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ANCY´RA (Ἄγκυρα: Eth. Ἀγκυρανός, Ancyranus.)


A town of Phrygia Epictetus. Strabo (p. 567) calls it a “small city, or hill-fort, near Blaudos, towards Lydia.” In another passage (p. 576) he says that the Rhyndacus, which flows into the Propontis, receives the Macestus from Ancyra Abasitis. Cramer (Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 12) corrects Abasitis into Abbaitis, on the authority of the coins and an inscription found in these parts. As the. Macestus is the Susuglierli Su, or the Simaul Su, as it is called in its upper course, Ancyra must be at or near the source of this river. The lake of Simaul is the source of the Macestus, and close to the lake is “a remarkable looking hill, the Acropolis of an ancient city.” This place appears to be Ancyra. The river flows from the lake in a deep and rapid stream; and no large stream runs into the lake. Simaul seems to be a corruption of Synnaus, or Synaus, and to be on or near the site of Synnaus. Ancyra was on the lake, 7 or 8 miles WNW. of Simaul. (Hamilton, Researches, &c. vol. ii. p. 124, seq.)


Angora or Engareh), a town of Galatia, near a small stream, which seems to enter the Sangarius. Ancyra originally belonged to Phrygia. The mythical founder was Midas, the son of Gordius. (Paus. 1.4.) Midas found an anchor on the spot, and accordingly gave the name to the town; a story which, would imply that the name for anchor (ἄγκυρα) was the same in the Greek and in the Phrygian languages. Pausanias confirms the story by saying that the anchor remained to his time in the temple of Zeus. Stephanus (s. v. Ἄγκυρα) gives another story about the name, which is chronologically false, if Aneyra was so called in the time of Alexander. (Arrian. Anab. 2.4.) The town became the chief place of the Tectosages (Strab. p. 567), a Gallic tribe from the neighbourhood of Toulouse, which [p. 1.134]settled in these parts about B.C. 277. [GALATIA] The Galatae were subjected by the Romans under Cn. Manlius, B.C. 189, who advanced as far as An. cyra, and fought a battle with the Tectosages near the town. (Liv. 38.24.) When Galatia was formally made a Roman province, B.C. 25, Ancyra was dignified with the name Sebaste, which is equivalent to Augusta, with the addition of Tectosagum, to distinguish it from Pessinus and Tavium, which were honoured with the same title of Sebaste. Ancyra had also the title of Metropolis, as the coins from Nero's time show. Most of the coins of Ancyra have a figure of an anchor on them.

The position of Ancyra made it a place of great trade, for it lay on the road from Byzantium to Tavium and Armenia, and also on the road from Byzantium to Syria. It is probable, also, that the silky hair of the Angora goat may, in ancient as in modern times, have formed one of the staples of the place. The hills about Angora are favourable to the feeding of the goat. The chief monument of antiquity at Ancyra is the marble temple of Augustus, which was built in the lifetime of the emperor. The walls appear to be entire, with the exception of a small portion of one side of the cella. On the inside of the antae of the temple is the Latin inscription commonly called the Monumentum or Marmor Ancyranum. Augustus (Suet. Aug. 101) left behind him a record of his actions, which, it was his will, should be cut on bronze tablets, which were to be placed in front of his Mausoleum. A copy of this memorable record was cut on the walls of this temple at Ancyra, both in Greek and Latin. We must suppose that the Ancyrani obtained permission from the Roman senate or Tiberius to have a transcript of this record to place in the temple of Augustus, to whom they had given divine honours in his lifetime, as the passage from Josephus (J. AJ 16.10), when properly corrected, shows. (See Is. Casaub. in Ancyran. Marmor. Animadv.) The Latin inscription appears to have been first copied by Busbequius about the middle of the sixteenth century, and it has been copied by several others since. The latest copy has been made by Mr. Hamilton, and his copy contains some corrections on former transcripts. A Greek inscription on the outer wall of the cella had been noticed by Pococke and Texier, but, with the exception of a small part, it was concealed by houses built against the temple. By removing the mud wall which was built against the temple, Hamilton was enabled to copy part of the Greek inscription. So much of it as is still legible is contained in the Appendix to his second volume of Researches in Asia Minor, &c. This transcript of the Greek version is valuable, because it supplies some defects in our copies of the Latin original. A Greek inscription in front of one of the antae of the temple seems to show that it was dedicated to the god Augustus and the goddess Rome. Hamilton copied numerous Greek inscriptions from various parts of the town. (Appendix, vol. ii.) One of the


walls of the citadel contains an immense number of “portions of bas-reliefs, inscriptions, funereal cippi with garlands, and the caput bovis, caryatides, columns and fragments of architraves, with parts of dedicatory inscriptions, resembling indeed very much the walls of a rich museum.” (Hamilton.)

Angora is still a considerable town, with a large population. [G.L]

hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 16.10
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.4
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 101
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 24
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