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Isauria


Ancient land in south-central Anatolia.
The exact extent of Isauria is difficult to ascertain, but it was not a large region. The central parts of Isauria were in the Esenler Mountains 75 km directly south of modern Konya and 150 km northeast of modern Antalya, both Turkey.
Isauria has its name from the Isaurian tribes, a people of excellent warriors. The Isaurians used the mountains as a fortress, building infrastructure throughout the inaccessible region, building at least two strongly fortified towns: the capital, Isaura Vetus, and the smaller Isauria Nea.
Even after being conquered by the Romans, the Isaurians enjoyed virtual independence. Their warrior skills made them attractive hired solders, and they were at times used as elite troops by the empire.
Ruins of Isaura Vetus can still be found, and has scant but interesting remains of fortifications and tombs. Isaura Nea has disappeared.
In the preparation of Contents, no information was found on Isaurian religion and language.

History
Around 320 BCE: Isaura Palaia is besieged by the Macedonians. The Isaurians chose to burn the town instead of surrendering.
76-75: Isauria is conquered by the Romans.
Around 66: Pompey merges Isauria with Cilicia.
Around 0: Becomes part of the Roman province of Galatia.
Early 4th century CE: Isauria is reshaped as its own province, eventually incorporating the eastern part of Pamphylia.
Early 5th century: Tarasicodissa is born in Isauria; he would become Byzantine emperor 474-491 under the name of Zeno, bringing with him Isaurian notables into the imperial administration.
492-496: Revolt against new emperor, Anastasius 1, led by Zeno's brother, Cardala. The war is known as Isaurian War.
6th century: Isauria is effectively incorporated into the Byzantine Empire, by actions of Justinian 1.
695-698: Leontius of Isaurian origin is Byzantine emperor.
717-741: Another Leo, said to be of Isaurian origin, becomes emperor.
11th century: Seljuq Turks manage to take control of Isauria, and through intermarriage, Turks and Isaurians become a mixed people.
1901: The site of Isaura Vetus is identified.




By Tore Kjeilen