycus); moreover, some upland plains on the south, especially the Dombai Ova (Aulocra), communicate by underground channels with the Msander. Finally, the Karayuk Ova in the extreme south-west drains through the Kazanes, a tributary of the Indus, to the Lycian Sea. Phrygia Parorius and all the river-valleys are exceedingly fertile, and agriculture was the chief occupation of the ancient inhabitants; according to the myth, Gordius was called from the plough to the throne. The high-lying plains and the vast Axylum furnish excellent pasturage, which formerly nourished countless flocks of sheep. The Romans also obtained fine horses from Phrygia. Grapes, which still grow abundantly in various parts, were much cultivated in ancient times. Other fruits are rare, except in a few small districts. Figs cannot be grown in the country, and the ancient references to Phrygian figs are either erroneous or due to a loose use of the term Phrygia. Trees are exceedingly scarce in the country; the pine-woods on the western tributaries of the Sangarius and the valonia oaks in parts of the Banaz Ova, and a few other districts, form exceptions. The underground wealth is not known to be great. Iron was worked in the district of Cibyra, and the marble of Synnada, or more correctly of Docimium, was largely used by the Romans. The scenery is generally monotonous ; even the mountainous districts rarely show striking features or boldness of character ; where the landscape has beauty, it is of a subdued melancholy character. The water-supply is rarely abundant, and agriculture is more or less dependent on an uncertain rainfall. The circumstances of the country are well calculated to impress the inhabitants with a sense of the overwhelming power of nature and of their complete depend-ence on it. Their mythology, so far as we know it, has a melan-choly and mystic tone, and their religion partakes of the same character. The two chief deities were Cybele, the Mother, the re-productive and nourishing power of Earth, and Sabazius, the Son, the life of nature, dying and reviving every j'ear. The annual vicissitudes of the life of Sabazius, the Greek Dionysus, were accom-panied by the mimic rites of his worshippers, who mourned with his sufferings and rejoiced with his joy. They enacted the story of his birth and life and death ; the Earth, the Mother, is fertilized only by an act of violence by her own child ; the representative of the god was probably slain each year by a cruel death, just as the god himself died. The rites were characterized by a frenzy of devotion, unrestrained enthusiasm, wdld orgiastic dances, and wanderings in the forests, and were accompanied by the music of the flute, cymbal, and tambourine. At an early time this worship was affected by Oriental influence, coming over Syria from Baby-lonia. Sabazius was identified wdth Adonis or Atys, Cybele with the Syrian goddess ; and many of the coarsest rites of the Phrygian worship, the mutilation of the priests, the prostitution at the shrine, came from the hot countries of the south-east. But one curious point of Semitic religion never penetrated west of the Halys: the pig was always unclean and abhorred among the Semites, whereas it was the animal regularly used in purification by the Phrygians, Lydians, Lycians, and Greeks. The Phrygian religion exercised a very strong influence on Greece. In the archaic period the Dionysiac rites and orgies spread from Thrace into Greece, in spite of opposition which has left many traces in tradition, and the worship of Demeter at Eleusis was modified by Cretan influence ultimately traceable to Asia Minor. Pindar erected a shrine of the Mother of the gods beside his house, and the Athenians were directed by the Delphic oracle to atone for the execution of a priest of Cybele during the Peloponnesian War by building the Metroon. In these and other cases the Phrygian character was more or less Hellenized; but wave after wave of religious influence from Asia Minor introduced into Greece the unmodified " barbarian " ritual of Phrygia. The rites spread first among the common people and those engaged in foreign trade. The comic poets satirized them, and Plato and Demosthenes inveighed against them ; but they continued to spread, with all their fervid enthusiasm, their super-stition, and their obscene practices, wide among the people, whose, religious cravings were not satisfied with the purely external reli-gions of Hellenism. The orgies or mysteries were open to all, free-men or slaves, who had duly performed the preliminary purifi-cations, and secured to the participants salvation and remission of sins. Under MYSTERIES (q.v.) a distinction of character has been pointed out between the true Hellenic mysteries, such as the Eleusinian, and the Phrygian ; but there certainly existed much similarity between the two rituals. In the first centuries after Christ only the Phrygian and the Egyptian rites retained much real hold on the Grajco-Roman world. Phrygia itself, however, was very early converted to Christianity. Christian inscriptions in the country begin in the 2d and are abundant in the 3d century. There is every appearance that the great mass of the people were Christians before 300, and Eusebius (R. E, v. 16) is probably correct in his statement that in the time of Diocletian there was a Phrygian city in which every living soul was Christian. The great Phrygian saint of the 2d century was named Abercius; the mass of legends and miracles in the late biography of him long brought his very existence into dispute, but a recently-discovered fragment of his gravestone has proved that ha was a real person, and makes it probable that the wide-reaching conversion of the people attri-buted to him did actually take place. The strange enthusiastic character of the old Phrygian religion was not wholly lost when the country became Christian, but is clearly traced in the various heresies that arose in central Anatolia. Especially the wild ecstatic character and the prophecies of the Montanists recall the old type of religion. Montanus {see MONTANISM, vol. xvi. p. 775) was born on the borders of Phrygia and Mysia (doubtless in the Murad Dagh), and was vehemently opposed by Abercius.

Of the old Phrygian language very little is known ; a few words are preserved in Hesychius and other writers. Plato mentions that the Phrygian words for "dog," "fire," &c, were the same as the Greek ; and to these we may add from inscriptions the words for "mother" and "king." A few inscriptions of the ancient period are known, and a somewdiat larger number of the Roman period have been found, but not yet published.

Owing to the scantiness of published material about Phrygia frequent reference has bfeen made in this article to unpublished monuments, and historical views are stated which have only quite recently been published by the writer. Besides the works already quoted of Abel and Perrot, see Ritter's "Kleinasien," in his Erdkunde von Asien ; Leake's Asia Minor; Kiepert's appendix to Franz, Fünf Inschr. it. fünf Städte Kleinasiens; Haase, in Erschand Gruber's EncyJclop.; Hamilton's Travels in Asia Minor; Hirschfeld's "Reisebericht," in the Berl. Monatsber. (1879) ; Texier, Asie Mineure ; Steuart, Ancient Monuments ; besides the special chapters in the geographical treatises of Cramer, Vivien St Martin, Forbiger, &c. ; Ramsay, in Mittheil. Instit. Athen. (1882), Bulletin de Corresp. Hellen. (1882-83), and Journal of Hellenic Studies (1882 sq.). (W. M. HA.)


The meaning is given in Hesyeh., s.v. "Bpiyes."
The difficulty of specifying the limits gave rise to a proverb— X&jpis __ ______, Strabo.
Art. "Phryges," in Pauli's Real-Encykl.

Herod., ii. 2; Pausan., i. 14, 2 ; Claudian, In Eutrop., ii. 251; Apul., Met, xi. p. 762.
FavaKru on the Midas tomb. It is expressly recorded that ripavvos is a Lydian word. ___-Ckeis resists all attempts to explain it as a purely Greek formation, and the termination assimilates it to certain Phrygian words.
It is common to name these monuments "Hittite," but this name presupposes the truth of an historical hypothesis, namely, the conquest of Asia Minor by a race whose capital was in Syria, which has not as yet been supported by any convincing arguments.

Sinope was made a Greek colony in 751 B.C., but it is said to have existed long before that time.
When the Persians conquered Lydia they retained, at least for a time, this route, which they found in existence, and the royal messengers went first across the Halys to Pteria, and then by the road across Cappadocia to the Cilician Gates.
See a paper on " The Early Historical Eelations between Phrygia and Cappadocia," in Journ. Roy. As. Soc, 1883.
The small fortress Pishmish Kalessi is a miniature of the great
A large tumulus exists in this district between Bei Keui and Ak
A large tumulus exists in this district between Bei Keui and Ak
Euren, from which one large stone, with an inscription in the usual
Cappadocian hieroglyphics, has already been dug.

7 Published in Journ. Hell. Stud., 1884.
8 The monuments of Phrygia fall into two groups, which probably mark the sites of two cities about 16 miles distant from each other. One group lies round the villages of Kumbet, Yapuldak, and Bakshish; the other beside Liyen, Bei Keui, Demirli, and Ayazin.
9 The heraldic type continues on gravestones down to the latest period of paganism. Carpets with geometrical patterns of the Midas-tomb style are occasionally found at the present time in the houses of the peasantry of the district.

6 Abel (I.e.) identifies these two races, and makes the city at Boghaz Keui a Phrygian city.


A city Midea occurs also in Bceotia, a village Midea on the Hellespont, and a city Midffium in the Sangarius valley.
See Furtwangler, Goldfund von Vettersfelde, Winckelm. Progr., 1884. The closest analogies of old Phrygian art are to be found in the earliest Greek bronze work in Olympia, Italy, and the northern lands.
Hipponax, fr. 36 [49], proves that a trade-route from Phrygia

It is to be presumed that the cities of the Sangarius valley gradually lost importance in the Persian period. Formerly the great line of communication across Anatolia traversed the Sangarius valley, but a better and shorter path south of the Salt Desert came into use in this period, from which these cities were far distant. The final cata-strophe was the invasion of the Gauls about 270 to 250; and, though the circumstances of this invasion are almost 4 A gorgoneum, on a tomb engraved in Jour. Hell. Stud., pi. xxvi.

down the Meander to Miletus was used in the 6th century.


It is impossible to say anything definite about the boundaries of Phrygia before the 5th century. Under the Persians Great Phrygia extended on the east to the Halys and the Salt Desert; Xenophon (Anab., i. 2, 19) includes Iconium on the south-east within the province, whereas Strabo makes Tyriaeum the boundary in this direction. The southern frontier is unknown : the language of Livy (xxxviii. 15) implies that Metropolis (in the Tchul Ova) belonged to Pisidia; but Strabo (p. 629) includes it in Phrygia. Celamae, beside the later city of Apamea (Dineir), and the entire valley of the Lycus were Phrygian. The Maeander above its junction with the Lycus formed for a little way the boundary between Phrygia and Lydia. The great plateau now called the Banaz Ova was entirely or in great part

All imperial officer named Procurator Phrygise is mentioned in a few inscriptions of the 2d century; hut he belongs to a financial, not an administrative division.
This liberty was not granted to the cities of any other province in Anatolia.
A number of inscriptions in a language presumably Phrygian have been discovered in the centre and east of the country ; they belong generally to the end of the 2d and to the 3d century.

s Ococlia, which is known only from coins, probably belongs to this province. Hierocles adds Theodosia, probably a name of Daldis (Demirji), which is usually included in Lydia. Mionnet gives coins of Mosyna, but they are falsely read and belong to the Mosteni.
6 Nos. 1-5 were called the Phrygian " Pentapolis. "

in the Notit. Dignit., about 412 A.D., the names Pacatiana and Salu-
taris are used.

This district was according to the Greek view part of Mysia.
In Strabo, p. 577, eXaiotpvrov must be wrong; a[iire\6<pvTov is true to fact, and is probably the right reading. Olives cannot grow on the uplands.
Those cults of Greece which are most closely related to the Phry-gian were certainly accompanied originally by human sacrifices.
The influence which was exerted on Greek music and lyric poetry by the Phrygian music was great; see MARSYAS, OLYMPUS.
There is no direct evidence that this was practised in the wor-ship of Cybele, but analogy and indirect arguments make it pretty certain.
Cleon, the Phrygian, when high priest of the Cappadocian goddess at Comana, caused much scandal by using pigs in the sacred precincts

7 So Athena;us, 590, 591. But according to others (Clemens Alex-andrinus, Protrep., 53, and Arnobius, Adv. Gentes, vi. 13) Praxiteles's model for the Cnidian Aphrodite was Cratina ; and Pliny (xxxv. 87) says that some declared that Apelles's model was Pancaspe.

(Strabo, p. 574); he only carried out the customs of his country. Pigs were used in all Greek purificatory rites, which were also practised in Lydia (Herod., i. 35). A pig is under the seat of the deified dead on the harpy tomb.

4 The name Salutaris is first found in Polemius Silvius about 385 ;

4 A gorgoneum, on a tomb engraved in Jour. Hell. Stud., pi. xxvi.

The above article was written by: W. M. Ramsay, M.A., Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.

Search the Encyclopedia:

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-17 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries