LAODICEIA COMBUSTA Λαοδίκεια κατακεκαυμένη
), one of the five cities built by Seleucus I., and named after his mother Seleuca. Its surname (Lat. Combusta) is derived by Strabo (xii. pp. 576, 579, xiii. pp. 626, 628, 637) from the volcanic nature of the surrounding country, but Hamilton (Researches,
ii. p. 194) asserts that there is “not a particle of volcanic or igneous rock in the neighbourhood;” and it may be added that if such were the case, the town would rather have been called Λ. τῆς κατακεκαυμένης.
The most probable solution undoubtedly is, that the town was at one time destroyed by fire, and that on being rebuilt it received the distinguishing surname.
It was situated on the north-west of Iconium, on the high road leading from the west coast to Melitene on the Euphrates. Some describe it as situated in Lycaonia (Steph. B. sub voce Strab. xiv. p.663
), and others as a town of Pisidia (Socrat. Hist. Eccl.
6.18; Hierocl. p. 672), and Ptolemy (5.4.10
) places it in Galatia; but this discrepancy is easily explained by recollecting that the territories just mentioned were often extended or reduced in extent, so that at one time the town belonged to Lycaonia, while at another it formed part of Pisidia. Its foundation is not mentioned by any ancient writer.
Both Leake (Asia Minor,
p. 44) and Hamilton identify Laodiceia with the modern Ladik;
and the former of these geographers states that at Ladik
he saw more numerous fragments of ancient architecture and sculpture than at any other place on his route through that country. Inscribed marbles, altars, columns, capitals, friezes, cornices, were dispersed throughout the streets, and among the houses and burying grounds. From this it would appear that Laodiceia must once have been a very considerable town.
There are a few imperial coins of Laodiceia, belonging to the reigns of Titus and Domitian. (Sestini, Mon. Ant.
p. 95 ; comp. Droysen, Gesch. des Hellen.
i. p. 663, foll.)