Asia (province)

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Location of the province
Roman provinces under Trajan (117 AD)

Asia was a province of the Roman Empire that encompassed western Asia Minor in what is now Turkey . It was originally the territory of the Kingdom of Pergamon , which was founded in 133 BC. BC fell by inheritance to Rome. The exact boundaries of the province have been changed several times. During the imperial era, Asia belonged to the so-called senatorial provinces , which were administered by a governor ( proconsul ) sent by the senate . The name of the continent Asia goes back to the name of this province and was later transferred to the entire continent.

Asia was considered one of the most important and richest provinces of the Roman Empire, especially because of the large number of cities there. The capital (seat of the proconsul) was Ephesus , which competed above all with Pergamum and Smyrna for priority in the province. Other important cities included Miletus , Sardis , Tralleis , Mylasa and (as an example of a smaller but well-explored city) Aizanoi . Mostly Greeks lived in the cities ; There was also a notable pre-Greek population in the country. The province was Christianized relatively early, at least in the cities.

Under Emperor Diocletian , the province was divided into seven smaller provinces as part of his administrative reform. These bore the old landscape names ( Phrygia , Caria etc.), s. List of Roman provinces from Diocletian onwards . That ended the history of the Province of Asia. In Byzantine times, the region was divided into themes (combined military-civil administrative areas).


See also

Coordinates: 38 °  N , 28 °  E