Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Phrygia was an ancient kingdom in the western part of Anatolia, the region known today as Turkey.

Phyriga was ruled in Arthur’s time by King Teucer, an ally of the Roman Procurator Lucius Hiberius.

Phrygia | History

The history of Phrygia extends from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. It was mentioned in records from the eighth century BC onward. The Phrygians are mentioned in historical records and mythology, and their history is intertwined with that of other ancient civilizations in the region. The Phrygians were known for their distinctive culture, which included art, language, and religious practices. They are often associated with the “Phrygian cap,” a distinctive soft cap with a pointed crown.

Gordium was the capital city of Phrygia. According to legend, Gordium was the place where King Gordius tied a knot, and an oracle predicted that the person who could untie the knot would become the ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great famously “untied” the knot by cutting it with his sword.

Roman and Byzantine Rule
During the first few centuries AD, the region of Phrygia was under Roman rule as part of the larger province of Asia. With the division of the Roman Empire, it became part of the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly known as the Byzantine Empire.

Christianity spread in the region during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Phrygia became an important center for Christian communities, and several councils were held in cities like Laodicea and Synnada.

Sassanian and Arab Invasions
Phrygia, like other parts of the Byzantine Empire, faced invasions from the Sassanian Persian Empire and later from Arab forces. The Arab-Byzantine Wars brought significant changes to the region.

Decline and Transformation
The region witnessed struggles for control between the Byzantines and various Muslim powers. Toward the end of the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks expanded into Anatolia, marking the beginning of significant changes in the region.

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138