Achaemenid Satrapies > Greater Phrygia

Greater Phrygia

Background

After their destruction of Gordium, the Cimmerians remained in western Anatolia and warred with Lydia, which eventually expelled them by around 620 BC, and then expanded to incorporate Phrygia, which became the Lydian empire's eastern frontier. The Gordium site reveals a considerable building program during the 6th century BC, under the domination of Lydian kings including the proverbially rich King Croesus. Meanwhile, Phrygia's former eastern subjects fell to Assyria and later to the Medes. There may be an echo of strife with Lydia and perhaps a veiled reference to royal hostages, in the legend of the twice-unlucky Phrygian prince Adrastus, who accidentally killed his brother and exiled himself to Lydia, where King Croesus welcomed him. Once again, Adrastus accidentally killed Croesus' son and then committed suicide.

Some time in the 540s BC, Phrygia passed to the Achaemenid (Great Persian) Empire when Cyrus the Great conquered Lydia. After Darius the Great became Persian Emperor in 521 BC, he remade the ancient trade route into the Persian "Royal Road" and instituted administrative reforms that included setting up satrapies. The Phrygian satrapy (province) lay west of the Halys River (now Kızıl River) and east of Mysia and Lydia. Its capital was established at Dascylium, modern Ergili. In the course of the 5th century, the region was divided in two administrative satrapies : Hellespontine Phrygia and Greater Phrygia.

Achaemenid Satrapies

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