From Academic Kids

Lycia is also the name of a musical group; see Lycia (band).

Lycia is a region on the southern coast of Turkey. It was the site of an ancient country and province of the Roman Empire.



The indigenous inhabitants of Lycia spoke an Indo-European (or Indo-Hittite, according to some scholars) language, belonging to its Anatolian branch. The closest language to the Lycian language is the Luwian language, which was spoken in Anatolia during the 2nd and early 1st millennia BC; it may even be its direct ancestor. They were assimilated by Greek colonists who inhabited the region into modern times, before being displaced by Turks following the Greco-Turkish War in the early 20th century.


Lycia is a mountainous and densely forested region along the coast of southwestern Turkey on and around the Teke Peninsula. It is bounded by Caria to the west and north west, Pamphylia to the east, and Pisidia to the north east. Turkey's first waymarked long-distance footpath, the Lycian Way, follows part of the coast of the region.

The principal cities of ancient Lycia were Xanthos, Patara, Myra and Phaselis.


Missing image
Lycian tombs in Dalyan, Turkey

According to Herodotus, Lycia was named after Lycus, the son of Pandion, king of Athens. The region was never unified into a single territory in antiquity, but remained a tightly-knit confederation of fiercely independent city-states. Ancient Egyptian records describe the Lycians as allies of the Hittites, and Lycia was frequently mentioned by Homer as an ally of Troy. It came under the control of the Persian Empire between 546 BC-468 BC before Athens wrested control. Persia retook Lycia in 387 BC and held it until it was conquered by Alexander the Great. It subsequently passed into the hands of the Seleucids before falling to the Roman Republic in 189 BC. The heir of Augustus, Gaius Caesar, was killed there in 4 AD. In 43, the emperor Claudius annexed it to the Roman Empire and united it with Pamphylia as a Roman province. It subsequently became part of the Byzantine Empire before being overrun by the (Turkish) Ottoman Empire and eventually becoming part of Turkey.

Many relics of the Lycians remain visible today, especially their distinctive rock-cut tombs in the sides of cliffs in the region. The British Museum in London has one of the best collections of Lycian artifacts.

Lycia was an important center of worship for the goddess Leto and later, her twin children, Apollo and Artemis.

External links

Template:Roman provinces 120 ADde:Lykien sv:Lykien


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