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Cappadocia is the ancient name of a large region in the center of Anatolia, although
when we speak of Cappadocia today we refer specifically to the valleys of Goreme
and Urgup, with their natural pinnacles and rock churches. In this survey of Cappadocia�s
historical geography, the region will be examined in its entirety.
Ancient Anatolia or Asia Minor, the large peninsula where modern Turkey is located, consists of several regions. One of the most important was Cappadocia. Originally this region encompassed today�s provinces of Kirsehir, Nevsehir, Aksaray, Nigde, Kayseri, Malatya, the eastern part of Ankara, the southern parts of Yozgat and Sivas, and the northern part of Adana.
Cappadocia was neighbor to the Commagene to the southeast, Armenia to the east, Galatia to the northwest, Pontus to the north, Cilicia to the south, and Phrygia and Lycaonia to the west. According to the geographer Strabo (STRABO 539), who was born in Amasya and lived about 63 BC, Cappadocia measured 1800 stadia ( 332 kilometers ) north to south, from Pontus to the Taurus mountains, and 3000 stadia ( 552 kilometers ) west to east from Lycaonia and Phrygia to the Euphrates. In other words, the region was demarcated geographically by the Black Sea to the north, the Taurus Mountains to the south, the Kizilirmak River to the west and the Euphrates to the east. The Tatta (Tuz Golu, Salt Lake) to the southwest marked the border between Phrygia and Lycaonia
In 20 BC Augustus transferred Armenia minor and Rough Ciliciato Archelaus. According
to Strabo, Archelaus spent most of his time on the island of Elaiussa (Ayas, Erdemli)
in Rough Cilicia. Here he founded the city of Elaiussa, which allowed him to use
the epithet �Ktistes� (founder) on his coins. As an expression of his gratitude to
Augustus he changed the name of the city to Sebaste, the Greek form of Augustus which
possessed the additional meaning of �sacred�. Archelaus also founded a city bearing
his own name (Archelais) (after the conversion of Cappadocia into a province Claudius
transformed this city into a Roman colony). On the king�s death very shortly afterwards
the kingdom of Cappadocia was officially transformed into a Roman province (Provincia
Cappadocia) (17 AD). On assuming the status of a Roman province, Cappadocia began
to be ruled by a governor (procurator) chosen from the Equestrian order.
After over three centuries of Roman rule over Cappadocia the region was inherited by the Eastern Roman Empire, which came into being with the partition of the empire in 395. Constantinus I (Constantine the Great) had declared Byzantium to be the eastern capital in 330, and the Western imperial line ended in 476, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire to outlive the West by nearly thousands years. This was what came to be known in modern times at the Byzantine Empire.