Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/867

This page needs to be proofread.




and its Greek rulers known as the Attalids, from Attains, a favourite name of its kings. Then came the wars with republican Home (190-t)3 B. c), ending in the latter year with the defeat and death of the great Mithradates VI, "the Oriental tlefender of (ireek liberties", whereby I'ontus and IJithynia, i. e. the shores of the IMack Sea, were for a long time freed from the i>eril of Oriental domination. In general the hrst three centuries of Roman imperial administration were a period of peace and progress for Asia Minor. From the fourth to the seventh century the last long conflict of Eastern Rome with Persia went on, the vicissitudes of which were of no little importance to the great province across which the imperial armies and tlie warriors of Persia mo\e(l to and fro. The annihilation of Persian ambition by Emperor Heraclius (a. d. 610- 641) only shifted the source of danger; henceforth the .\rab and his succe.s.sor, the Turk, take up the continuous challenge of the Orient, and finally make it good. Predatory Arab invasions from 672 to 717 were repelled with vigour from Constantinople, after which for over three centuries the land remained subject to the hereditary Byzantine rule, though (luring this period almost endless conflict with the .\rab dynasties made the Christian buffer-state of .\rmenia a scene of unutterable woe. and even Asia Minor was constantly menaced by the children of the Prophet. In the end the bravery and military skill of the Macedonian emperors (867-l().")7) availed not against the continuous pressure of fresh hordes from the far East, and the middle of the eleventh century saw two fatal events, almost contempora- neous and intimately connected, tlic final separation of the Greek and Latin churclics (11)40), and the conquest of .Vsia Minor by Malek Shah and his .Seljuk Turks (10.'>8-71). " After the death of Malek (109'J) his children di.sputed and divided the splendid inheritance left by him. But Asia Minor, henceforth Rilm (i. e. Rome, the Turkish name of all Byzantine territory), did not pa.<!S from their con- trol; they set up their thrones at Nica^a, Nicomedia, and eventually (1097) at Iconium (Koniah). The crusaders of the twelfth century usually took the great highway over Asia Minor, either entirely into t^yria, or partly, to embark at ports on the southern coast. Here and there they set up a temporarj' rule, but could not sustain it against the inexhaustible multitude of the Turkish hordes and the treacherj' of the Greek emperors. For more than a century the Seljuks ruled .Vsia Minor, until the appearance of the Mongol hordes (1235). The over-lordship of the latter lasted for some sixty years, until about 1294, when the rule of the Ottoman Turk was in- augurated by the victories of Othman I, and the successful reigns of his three .sons, I'rkhan, Murad I, and Bajazet I. A ray of hope shone for the Chris- tian Byzantines during the thirteenth century when the Empire of Nicjca (1204-1330) held Bfthynia, Lydia. a part of Phrj-gia and the islands of the Arch- ipelago, i. e. the western region of Asia Minor, and again in the fourteenth ami fifteenth centuries when the Empire of Trebizonil (1204-1461) on the Black Sea nourished feebly the hopes of Greek Christians for a return of ind('|)endence umler the cross. But Nicjea fell and became an outpost of Ottoman con- quest, and Trebizond scarcely survived the fall of Constantinople (14.53). Botli weak states had arisen as a protest against the Latin conquest of Constantinople (1204), and though they m.ide the ■coast line Christian for three centuries, they were unable to loosen the grip of the Turkish hordes of "the Black Sheep" and others on the table-land of the interior. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the and Venetians established a commercial supremacy along the coasts of Asia Minor and in many of the islands. They left permanent

memorials in military architecture (since then the Turks call ruins indiscriminately " kalessi * or Genoese castles), and especially in the commercial and maritime law, in relations anil methods, anil in the class known henceforth as "Levantines". But the nnitual jealousies and rivalries of the Italian coniiiicrcial rei>ul)lics. and their predominating secular aims, prevented any serious attempt to oust the Sdjuk Turk from the high table-lands and eastern border. Ottoman rule and life spread rapidly, threatened only for a brief while by a new Mongol invasion under Tamerlane (138(>-1402), and by the disastrous battle of Angora in the latter year (, History of the Ottoman Empire, new ed., London, 1882). In the end, however, Turkish fortune and courage prevailed, and perma- nent dominion over the peninsula was secured to the Osmanli by the capture of Constantinople in H.W. since which time save for a partial occupation by the Eg\'i)tian Mohammed Ali (1831-39) the Turk has hckl in peace this richest jewel of Mediter- ranean empire. .\s a rule, the inland Turk has care<i only for fresh pasturage for his flocks. Ever moving from i)lace to place with his coimtless sheep and goats he has despised agricMiUure and the life of towns. Heedless of tlie future lie has ruined all culti- vation of the land, alloweil its once perfect develop- ment to decay completely, and <lriven the Christian pea-santof the Byzantine age to the mountains or the sea, when he has not imluccd him to adopt, with the nomad life, the law of the Koran. It is the low- grade civilization of the steppes of Turkestan made permanent on the former site of supreme Hellenic refinement of life and of Christian sublimity of teach- ing and virtue. And it is universally admitted that only a recolonization from Europe can restore its original felicitous conditions. (Vivien <le Saint Martin, "Description historique et gtographique de r.\sie Mineure", Paris, 18.")2; Heyd, "Geschichte des Levantenhandels", Stuttgart, 1879, tr. into French by Reynaud, Paris. 1S80-S6.)

The Roman Province. — Ender the Roman rule, republican and early imperial, the numerous politi- cal entities that had spnmg up in Asia Minor after the death of Alexander the Great disappeared rapidly and made way for a unity and efliciency of administration, a peace and prosperity, hitherto unknown. The little Greek kingdoms of Pergamus and Bithyiiia were left tf) Rome by the wills of their last kings; Cilicia, freed by Pompey from the pirates that infested its waters, was only too grateful for imperial protection; Pontus alone was won from Mithradates VI in a memorable war during which the Celts of Galatia sided with victorious Rome and reaped the reward of their good fortune in gov'- enunental favour. With their kings, Deiotaarus and AmJ^ltas, the line of Celtic rulers of A.sia Minor closed; after the <leath of Amyntas (25 B. c.) Galatia became a Roman province. The last king of Cappadocia died in the reign of Tiberius, and the land was forthwith annexed. In this way a practical uniformity of governtncnt was introduced over the entire peninsula. Withovit doing violence to local customs or traditions, the imperial government a.ssured to the provincials an atlministration at once responsible and equitable, of swift and thorough justice, of continuous peace, easy comnnmicafion, protection to life and property and the fruits of hon- est industry. The wool-grower ami the weaver of Ancyra, the gold-embroiilerer of Attalia, and the sculptor of Diana statuettes in Ephe.sus were hence- forth assured of permanent prosperity, and with them all the other callings and occupations of the most highly civilized part of the Mediterranean world. Manufactures and industries increased, and before the end of the second century .Asia Minor had touched the acme of temporal felicity. Taxation,