1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Asia (province)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ASIA, in a restricted sense, the name of the first Roman province east of the Aegean, formed (133 B.C.) out of the kingdom left to the Romans by the will of Attalus III. Philometor, king of Pergamum. It included Mysia, Lydia, Caria and Phrygia, and therefore, of course, Aeolis, Ionia and the Troad. In 84 B.C., on the close of the Mithradatic War, Sulla reorganized the province, forming 40 regiones for fiscal purposes, and it was later divided into conventus. From 80 to 50 B.C. the upper Maeander valley and all Phrygia, except the extreme north, were detached and added to Cilicia. In 27 B.C. Asia was made a senatorial province under a pro-consul. As the wealthiest of Roman provinces it had most to gain by the pax Romana, and therefore welcomed the empire, and established and maintained the most devout cult of Augustus by means of the organization known as the Koinon or Commune, a representative council, meeting in the various metropoleis. In this cult the emperor came to be associated with the common worship of the Ephesian Artemis. By the reorganization of Diocletian, A.D. 297, Asia was broken up into several small provinces, and one of these, of which the capital was Ephesus, retained the name of the original province (see Asia Minor).