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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Cappadocia

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(Καππαδοκία, explained by Herod. 7:72, as Persic, and lately thought by Lassen to be found on inscriptions in the form Katpadhula; but Benfey, Monatsnamen, p. 117, interprets as Kappadakja, "province of good horses"), an ancient and the easternmost province of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Pontus, on the east by the Euphrates and Armenia Minor, on the south by Mount Taurus (beyond which are Cilicia and Syria), and on the west by Phrygia and Galatia (Strabo, 12, p. 533 sq.; Ptolemy, 5:6; Pliny, 6:3). The country is mountainous and abounds in water, and was celebrated for the production of wheat, for its fine pastures, and for its excellent breed of horses, asses, and sheep (Strabo, 12:539; Solin. 47). The inhabitants were notorious for their dullness and vice (Isidor. Pelus. 1:281; 4:197; Justin. 38:2; comp. Porphyrog. Them. 1:2). They were called "Syrians" (comp. Jablonsky, De lingua Lycaon. in his Opusc. 3:1 sq.; Gesen. Mon. Phan. p. 11) in the age of Herodotus (1:72; 5:49), and even in Strabo's days they bore the name of Λευκόσυροι, or "White Syrians" (12, p. 544), in contradistinction to those dwelling beyond the Taurus, whose complexion was darkened by the sun (Strabo, 16:737). By the ancient interpreters (see Philo, Opp. 2:676) they were thought to be meant by "the land of Caphtor" (q.v.); but the ancient name of Cappadocia was Katpatuk or Katapatuka (Rawlinson, Jouin. of the Asiat. Soc. 11:1, 95). Cappadocia was subjugated by the Persians under Cyrus, but after the time of Alexander the Great it had kings of its own, although tributary to the Seleucide. Its geographical limits on the west and north were variable. In early times the name reached as far northward as the Euxine Sea. The region of Cappadocia, viewed in this extent, constituted two satrapies under the Persians, and afterward two independent monarchies. One was Cappadocia on the Pontus, the other Cappadocia near the Taurus. Here we have the germ of the two Roman provinces of Pontus and Cappadocia. (See PONTUS).

Several of the monarchs who reigned in Cappadocia Proper bore the name of Ariarathes (q.v.). One of them is mentioned in 1 Maccabees 15:22. The last of these monarchs was called Archelaus (see Joseph. Ant. 16:4, 6). He was treacherously treated by the emperor Tiberius, who reduced his kingdom to a province A.D. 17, including what was anciently called Lesser Armenia (Tacit. Ann. 2:42; Dio Cass. 57:17). Christianity was very early propagated in Cappadocia, for the apostle Peter names it in addressing the Christian churches in Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1). Cappadocians (prop. Καππάδοκες, also Καππαδόκαι ) were present at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9). The Jewish community in this region doubtless formed the nucleus of the Christian; and the former may probably be traced to the first introduction of Jewish colonists into Asia Minor by Seleucus (Josephus, Ant. 12:3, 4). The Roman period, through the growth of large cities and the construction of roads, would afford increased facilities for the spread both of Judaism and Christianity. It should be observed that Cappadocia was easily approached from the direction of Palestine and Syria by means of the pass called the Cilician Gates, which led up through the Taurus from the low coast of Cilicia, and that it was connected, at least under the later emperors, by good roads with the district beyond the Euphrates (see Penny Cyclopcedia, s.v.; Smith, Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v.). (See ASIA MINOR).

Cappadocia was one of the seven provinces assigned to the diocese of Pontus, at its erection, by Constantine the Great and Constantius. Under the emperor Valens the province of Cappadocia was divided into the provinces of Cappadocia Prima and Secunda, which last was by the emperor Justinian subdivided, the new province being styled Cappadocia Tertia, and having for its metropolitan see Mocissus, or, as it was thenceforward styled, Justinianopolis. The chief see of the second Cappadocia was Tyana, and of the first, Caesarea, which last church was the mother and head of the whole Pontic diocese. (See CAESAREA).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cappadocia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/c/cappadocia.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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