Galatia

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Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the immigrant Gauls from Thrace (cf. Tylis), who settled here and became its ruling caste in the 3rd century BC, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC. It has been called the "Gallia" of the East, Roman writers calling its inhabitants "Galli" ("Gauls").[1]

Contents

Geography

Galatia was bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia, on the east by Pontus and Cappadocia, on the south by Cilicia and Lycaonia, and on the west by Phrygia. Its capital was Ancyra (i.e. Ankara, today the capital of modern Turkey).

Celtic Galatia

Seeing something of a Hellenized savage in the Galatians, Francis Bacon and other Renaissance writers called them "Gallo-Graeci", "Gauls settled among the Greeks" and the country "Gallo-Graecia", as had the 3rd century AD Latin historian Justin.[2] The more usual term in Antiquity is Ἑλληνογαλάται (Hellēnogalátai) of Diodorus Siculus' Biblioteca historica v.32.5, in a passage that is translated "...and were called Gallo-Graeci because of their connection with the Greeks", identifying Galatia in the Greek East as opposed to Gallia in the West.[3]

The Galatians were in their origin a part of the great Celtic migration which invaded Macedon, led by Brennus. The original Celts who settled in Galatia came through Thrace under the leadership of Leotarios and Leonnorios circa 270 BC. Three tribes comprised these Celts, the Tectosages, the Trocmii, and the Tolistobogii.

Brennus invaded Greece in 281 BC with a huge war band and was turned back in the nick of time from plundering the temple of Apollo at Delphi. At the same time, another Gaulish group of men, women, and children were migrating through Thrace. They had split off from Brennus' people in 279 BC, and had migrated into Thrace under their leaders Leonnorius and Lutarius. These invaders appeared in Asia Minor in 278277 BC; others invaded Macedonia, killed the Ptolemaic ruler Ptolemy Ceraunus but were eventually ousted by Antigonus Gonatas, the grandson of the defeated Diadoch Antigonus the One-Eyed.

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