Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Isaura

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Titular see in the Province of Lycaonia, suffragan of Iconium. Isaura, the capital of the Isaurian tribes, an energetic and pillaging people, existed even before the expedition of Alexander. In order not to fall into the power of the Greek generals, Perdiccas and Philip, its inhabitants after a desperate resistance, buried themselves beneath the ruins of their city (Diodorus Siculus, XVIII, 22). Afterwards rebuilt, Isaura was a second time destroyed by P. Servilius, and then ceded to Amyntas, the last King of Galatia, who attempted to rebuild it and make it his capital (25 B.C.). Strabo, who gives these particulars, speaks of two cities, Isaura Palæa, and Isaura Nova, which existed in his time, and the information is correct. In the year 266 of our era Trebullian, one of the thirty tyrants, made Isaura his capital, but he was slain the next year. Ammianus Marcellinus (XIV, 7) in the fourth century speaks of the city as ruined. Isaura Nova is now Dorla in the sanjak and vilayet of Koniah. Ramsay discovered there recently more than fifty Greek inscriptions, the greater number Christian, as well as magnificent tombs. These monuments date from the third, fourth, and fifth centuries of our era. Epitaphs have been found of three bishops, Theophilus, Sisamoas, and Mamas, who lived between the years 250 and 400. Three other bishops are also known, Hilary, 381; Callistratus, somewhat later; Aetius, 451 Lequien, "Oriens christ.", I, 1085). The last named bishop bears the title of Isauropolis, the name of a city which also figures in the "Hieroclis Synecdemus" (ed. Parthey, 675, 12). As no "Notitiæ episcopatuum" makes mention of Isaura, or Isauropolis, Ramsay supposes that the Diocese of Isaura Nova was early joined with that of Leontopolis, the more recent name of Isaura Palæa which is mentioned in all the "Notitiæ". The site of Isaura Palæa has been discovered at Oloubounar in the vilayet of Koniah, where splendid ruins are still to be seen.

Ramsay, Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire (Aberdeen, 1906), 25-58; Smith, Dict. Greek and Roman Geog., II, 65; Texier, Asie Mineure (Paris, 1862), 654-60; Bulletin de correspondance hellénique (1883), 315; (1887), 767-70.

S. VAILHÉ