Jump to content


Coordinates: 37°50′53″N 34°36′40″E / 37.84806°N 34.61111°E / 37.84806; 34.61111
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tyana, Cappadocia, Turkey
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; 34.61111
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins

Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα), earlier known as Tuwana (Luwian: 𔑢𔗬𔐤𔔂) during the Iron Age, and Tūwanuwa (Hittite: 𒌷𒌅𒌋𒉿𒉡𒉿) during the Bronze Age, was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia, in modern Kemerhisar, Niğde Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey.[1][2][3]

It was the capital of a Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.


The name of the city was Tūwanuwa (𒌷𒌅𒌋𒉿𒉡𒉿[4]) during the Hittite Empire,[1][2] and Tuwana[5] (𔑢𔗬𔐤𔔂[6]) in the Luwian language during the Syro-Hittite period.[1][2]

From the Luwian name Tuwana were derived the Neo-Assyrian Akkadian name of the city, Tuḫana (Neo-Assyrian Akkadian: 𒆳𒌅𒄩𒈾[7][8][9][10][11]),[1][12][13][14][15] and the Ancient Greek name of the city, Tuana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα; Latin: Tyana).[2][16]


The location of the Hittite Tūwanuwa/Neo-Hittite Tuwana/Classical Tyana corresponds to the modern-day town of Kemerhisar in Niğde Province, Turkey.[16][17][18][19]

The region around Tyana, which corresponded to roughly the same area as the former Iron Age kingdom of Tuwana, was known in Classical Antiquity as Tyanitis.[2][20][21]


Bronze Age[edit]

The Hittite Empire, with Tūwanuwa located in the Lower Land.

The city of Tūwanuwa was first mentioned in the texts of the Hittite Empire, as a city located in southeastern Anatolia, in the northern regions of the Lower Land. According to the Telipinu Proclamation, Tūwanuwa was part of the territories that the 17th century BC founder-king of the Hittite Old Empire, Labarna I, had conquered and which his sons divided among each other and established their rule there.[1][3]

According to later Hittite sources, Tūwanuwa was an important cult centre,[16] and its local pantheon was headed by the Storm-god Tarḫunzas of Tūwanuwa and his consort, the goddess Šaḫḫaššara of Tūwanuwa.[22][23]

During the reign of the Hittite Middle Empire's king Tudhaliya III, the cities of Tūwanuwa and Uda had become border towns of the forces of Arzawa after it had invaded the Lower Land.[24][3] Tūwanuwa itself was attacked by Arzawa, and Hittite records of this development associated Tūwanuwa with the town of Tupazziya and Mount Ammuna. Hittite descriptions of the city suggest that Tūwanuwa itself might have been located on a hill or a mountain at this time.[3]

The prince Suppiluliuma fought a battle against the Arzawan forces near Tūwanuwa and recaptured Tūwanuwa, which then became a base from which the Hittite forces reconquered the Lower Land from Arzawa.[24]

Several Hittite texts associated Tūwanuwa with the cities of Nenašša and Ḫupišna, attesting that they were located close to each other. The city of Purušḫattum was also located close to Tūwanuwa.[3]

Tuwana (in blue) among the Syro-Hittite states.
Tuwana (in blue) among the Syro-Hittite states.
Tabal among the Neo-Hittite states. Tuwana was one of the constituent states of Tabal.
Tabal among the Neo-Hittite states.
Tuwana was one of the constituent states of Tabal.
Common languagesLuwian
Luwian religion
• c. early 8th c. BC
Warpalawas I
• c. 750 BC
• ? – c. 740 BC
Muwaḫaranis II
• c. 740–705 BC
Warpalawas II
• c. late 8th c. BC
Muwaḫaranis II
Historical eraIron Age
Preceded by
Hittite empire
Today part ofTurkey

Neo-Hittite period[edit]

Kingdom of Tuwana[edit]

After the collapse of the Hittite Empire, Tūwanuwa became the centre of the Luwian-speaking Syro-Hittite state of Tuwana[1] in the region of Tabal, in whose southernmost regions it was located.[2][18]


The kingdom of Tuwana was located in southern Cappadocia, to the east of the Konya Plain and the Obruk Plateau across Lake Tuz and the Melendiz Mountains until the Hasandağ volcano to the north.[18][27] Tuwana covered the territory located in the present-day province of Niğde in Turkey,[28] and it extended to the south until the Cilician Gates[29][27] so that Tuwana was the first area travellers would reach after leaving Ḫiyawa to the north by passing through the Cilician Gates to cross the Taurus Mountains.[18] Tuwana thus corresponded to the region which later in Classical Antiquity was called Tyanitis.[29][21][30]

Tuwana was therefore located in the southern Tabalian region,[15] of which it was the largest and most prominent kingdom, with its territory consisting of several settlements surrounding the royal capital at the city of Tuwana,[1][2] although the city of Naḫitiya (modern Niğde; possibly Hittite period Naḫita[31]) might have temporarily acted as capital under the reign of the king Saruwanis.[32] Another important settlement in Tuwana was the location known in Classical Antiquity as Tynna and presently as Porsuk-Zeyve Höyük.[27]

By the 8th century BC, Tuwana's territory included the Mount Mudi,[33] which was likely identical with the "alabaster mountain," Mount Mulî, which the Neo-Assyrian king Shalmaneser III climbed and from where he extracted alabaster during his campaign in the Tabalian region in 837 BCE. The name Mulî (𒈬𒇷𒄿[34][35][36][37]) was the Akkadian form of a Luwian original name Mudi (𔑿𔑣)[38][39][40][41] which had experienced the Luwian sound shift from /d/ to /l/.[42][43]

Based on the close association of the "silver mountain," Mount Tunni, with Mount Mulî in the Neo-Assyrian records, both of these mountains were located close to each other, in the northeastern end of the Bolkar and Taurus Mountains, where are presently located the silver mines of Bulgarmaden and the gypsum mine at Porsuk-Zeyve Höyük.[42][44]


Tuwana was a state whose population was descended from the largely Luwian inhabitants of the former Hittite region of Tūwanuwa.[2]


Tuwana might have been ruled by a single dynasty consisting of the kings Warpalawas I, followed by his son Saruwanis, who was succeeded by his own son Muwaḫaranis I, himself succeeded by his son Warpalawas II, whose son and successor was Muwaḫaranis II.[1][45]

Tuwana was spared by the Neo-Assyrian king Shalmaneser III's invasion of the Tabalian region which he conducted in 837 BC.[46]

By c. 738 BC, the Tabalian region, including Tuwana, had become a tributary of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, either after the Neo-Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III's (r. 745 – 727 BCE) conquest of Arpad over the course of 743 to 740 BC caused the states of the Tabalian region to submit to him, or possibly as a result of a campaign of Tiglath-pileser III in Tabal.[47][13][48]

Consequently, the longest reigning king of Tuwana, Warpalawas II, was mentioned in the records of the Neo-Assyrian Empire as one of five kings who offered tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III in 738 and 737 BC.[1][49]

İvriz relief, depicting Warpalawas II (smaller, on the right) worshipping the Storm-god Tarḫunzas (taller, on the left)

Tuwana was a powerful state under Warpalawas II, under whose reign it contained one sub-kingdom whose capital was at the site corresponding to present-day Porsuk, and whose ruler Tarḫunazzas declared himself to be the "servant" of Warpalawas.[42][45][49]

By the time of the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II (r. 722 – 705 BC), Tuwana was one of the last still independent Tabalian kingdoms, although it was coming under the pressure of both the Neo-Assyrian Empire and the kingdom of Phrygia because of its location between these two powers,[1][49] and some Old Phrygian inscriptions on basalt, possibly dated from Warpalawas II's reign, as well as the Phrygian robe depicted as worn by Warpalawas II in his İvriz monument, suggest that aspects of Phrygian culture were arriving into Tuwana during the late 8th century BC in the time of Warpalawas II.[50]

Warpalawas II nevertheless appears to have carried out a policy of cooperation with the Neo-Assyrian Empire, thanks to which he was able to keep his throne until the c. 700s BC.[50]

And, after Sargon II had annexed the kingdom of Tabal, then reorganised as the kingdom of Bīt-Burutaš, and deported its king Ambaris in 713 BC, he increased Tuwana's territory in the broader Tabalian region by giving Warpalawas II part of the territory of Bīt-Burutaš.[1]

Tuwana however appears to have come under direct Assyrian rule during the later years of Warpalawas II's reign, especially following the annexation of the kingdom of Tabal, then reorganised as the kingdom of Bīt-Burutaš, and the deportation of its king Ambaris in 713 BC, after which Sargon II appointed one Aššur-šarru-uṣur as governor of Que based in Ḫiyawa who also held authority on Ḫilakku and the Tabalian region, including both Bīt-Burutaš and Tuwana.[51][33][52]

Thus Tuwana and other nearby Anatolian kingdoms were placed the authority of Aššur-šarru-uṣur.[1][33][53] Following the appointment of Aššur-šarru-uṣur, Warpalawas II of Tuwana and Awarikus of Ḫiyawa became largely symbolic rulers although they might have still held the power to manage their kingdoms locally.[20]

The reason for these changes was due to the fact that, although Warpalawas II and Awarikus had been loyal Neo-Assyrian vassals, Sargon II considered them as being too elderly to be able to efficiently uphold Neo-Assyrian authority in southeastern Anatolia, where the situation had become volatile because of encroachment by the then growing power of Phrygian kingdom.[20] Tuwana nevertheless appears to have continued to thrive as a Neo-Assyrian vassal during the rules of Warpalawas II and his son and successor, Muwaḫaranis II.[54]

Some cities in these new territories from Bīt-Burutaš which Sargon II had assigned to Warpalawas II were later attacked and occupied by Atuna and Ištuanda in c. 710 BC.[1]

The last known king of Tuwana was Muwaḫaranis II, the son of Warpalawas II.[1][49] As in the latter part of his father's reign, Tuwana during the rule of Muwaḫaranis II was under direct rule of the Neo-Assyrian governor Aššur-šarru-uṣur.[33] Muwaharanis II might have continued to rule in Tabal into the 7th century BC,[55] by which time Neo-Assyrian control of the Tabalian region had ended.[56]

A late 8th century BC king named Masaurahisas[57] is also attested from an inscription at Porsuk-Zeyve Höyük, although it is uncertain whether he was the king of another state (he is commonly assumed to have been a ruler of Tunna), or whether he ruled in Tuwana after Muwaḫaranis II.[58][59]

By c. 675 BC, Neo-Assyrian sources no longer referred to the local Tabalian kings, suggesting that they, including Tuwana, might have been annexed by the king Iškallû of Tabal proper, after which it became part of the united kingdom of Tabal and Melid of the king Mugallu.[60]

The situation of Tuwana following the loss of Neo-Assyrian control over the Tabalian region after 705 BC is unknown, although the survival of the city's name until the Classical period suggests that there was no significant cultural break there after the end of the 8th century BC.[54]

List of kings of Tuwana[edit]

Greek and Roman periods[edit]

Artifacts from Tyana in Niğde Archaeological Museum
Tyana archeological site
Roman Aqueduct of Tyana
Roman Aqueduct of Tyana

By the Graeco-Roman period, the city became known as Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τυανα, romanizedTuana; Latin: Tyana), and the country around it as Tyanitis (Ancient Greek: Τυανιτις, romanizedTuanitis; Latin: Tyanitis).[16][3]

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). It was the center of a cult of Asbamaeus.

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) Apollonius of Tyana in the first century AD. Ovid (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[edit]

In 372, Emperor Valens split the province of Cappadocia in two, and Tyana became the capital and metropolis of Cappadocia Secunda. In Late Antiquity, the city was also known as Christoupolis (Greek: Χριστούπολις, "city of Christ").[70]

Following the Muslim conquests and the establishment of the frontier between the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate along the Taurus Mountains, Tyana became important as a military base due to its strategic position on the road to Cilicia and Syria via the Cilician Gates, which lie some 30 km to the south.[70] Consequently, the city was frequently targeted by Muslim raids. The city was first sacked by the Umayyads after a long siege in 708,[70][71] and remained deserted for some time before being rebuilt. It was then occupied by 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.[72]

The city was again taken and razed by the Abbasids under Al-Abbas ibn al-Ma'mun in 831.[73] 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.[74]

The city fell into decline after 933, as the Arab threat receded.[70] The ruins of Tyana are at modern Kemerhisar, three miles south of Niğde;[70] there are remains of a Roman aqueduct and of cave cemeteries and sepulchral grottoes.

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

As noted, in 372 Emperor Valens created the province of Cappadocia Secunda, of which Tyana became the metropolis. This aroused a violent controversy between Anthimus, Bishop of Tyana, and St. Basil of Caesarea, each of whom wished to have as many 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,[75] among whom were:

  • Eutychius, at Nice in 325
  • Anthimus, the rival of St. Basil
  • Aetherius, at Constantinople in 381
  • Theodore, the friend of St. John Chrysostom
  • Eutherius, the partisan of Nestorius, deposed and exiled in 431
  • Cyriacus, a Severian Monophysite.

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.[76]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Bryce 2009, p. 726.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Bryce 2012, p. 148.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mouton 2014, p. 249.
  4. ^ Kryszeń 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Hawkins 2000b, p. 520.
  6. ^ a b Hawkins 2000c, p. 518.
  7. ^ "Tuhanayu [OF TUHANA] (EN)". Ancient Records of Middle Eastern Polities. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  8. ^ "Tuhanayu [OF TUHANA] (EN)". Ancient Knowledge Networks online. Corpus of Ancient Mesopotamian Scholarship. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  9. ^ "Tuhanayu [OF TUHANA] (EN)". The Royal Inscriptions of Assyria online. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  10. ^ "Tuhanayu [OF TUHANA] (EN)". The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  11. ^ "Tuhanayu [OF TUHANA] (EN)". Textual Sources of the Assyrian Empire. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  12. ^ Bryce 2012, p. 141.
  13. ^ a b Bryce 2012, p. 271.
  14. ^ Weeden 2017, p. 728.
  15. ^ a b Weeden 2023, p. 722.
  16. ^ a b c d Bryce 2009, p. 726–727.
  17. ^ Weeden 2010, p. 56.
  18. ^ a b c d Weeden 2023, p. 921.
  19. ^ Aro 2023, p. 114.
  20. ^ a b c Bryce 2012, p. 284.
  21. ^ a b Weeden 2017, p. 722.
  22. ^ Singer & Hoffner 2002, p. 89.
  23. ^ Taracha 2009, p. 117.
  24. ^ a b Bryce 2009, p. 727.
  25. ^ Hawkins 2000b, p. 518.
  26. ^ Hawkins 2000a, p. 520.
  27. ^ a b c Weeden 2023, p. 1000.
  28. ^ Aro 2013, p. 388-389.
  29. ^ a b Bryce 2009, p. 729.
  30. ^ Weeden 2017, p. 724.
  31. ^ Bryce 2009, p. 494.
  32. ^ Bryce 2012, p. 148–149.
  33. ^ a b c d Bryce 2012, p. 152.
  34. ^ "Mulu [1] (GN)". Ancient Records of Middle Eastern Polities. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  35. ^ "Muli [MOUNT MULI] (GN)". The Royal Inscriptions of Assyria online. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  36. ^ "Muli [MOUNT MULI] (GN)". Textual Sources of the Assyrian Empire. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  37. ^ "Muli [MOUNT MULI] (GN)". Textual Sources of the Assyrian Empire. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  38. ^ Hawkins 2000b, p. 523.
  39. ^ Hawkins 2000a, p. 521-525.
  40. ^ Weeden 2017, p. 727.
  41. ^ Yakubovich, Ilya; Arkhangelskiy, Timofey. "BULGARMADEN". Annotated Corpus of Luwian Texts. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  42. ^ a b c Hawkins 1997, p. 414.
  43. ^ D'Alfonso 2012, p. 178.
  44. ^ Streck 2014, p. 189-190.
  45. ^ a b Bryce 2012, p. 149.
  46. ^ Bryce 2012, p. 240.
  47. ^ Bryce 2012, p. 144.
  48. ^ Aro 2013, p. 389.
  49. ^ a b c d Hawkins 2014, p. 408.
  50. ^ a b Bryce 2012, p. 150.
  51. ^ Bryce 2009, p. 685.
  52. ^ Bryce 2012, p. 158-159.
  53. ^ Bryce 2012, p. 284-285.
  54. ^ a b Aro 2023, p. 117.
  55. ^ Aro 2023, p. 123.
  56. ^ Aro 2023.
  57. ^ Adiego 2019, p. 153-154.
  58. ^ Simon 2013, p. 285-290.
  59. ^ Weeden 2023, p. 1002.
  60. ^ Simon 2013, p. 288.
  61. ^ Hawkins 2000b, p. 515.
  62. ^ Hawkins 2000c, p. 514.
  63. ^ "Urpalla [1] (PN)". Imperial Administrative Records, Part II: Provincial and Military Administration. State Archives of Assyria Online. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  64. ^ "Urpalla [1] (PN)". State Archives of Assyria Online. Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  65. ^ Hawkins 2000b, p. 527.
  66. ^ Hawkins 2000c, p. 526.
  67. ^ Adiego 2019, p. 153.
  68. ^ Hawkins 2000b, p. 528.
  69. ^ Hawkins 2000c, p. 527.
  70. ^ a b c d e Kazhdan (1991), p. 2130
  71. ^ Treadgold (1988), p. 275–276
  72. ^ Treadgold (1988), p. 145
  73. ^ Treadgold (1997), p. 341
  74. ^ Treadgold (1988), pp. 279–281
  75. ^ Le Quien, Michel (1740). Oriens Christianus, in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus: quo exhibentur ecclesiæ, patriarchæ, cæterique præsules totius Orientis. Tomus primus: tres magnas complectens diœceses Ponti, Asiæ & Thraciæ, Patriarchatui Constantinopolitano subjectas (in Latin). Paris: Ex Typographia Regia. cols. 395–402. OCLC 955922585.
  76. ^ 1,600-year-old octagonal church found in Central Anatolia



External links[edit]