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Tyana is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
LocationKemerhisar, Niğde Province, Turkey
Coordinates37°50′53″N 34°36′40″E / 37.84806°N 34.61111°E / 37.84806; 34.61111Coordinates: 37°50′53″N 34°36′40″E / 37.84806°N 34.61111°E / 37.84806; 34.61111
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins

Tyana (

Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite
kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.


The name of the city and the region, and later kingdom, surrounding it was Tuwana in the Hittite and Neo-Hittite periods.

By the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the city was named Tyana, which was derived from its earlier Hittite name.


The location of Tyana corresponds to the modern-day town of Kemerhisar in Niğde Province, Turkey.

The region around Tyana was known as Tyanitis, and it corresponded to roughly the same area as the former Iron Age kingdom of Tuwana, which extended to the Cilician Gates and the kingdom of Quwê in the south, and in the north was bordered by the region of Tabal, which is sometimes considered part of Tuwana.


Hittite period

Tyana is the city referred to in

Luwian speakers.[6]

Neo-Hittite period

Following the collapse of the Hittite Empire, the city of Tuwana became the centre the Iron Age Luwian kingdom of Tuwana in southern Anatolia, one of the Syro-Hittite states, which existed in southeastern Anatolia in the 8th century BC.

Warpalawas II (right) venerating the Weather God on the İvriz relief

It is not certain whether or not it was initially subject to the

Ivriz.[8] Warpalawa is also mentioned in Assyrian texts, under the name Urballa, first in a list of tributees of Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser III and later in a letter of Sargon II.[9] Warpalawa was probably succeeded by his son Muwaharani whose name appears in another monument found in Niğde.[10]

At this time, Tabal and Tuwana were tributaries of the

Old Phrygian inscriptions, which were found in Kemrhisar, and by bronze objects of clear Phrygian origin in a tumulus at Kaynarca, seven kilometres northeast of Tyana. In a letter of 715 BC, Sargon II describes how King Mita of Mushki had sent emissaries to the Assyrian governor in Quwê, Ašur-Šarru-Usur, asking for an exchange of ambassadors. The accompanying ambassadors of Warpalawas II (Akkadian: Urballa) are there described as messengers of one of Mita's vassals. A report of Ašur-Šarru-Usur to Sargon II indicates that Warpalawas conquered Bit Burutaš (part of Tabal) in 713 BC after King Ambaris of Tabal had been deposed and deported to Assyria. İvriz relief a stele of Tarḫunz with a Luwian-Phoenician bilingual text, which was found in 1986, shows that the North-Syrian Aramaic cultural area had a strong influence on the area as well. The Niğde Stele, which was erected by Warapalawas’ son, Muwaharani II, is clearly modelled on Assyrian steles. In the subsequent period, when both the Phrygian kingdom and the kingdom of Urartu to the east fell to the Cimmerians
, there are no further traces of Tuwana.

Greek and Roman periods

Artifacts from Tyana in Niğde Archaeological Museum

In Greek legend, the city was first called Thoana because Thoas, a Thracian king, was its founder (Arrian, Periplus Ponti Euxini, vi); it was in Cappadocia, at the foot of the Taurus Mountains and near the Cilician Gates (Strabo, XII, 537; XIII, 587).

Xenophon mentions it in his book Anabasis, under the name of Dana, as a large and prosperous city. The surrounding plain was known after it as Tyanitis.

It is the reputed birthplace of the celebrated philosopher (and reputed saint or magician)

Metamorphoses VIII) places the tale of Baucis and Philemon
in the vicinity.

According to Strabo the city was known also as "Eusebeia at the Taurus". Under

Roman Emperor Caracalla, the city became Antoniana colonia Tyana. After having sided with Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, it was captured by Aurelian in 272, who would not allow his soldiers to sack it, allegedly because Apollonius
appeared to him, pleading for its safety.

Late Roman and Byzantine periods

In 372, Emperor

Late Antiquity, the city was also known as Christoupolis (Greek: Χριστούπολις, "city of Christ").[11]

Following the

Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid in 806. Harun began converting the city into a military base and even erected a mosque there, but evacuated it after the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros I bought a peace.[13]

The city was again taken and razed by the Abbasids under Al-Abbas ibn al-Ma'mun in 831.[14] Abbas rebuilt the site three years later as an Abbasid military colony in preparation for Caliph al-Ma'mun's planned conquest of Byzantium, but after Ma'mun's sudden death in August 833 the campaign was abandoned by his successor al-Mu'tasim and the half-rebuilt city was razed again.[15]

The city fell into decline after 933, as the Arab threat receded.[11] The ruins of Tyana are at modern Kemerhisar, three miles south of Niğde;[11] there are remains of a Roman aqueduct and of cave cemeteries and sepulchral grottoes.

Rulers of Neo-Hittite Tuwana[16][17]

  • Warpalawas I (early 8th century BC)
  • Saruwani I (mid-8th century BC)
  • Muwaharani I (ca. 740)
  • Warpalawas II (ca. 740-705)
  • Muwaharani II (End of the 8th century BC)

Ecclesiastical history

As noted, in 372 Emperor

suffragan sees as possible. About 640 Tyana had three, and it was the same in the tenth century (Heinrich Gelzer
, "Ungedruckte ... Texte der Notitiae episcopatum", 538, 554).

Le Quien mentions 28 bishops of Tyana,[18]
among whom were:

In May 1359, Tyana still had a metropolitan (Mikelosich and Müller, "Acta patriarchatus Constantinopolitani", I, 505); in 1360 the metropolitan of Caesarea secured the administration of it (op. cit., 537). Thenceforth the see was titular.

In 2020, during excavations the archaeologists discovered an octagonal church and coins dated to the 4th century.[19]


  1. .
  2. .
  3. ^ "Tiglath-pileser III 32". oracc.museum.upenn.edu.
  4. ^ "CDLI-Archival View". cdli.ucla.edu.
  5. Luvians
    . Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers: 47
  6. ^ Singer, Itamar; 1981. Hittites and Hattians in Anatolia at the Beginning of the Second Millennium B.C. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 9: 119-134.
  7. Luvians
    . Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers: 97-8
  8. ^ www.hittitemonuments.com/ivriz
  9. Luvians
    . Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers: 98
  10. ^ www.hittitemonuments.com/nigde
  11. ^ a b c d e Kazhdan (1991), p. 2130
  12. ^ Treadgold (1988), p. 275–276
  13. ^ Treadgold (1988), p. 145
  14. ^ Treadgold (1997), p. 341
  15. ^ Treadgold (1988), pp. 279–281
  16. ^ Trevor Bryce: The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms; A Political and Military History. Oxford, New York 2012, pp. 148-152, 307.
  17. ^ Christian Marek, Peter Frei: Geschichte Kleinasiens in der Antike. München 2010, p. 802.
  18. OCLC 955922585
  19. ^ 1,600-year-old octagonal church found in Central Anatolia



External links