THE HORSES OF CAPPADOCIA The horses and the stud farms of Cappadocia have been famous throughout history. The tradition of giving horses as tribute is supposed to have originated here, and antique sources mention the horses presented to the Assyrian king Assurbanipal and the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes as gifts. It is also believed that the word Cappadocia comes from the word “Catpaducia”, meaning ” the land of beautiful horses”. Another kingly visitor of the region was Alexander the Great who came to Cappadocia after he broke up the renowned Gordian knot. But he didn’t stay long and moved on after appointing general Cabictas as the ruler of this region. Cappadocia was then ruled by the Macedonians until the death of Alexander the Great. The Ariarathes Dynasty took over thereafter and founded the independent kingdom of Cappadocia with Eusebeia i.e Kayseri of today, as their capital. The subjects of this kingdom sought to establish peace with the subjects of the other Anatolian kingdoms through marriages. But such alliances lead involuntarily to political and interfamilial struggles among the kingdoms of Pontus, Bythinia, and the Roman Empire.The rule of the Ariarathes Dynasty lasted until 90 B.C when Mithridates, the King of Pontus, appointed his son to the throne of the Cappadocian Kingdom. Cappadocia fell under Roman rule in 66 B.C, but the political tumult in the region lasted until 17 A. D when Cappadocia became a province of the Pax Romana. Cappadocia is one of the most sterile areas of Anatolia with regard to Greek and Roman inscriptions. We have only a few epitaphs left over.

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