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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Καρία ), the south-western district of Asia Minor (q.v.), washed on the S. by the Mediterranean and on the W. by the AEgean Sea, and indented by many bays and creeks. On the N. lay Lydia, eastward were Phrygia and Lycia, here separated by mountainous landmarks, yet without any fixed boundary, which continually fluctuated on the N., where the river Mmeander formed not so much the political as the natural border (Strabo, 12:577, 578; comp. 13:628). The S.W. angle of this region, having been settled by Dorian colonies, was sometimes distinguished from Caria by the name of Doris (Pliny, 5:29). Mountain ranges stretched through its entire territory, jutting out into promontories at the sea; yet considerable plains intervened, which were well watered, and fruitful in grain, oil, wine, etc. The inhabitants, composed of various mixed races (among which were some of Shemitic stock, Bertheau, Isr. Gesch. p. 193 sq.), were engaged, at least on the shore, in navigation and piracy (Herod. 2:152; Thucyd. 1:4, 8; Strabo, 14:662). A Jewish colony is referred to in the Apocrypha (1 Maccabees 15:22; 1 Maccabees 15:33) as being favorably addressed by the Romans in a decree which names the principal towns Halicarnassus (the birthplace of the historian Herodotus), Cnidus (mentioned in Acts 27:7), to which may be added Miletus (comp. Acts 20:15-28); and the same passage alludes to the fact that the Carians were then (B.C. 139) endowed with the privilege of Roman citizenship (Livy, 49:15), after having been for some time subject to Rhodes (comp. Ptolemy, 5:2; Mela, 1:16; Forbiger, Alte Geogr. 2:204 sq.; Heeren, Ideen, I, 1:158 sq.). Somewhat later (B.C. 130) Caria became a province of the Roman empire (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v.). Some antiquarians (see Verbrugge, De num. plur. Hebr, p. 68) have discovered the Carians in the O.T. under the name Karim (כָּרַים, 2 Kings 11:4; 2 Kings 11:19), mentioned in connection with the Ratsim (רָצַים, 2 Samuel 20:23) as the life-guards of the Jewish kings; but these terms are rather to be taken as appellatives, executioners and couriers (Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 671). (See CHERETHITE AND PELETHITE).

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Caria'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Cariani, Giovanni
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