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Rise and Decline of Caria through History


Extent of Carian Territory

At its zenith, Caria’s territory stretched from present-day Lake Bafa in the north to Lake Köycegiz east of Marmaris in the Mugla province. Notable ancient cities like Heracleia, Alinda, and Alabanda were situated in the north, while Caunos marked the southernmost Carian territory, overlapping into Lycia. This area closely aligns with the modern administrative province of Mugla.

Surviving Invasions and Shifting Allegiances

Caria endured various invasions across Asia Minor without losing its distinct identity, albeit facing challenges. During the Persian dominance under Darius and Xerxes, Caria was integrated into the Persian Empire. Following Xerxes’ defeat by the Athenians and the rise of the Delian Confederacy Mystery of Ancient Caria, Carian cities came under Athenian influence. Subsequently, Spartan rule took hold after the Athenian defeat in 405 BC, lasting a brief decade u

Mystery of Ancient Caria


Origins of Caria

In ancient times, the coastal and inland regions of Asia Minor were organized into provinces with uncertain origins, shaped by indigenous populations and colonizing forces. Caria, situated in this enigmatic landscape, presents a historical puzzle with conflicting evidence Struggles in the Maccabean Kingdom. Herodotus suggests that the Carians hailed from the Greek Islands, under King Minos of Crete, serving as skilled seafarers and warriors. Thucydides provides an alternative account, describing them as pirates expelled by King Minos. Pausanias suggests a native Anatolian origin, intermingled with Cretan colonists.

Archaeological Perspective

Archaeological findings lean towards the view that the Carians were an indigenous people with a rich history. While external colonists likely arrived and integrated, introducing new ideas and skills, the core identity of the native Carians persisted. Hom

Struggles in the Maccabean Kingdom


Salome Alexandra’s Rule (76-67 B.C.

After the death of Alexander Jannaeus, his wife Salome Alexandra took charge of the Maccabean kingdom. Their son, John Hyrcanus II, served as the high priest. Their favorable stance toward the Pharisees fostered peace, allowing the system to function smoothly during Alexandra’s nine-year reign.

Power Struggle and Civil War

Following Alexandra’s death, a power struggle emerged between Hyrcanus and his younger brother, Aristobulus II, who gained support from the Sadducees Rise and Decline of Caria through History. Aristobulus initially triumphed, prompting Hyrcanus to seek refuge in Petra, the Nabataean capital, with the aid of Antipater, a wealthy Idumaean friend. Together, they returned to besiege Jerusalem.

Roman Intervention and the Maccabean Civil War’s End

The involvement of the Romans, led by Pompey, marked a turning poin

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