CILICIA

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I. Christian origins – II. Council – III. Archaeology. I. Christian origins. A region situated at the SE corner of Asia Minor, between Lycaonia, Cappadocia and Syria, integrated into the Roman Empire in 103 BC. Men from Cilicia were among the Jews who disputed with St. Stephen in ca. 36–37 Acts 6:9. St. Paul, a native of Tarsus in Cilicia Acts 9:11; 21:39; 22:3; 23:34 and in ca. 46 a visitor to his homeland Gal 1:21, was entrusted with the apostolic letter of ca. 52 which was addressed to, among others, the “brethren of the Gentiles who are in Cilicia” Acts 15:23, a province that Paul and Silas crossed in ca. 52 “strengthening the churches” Acts 15:41. A place of deportation of confessors of the faith Euseb., Mart. Pal. VIII, 13; X, 1; XI, 6, Cilicia counted not a few martyrs commemorated by the Greek Synaxaria: Athanasius, Boniface, Callinicus, Quiricus and Julitta, Kyriaine, Clodius and Domnina, Diomede, Dula, Julian, Hypatius, Marinus, Pelagia, Probus, Taracus and Andronicus, Zosimus, Talleleus, Zenaide and Philonilla, to whom we must add the ascetics Romanus, Simeon Stylites, Theodosius and Talleleus. In the 3rd c., the churches of Cilicia were involved in the Novatian schism and the controversy over the validity of baptism conferred by heretics Euseb., HE VI, 46,3; VII, 5,1 and 4. In the 1st half of the 5th c. the province was divided in two: Cilicia Prima, with Tarsus as metropolis and suffragans Diodore of Tarsus was its most famous son, and Cilicia Secunda, metropolis Anazarbus Bishop Athanasius is memorable, with eight suffragan sees including Mopsuestia, famous for Theodore. After the 7th-c. Arab occupation, Christianity hierarchy mostly Jacobite gradually died out. Remains of the ancient Christian presence are still visible at Tarsus, Anazarbus, Hierapolis, Coricus, Castabala and Flavianopolis.


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