). A country of Asia Minor, which was of different
extent at different periods. Under the Roman Empire Phrygia was bounded on the west by Mysia,
Lydia, and Caria; on the south by Lycia and Pisidia; on the east by Lycaonia (which is often
reckoned as a part of Phrygia) and Galatia (which formerly belonged to Phrygia), and on the
north by Bithynia. The Phrygians are mentioned by Homer as settled on the banks of the
Sangarius, where later writers tell us of the powerful Phrygian kingdom of Gordius and Midas.
It would seem that they were a branch of the great Thracian family,
originally settled in the northwest of Asia Minor as far as the shores of the Hellespont and
Propontis, and that the successive migrations of other Thracian peoples, as the Thyni,
Bithyni, Mysians, and Teucrians, drove them farther inland. They were not, however, entirely
displaced by the Mysians and Teucrians from the country between the shores of the Hellespont
and Propontis and Mounts Ida and Olympus, where they continued side by side with the Greek
colonies, and where their name was preserved in that of the district under all subsequent
changes—namely, Phrygia Minor or Phrygia Hellespontus. The kingdom of Phrygia was
conquered by Croesus, and formed part of the Persian, Macedonian, and Syro-Grecian Empires;
but, under the last, the northeastern part, adjacent to Paphlagonia and the Halys, was
conquered by the Gauls, and formed the western part of Galatia; and under the Romans was
included in the province of Asia. In connection with the early intellectual culture of Greece,
Phrygia is highly important. The earliest Greek music, especially that of the flute, was
borrowed in part, through the Asiatic colonies, from Phrygia. With this country also were
closely associated the orgies of Dionysus and of Cybelé, the Mother of the Gods,
the Phrygia Mater
of the Roman poets. After the Persian conquest, however, the
Phrygians seem to have lost all intellectual activity, and they became proverbial among the
Greeks and Romans for submissiveness and stupidity. The Roman poets constantly use the epithet
Phrygian as equivalent to Trojan.
But scanty remains of the Phrygian language survive, chiefly in the shape of brief
inscriptions. It was probably an Indo-European dialect closely related to the Armenian, and
some such relation is implied in the notices of Herodotus (vii. 73) and Strabo (p. 295).
On Phrygia, see Perrot and Chipiez, Hist. of Art in Phrygia
, etc. (Eng.
trans., London, 1892)
. On the language, see Fick, Spracheinheit der
, pp. 408 foll., and a paper in Bezzenberger's
, xiv. 50 foll.