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Ancient Greek Coins of Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia (also spelled Kilikia) was a southern coastal region of Anatolia, extending inland north from the Mediterranean coast, east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and Byzantine Empire. Cilicia Trachea (rugged Cilicia) is a mountain district formed by the spurs of Taurus, which often terminate in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors, a feature which, in classical times, made the coast a string of havens for pirates and, in the Middle Ages, outposts for Genoese and Venetian traders. Cilicia Trachea lacked large cities and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia and Egypt. Cilicia Pedias (flat Cilicia), to the east, included the rugged spurs of Taurus and a large coastal plain, with rich loamy soil, known to the Greeks for its abundance, filled with sesame and millet and olives and pasturage for horses. Many of its high places were fortified. Through the rich plain ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsos (Tarsus) on the Cydnus (Berdan River), Adana on the Sarus (Seyhan river), and Mopsos (Yakapınar) on the Pyramus (Ceyhan River).
|Mopsus on the Pyramus (Ceyhan) River was c. 20 km east of Antiochia in Cilicia (Adana, Turkey). Christianity was introduced very early to Mopsus. The city was repeatedly attacked, conquered, and declined until it became, under the Turkish name Misis, a little village. Misis was renamed Yakapinar in the 1960s. The Misis Mosaic Museum was founded in 1959 to exhibit mosaics found in the area. The image right is a mosaic found at Mopsus depicting the story of Noah's Ark (click it to see a larger image).|