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date: 20 March 2023



  • Stephen Mitchell


Lycia was a mountainous country in SW Asia Minor between *Caria and *Pamphylia. According to Herodotus (1. 173) the Lycians came there direct from *Crete under *Sarpedon and at that time were called Termilae; they acquired the name Lycians from the Athenian Lycus son of Pandion. In fact the name derives from that of the Lukka tribe of Hittite records. On the other hand the name Termilae, in the form Trmmili, is found on epichoric inscriptions of the 4th cent. bce. The Lycians fought at *Troy as allies of *Priam; by then they already occupied the region of Classical Lycia and their chieftains, Sarpedon and *Glaucus (1), are said to have been rewarded for their martial prowess with land in the *Xanthus valley (Il. 2. 876–7).In 546 bce Lycia was overrun by the *Persians after heroic resistance at Xanthus. Persian influence in the aristocratic culture of the region was very marked, and the Lycians sent ships and men to accompany Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480.


  • Ancient Geography

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