Pamphylia (Παμφυλία)
Ancient Region of Anatolia

Ruins of the main street in Perga, capital of Pamphylia
Location Southern Anatolia
State existed: -
Nation Pamphylians, Pisidians, Greeks
Historical capitals Perga, Attaleia
Roman province Pamphylia

Pamphylia (Greek: Παμφυλία, /pæmˈfɪliə/) was a former region in the south of Asia Minor, between Lycia and Cilicia, extending from the Mediterranean to Mount Taurus (modern-day Antalya province, Turkey). It was bounded on the north by Pisidia and was therefore a country of small extent, having a coast-line of only about 120 km (75 miles) with a breadth of about 50 km (30 miles). Under the Roman administration the term Pamphylia was extended so as to include Pisidia and the whole tract up to the frontiers of Phrygia and Lycaonia, and in this wider sense it is employed by Ptolemy.


The name Pamphylia comes from the Greek Παμφυλία,[1] itself from πάμφυλος (pamphylos), literally "of mingled tribes or races",[2] a compound of πᾶν (pan), neuter of πᾶς (pas) "all"[3] + φυλή (phylē), "race, tribe".[4] Herodotus derived its etymology from a Dorian tribe, the Pamphyloi (Πάμφυλοι), who were said to have colonized the region.[5] The tribe, in turn, was said to be named after Pamphylos (Greek: Πάμφυλος), son of Aigimios.[6][7]

Origins of the Pamphylians

The Pamphylians were a mixture of aboriginal inhabitants, immigrant Cilicians (Greek: Κίλικες) and Greeks[8] who migrated there from Arcadia and Peloponnese in the 12th century BC.[9] The significance of the Greek contribution to the origin of the Pamphylians can be attested alike by tradition and archaeology[10] and Pamphylia can be considered a Greek country from the early Iron Age until the early Middle Ages.[11] There can be little doubt that the Pamphylians and Pisidians were the same people, though the former had received colonies from Greece and other lands, and from this cause, combined with the greater fertility of their territory, had become more civilized than their neighbours in the interior. But the distinction between the two seems to have been established at an early period. Herodotus, who does not mention the Pisidians, enumerates the Pamphylians among the nations of Asia Minor, while Ephorus mentions them both, correctly including the one among the nations on the coast, the other among those of the interior.

A map showing Pamphylia's location within the Roman Empire
Photo of a 15th Century map showing Pamphylia.
Slinger standing left, triskelion to right. Reverse of a silver stater from Aspendos, Pamphylia.

A number of scholars have distinguished in the Pamphylian dialect important isoglosses with both Arcadian and Cypriot (Arcadocypriot Greek) which allow them to be studied together with the group of dialects sometimes referred to as Achaean since it was settled not only by Achaean tribes but also colonists from other Greek-speaking regions, Dorians and Aeolians.[12] The legend related by Herodotus and Strabo, which ascribed the origin of the Pamphylians to a colony led into their country by Amphilochus and Calchas after the Trojan War, is merely a characteristic myth.


A treaty between the Hittite Great King Tudhaliya IV and his vassal, the king of Tarhuntassa, defined the latter's western border at the city "Parha" and the "Kastaraya River".[13] The river is assumed to be the classical Kestros (Turkish Aksu Çayı); Parha, the future Perge. West of Parha were the "Lukka Lands".[14] This region, at that time, likely spoke a late Luwian dialect like Lycian and the neo-Hittite kingdoms.

When the region returns to history its population is "Pamphylian", that is Greek-speaking. On Cyrus's defeat of Croesus, Pamphylia passed to the Persian Empire. Darius included it in his first tax-district alongside Lycia, Magnesia, Ionia, Aeolia, Mysia, and Caria.[15] At some point 468-465 BCE, the Athenians under Cimon fought the Persians at the Eurymedon, and won; thus adding Pamphylia to their "Delian League" empire. Toward the end of the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians were weakened enough that the Persians were able to retake it.[16]

Upon Alexander's defeat of Darius III, Pamphylia passed back to Greek rule, now Macedonians. After the defeat of Antiochus III in 190 BC they were included among the provinces annexed by the Romans to the dominions of Eumenes of Pergamum; but somewhat later they joined with the Pisidians and Cilicians in piratical ravages, and Side became the chief centre and slave mart of these freebooters. Pamphylia was for a short time included in the dominions of Amyntas, king of Galatia, but after his death lapsed into a district of a Roman province.

As of 1911 the district was largely peopled with recent settlers from Greece, Crete and the Balkans, a situation which changed considerably as a result of the disruptions attendant on the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the war between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s.

List of Pamphylians

Archaeological sites

Episcopal sees

Ancient episcopal sees of the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima (I) listed in the Annuario Pontificio as titular sees:[31]

Ancient episcopal sees of the Roman province of Pamphylia Secunda (II) listed in the Annuario Pontificio as titular sees:[31]

Ancient episcopal sees of the Roman province of Pamphylia Tertia (III) listed in the Annuario Pontificio as titular sees:[31]

See also


  1. Παμφυλία, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. πάμφυλος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. πᾶς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  4. φυλή, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  5. Herodotus, The Histories, 5.68
  6. Πάμφυλος, William J. Slater, Lexicon to Pindar, on Perseus
  7. George Grote : A History of Greece. p. 286; Irad Malkin : Myth and Territory in the Spartan Mediterranean. Cambridge U Pr, 2003. p. 41.
  8. Pamphylia, Encyclopædia Britannica
  9. Ahmad Hasan Dani, Jean-Pierre Mohen, J. L. Lorenzo, and V. M. Masson , History of Humanity-Scientific and Cultural Development: From the Third Millennium to the Seventh Century B.C (Vol II), UNESCO, 1996, p.425
  10. Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, The cities of the eastern Roman provinces, Clarendon Press, 1971, p.123
  11. John D. Grainger, The cities of Pamphylia, Oxbow Books, 2009, p.27
  12. A.-F. Christidis, A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p.427
  13. G. Beckman (1996). Hittite diplomatic texts. Atlanta., no. 18C
  14. J. David Hawkins (2009). "The Arzawa letters in recent perspective". British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan. 14: 73–83., 75
  15. Herodotus. Histories.
  16. Jona Lendering -,
  17. "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, page 1015 (v. 1)". Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  18. Die Fragmente Der Griechischen Historiker, Continued - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  19. Epigr. tou Oropou 148
  20. SEG 39:1426 - The Hellenistic Monarchies: Selected Papers Page 264 By Christian Habicht ISBN 0-472-11109-4
  21. IK Side I 1
  22. BCH 1936:280,1
  23. "links to Greek and Latin Authors in the web". Attalus. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  24. SEG 23:573 R.S. Bagnall (1976) The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions outside Egypt, p. 124. Brill Archive.
  25. Epigr.Anat. 11:104,5 Inscriptions for Physicians
  26. Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy & H. Alan Shapiro (1995) Women in the Classical World: Image and Text, Oxford University Press
  27. Riet van Bremen: Women and Wealth Chapter 14, p. 223 in "Images of Women in Antiquity" Page 223 Editors Averil Cameron, Amélie Kuhrt ISBN 0-415-09095-4
  28. "Aspendos Archaeological Project". Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  29. IG VII 1773 - The Context of Ancient Drama Page 192 By Eric Csapo, William J. Slater ISBN 0-472-08275-2
  30. "Internet Medieval Sourcebook". Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  31. 1 2 3 Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), "Sedi titolari", pp. 819-1013


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Coordinates: 37°N 31°E / 37°N 31°E / 37; 31

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