asia minor in the bible

Asia Minor in the Bible | The nowadays Anatolia

Asia Minor in the Bible is the name in ancient times for the western tip of Asia between the Eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea, and the Black Sea. It corresponded approximately to the territory of present-day Turkey. ( Anatolia ) Asia Minor in the Bible meets two continents: Asia and Europe. Its Greek name, Anatolia, is sometimes used. In ancient times, Asia Minor was the meeting point for people traveling between Europe and Asia. Today it is part of Turkey.

Asia Minor in the Bible, is a peninsula, a land surrounded by water on three sides. The Black Sea borders it to the north, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The peninsula stretches west from Asia to Europe. The Hittites had a kingdom in Asia Minor from about 1700 to 1180 BC. JC. The Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans then ruled the peninsula. When the Roman Empire split in 395 AD. BC, Asia Minor became part of the Eastern Roman Empire.

History of Asia Minor in the Bible

Asia Minor in the Bible (‘Ασία ἡ ἐλάττων, ἡ μικρά of the first centuries of the Common Era) or Anatolia (a name that begins to be encountered in the 10th century), is the great peninsula that extends from anterior Asia into the Black Sea. And the Mar di Levante to the west, where the Aegean and the Straits separate it from the Balkan peninsula. Its eastern border can be marked by a line that joins the Gulf of Alexandretta (Iskenderūn) to the Bay of Giresun on the Black Sea. Following the western slopes of the Amano (Almadaǧ) and going up the Euphrates course as far as Engine to leave the Armenian plateau to E.

Within these borders, Asia Minor has a length of almost 1200 km. Maximum width of 680, and a minimum of 480 km. An area of ​​approximately 500,000 sq km. Slightly different borders assign the Banse to the peninsula (see bibl.). Which places them somewhat to the west of the course of the Euphrates. And instead includes the westernmost Pontic coastal area; therefore, the site is slightly increased (525,000 sq. km.).

Politically, apart from the islands of Greece and Italy, Asia Minor is part of the Turkish Republic’s territory. Constituting about ⅔ of the area.

Anatolia is known in the Bible as being a fertile crescent. The crops of Anatolia are almost those of the Mediterranean countries since man has found their subjects of great value. Whose seeds he then transported in his migrations to these countries: first of all, the wheat.

Then the broad bean, the pea, the vine mentioned above, and the cherry tree (spontaneous in the mountains of Giresun from which it was transported to Rome at the time of Lucullus). The plum tree, the almond tree, the chestnut tree, and the pomegranate (which extends its distribution area to the Balkan). Fig, pistachio, olive, carob, and opium poppy are irrigated crops.

It should be noted here that some of these subjects were already in a wild state in Europe, and primitive man, by emigrating, transported the already improved races to territories where his contemporary had not yet been able to exploit the country’s resources.

The fauna of Asia Minor in the Bible

The fauna of Asia Minor in the Bible is the same as that of all Mediterranean countries, especially southern Europe. Among the families lacking in Europe and Asia Minor, has in common with other Asian regions or with Africa. We note among the mammals the hyenas, represented by the Hyaena that lives in the southern half of Anatolia. And among the reptiles, the Boidae, however, are also found in the west and north of the Caspian.

The deer is quite common in Asia Minor: the fallow deer is found mainly in the Taurus. So, the roe deer has a somewhat greater diffusion; the Benzoar goat ( Capra aegagrus ) is more characteristic. Which mainly inhabits the Taurus, the Armenian sheep ( Ovis Giulini ). Which looks like mouflons; the Equus hemionus onager or onager also extended to India in Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and southern Asia. Among the carnivores, besides the hyena already mentioned, we must say the jackal ( Canis aureus ), the Herpestes ichneumon, and the bear.

asia minor in the bible

Representation of Asia Minor in the Bible

Asia Minor in the Greek Era

Regarding the uninterrupted series of Greek colonies that we find in historical times, from Lesbos to Caria.  The Greeks preserved the tradition that their inhabitants were not indigenous to Asia Minor. But had come from Greece.

The expansion of the Greeks outside Greece began in Attica and Euboea, which were in more immediate contact with the Cyclades. Which formed a bridge between the Greek peninsula and the Asian coasts. That this older Greek colonization was due to the Greeks of Attica is proved by the dialect and the gentile constitution found in Ionia. The Greeks of Argolis and Laconia passed through the southern Cyclades and the coast of Caria. Reaching as far as Crete, and here too, the proof is given by the dialect and the presence of the Doric tribes.

The third way to reach Asia from Greece was from Thessaly to Skyros. Allowing passing to Lesbos and Chios and then to the coast of Asia. The origin of these Aeolian settlers cannot be specified because the aristocratic order is unknown to us. However, the dialect reminds us of Boeotia and Thessaly. To the dialectal conditions of the Greek colonies of Asia, their tripartition in the Doric, Ionian, and Aeolian lineages is suitable.

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The Asia Minor population presents, whatever its origin or religion, and with rare exceptions, a general physical type, at first very uniform: European features, white-brown complexion, medium or somewhat above average stature. Among the nomads, Juruki and Turcomanni, a Central Asian type with a slight Mongoloid hue, have sometimes been reported (oblique eyes, broad and slightly flattened face). It probably arrived with the first Turkish invasions from beyond the Caspian.

Deviations from the dominant type are also noted in the occasional presence of blond individuals, which are not, however, to be attributed to recent mixtures with the “Franks,” to use the old word, or with Westerners (Luschan, Buxton), since they appear with particular frequency in some inner districts and among the Kurds of upper Mesopotamia.


Asia Minor underwent various political-territorial events through the struggles of the Diadochi. Proclaimed King Arrideo with the first division of Alexander’s empire in Asia Minor. Therefore, Cilicia was assigned to Philotas. Lydia to Menander, Phrygia of the Hellespont to Leonnato; the Great Phrygia, Lycia, and Pamphylia were given to Antigonus. Indeed, in Eugene di Cardia, Paphlagonia, and Cappadocia with the coastal region of Pontus up to Trapezunte. A territory to be conquered; by Asandro la Caria.

The division of Triparadiso (321 BC) assigned the satrapy of Babylon to Seleucus. The dominion and power of Antigonus increased in Asia Minor in the Bible. They ruled it almost entirely until his fortune collapsed with his death in the battle of Ipso (301 BC).