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The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pisidia


Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Pisidia

   (he Pisidike). An inland district of Asia Minor, lying north of Lycia and Pamphylia. It was a mountainous region, inhabited by a warlike people, who maintained their independence against all the successive rulers of Asia Minor. The Romans never subdued the Pisidians in their mountain fortresses, though they took some of the towns on the outskirts of their country--for example, Antiochia, which was made a colony with the ius Italicum. In fact, the northern part, in which Antiochia stood, had originally belonged to Phrygia, and was more accessible and more civilized than the mountains which formed the proper country of the Pisidians. Nominally, the country was considered a part of Pamphylia, till the new subdivision of the Empire under Constantine, when Pisidia was made a separate province. The country is still inhabited by wild tribes, among whom travelling is dangerous; and it is therefore little known. Ancient writers say that it contained, amidst its rugged mountains, some fertile valleys, where the olive flourished; and it also produced the gum storax, some medicinal plants, and salt. On the southern slope of the Taurus several rivers flowed through Pisidia and Pamphylia into the Pamphylian Gulf, the chief of which were the Cestrus and the Catarrhactes; and on the northern the mountain streams form some large salt lakes-- namely, Ascania (Hoiran and Egerdir), south of Antiochia, Caralius, or Pusgusa (Bei Shehr or Kereli), southeast of the former, and Trogitis (Soghla) further to the southeast, in Isauria. Special names were given to certain districts, which are sometimes spoken of as parts of Pisidia, sometimes as distinct countries--namely, Cibyratis, in the southwest, along the north of Lycia, and Cabalia, the southwest corner of Cibyratis itself; Milyas, the district east of Cibyratis, northeast of Lycia and northwest of Pamphylia; and Isauria, in the east of Pisidia, on the borders of Lycaonia.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Pisidia

  Pisidia (he Pisidike :Eth. Pisidai, Pisidae), a province in the south of Asia Minor, which was in the earlier times always regarded as a part of Phrygia or Pamphylia, but was constituted a separate province in the division of the Roman empire made by Constantine the Great. It bordered in the east on Isauria and Cilicia, in the south on Pamphylia, in the west on Lycia, Caria, and Phrygia, and in the north on Phrygia Parorios; but it is almost impossible to mark the exact boundary lines, especially in the north and north-west, as the northern parts of Pisidia are often treated as parts of Phrygia, to which they originally belonged, and from which they are sometimes called Phrygia Pisidica, or Phrugia pros Pisidian; but Amyntas separated them from Phrygia and united them with Pisidia. (Strab. xii. p. 570, &c.; Ptol. v. 5. §§ 4, 8; Dionys. Per. 858, &c.; Plin. v. 24; Hierocl. pp. 662, &c., 679, &c.) The country, which was rough and mountainous, though it contained several fertile valleys and plains, which admitted of the cultivation of olives (Strab. l. c.), was divided into several districts, with separate names. The south-western district bordering on Lycia was called Milyas, and another adjoining it bore the name of Cabalia. The mountains traversing Pisidia consist of ramifications of Mount Taurus, proceeding from Mount Cadmus in Phrygia, in a south-eastern direction, and assuming in the neighbourhood of Termissus the name of Sardemisus (Pomp. Mel. i. 14; Plin. v. 26), and on the borders of Milyas that of Climax. (Polyb. v. 72; Strab. xiv. p. 666.) These mountains contain the sources of the rivers Catarrhactes and Cestrus, which flow through Pisidia and Pamphylia into the bay of Pamphylia. The principal products of Pisidia were salt, the root iris, from which perfumes were manufactured, and the wine of Amblada, which was much recommended by ancient physicians. (Plin. xii. 55, xxi. 19, xxxi. 39; Strabo. xii. p. 570.) Pisidia also contained several lakes, some of which are assigned to Phrygia or Lycaonia, e. g. Coralis and Trogitis (Strab. xii. p. 568), the great salt lake Ascania, and Pusgusa or Pungusa, which is mentioned only by Byzantine writers. (Nicet. Chron. x. p. 50; Cinnam. Hist. ii. 8.)
  The inhabitants of Pisidia must in a great measure have belonged to the same stock as the Phrygians, but were greatly mixed with Cilicians and Isaurians. They are said to have at first been called Solymi (Steph. B. s. v.); they were warlike and free mountaineers who inhabited those parts from very remote times, and were looked upon by the Greeks as barbarians. They were never subdued by neighbouring nations, but frequently harassed the adjoining countries by predatory inroads. (Xenoph. Anab. i. 1. § 11, ii. 1. § 4, &c.; Strab. ii. p. 130, xii. p. 569, xiv. pp. 670, 678; Liv. xxxv. 13.) Even the Romans were scarcely able to subdue these people, protected as they were by their mountains and ravines. After the defeat of Antiochus, Pisidia was, with the rest of Asia, given to Eumenes, but had to be conquered by the Romans themselves, and then formed the beginning of what subsequently came to be the province of Cilicia, to which, about B.C. 88, the three Phrygian districts of Laodiceia, Apameia, and Synnada, were added. (Liv. Epit. 77; Cic. in Verr. i. 1. 7, 38.) Still, however, the Romans never established a garrison or planted a colony in the interior; and even the submission of the towns seems to have consisted mainly in their paying tribute to their rulers. The principal towns of Pisidia were, Antiocheia, Sagalassus, Termisiis, Selge, Pednelissus, Cibyra, Oenoanda, and Bubon. The mountainous parts of Pisidia are now inhabited by the Karamanians, a wild and rapacious people, whence the country is little visited by travellers, and consequently little known; but Pisidia in general corresponds to that portion of Asia Minor comprised within the government of Isbarteh.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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