These are some political maps of the Phrygian and Lydian kingdoms at their greatest extent in the 8th and 6th centuries BC respectively. These two kdms were a kind of “Little empires” of the Anatolian Iron Age that appeared some centuries after the fall of the main Bronze Age empire of Asia Minor that is the Hittite Empire (the last map). The Phrygians were actually invaders from the Balkan Peninsula, kinsmen of the Thracians, the Greeks and possibly the Homeric Trojans. In the Balkans they were known as ‘Brygae’. They were actually a group of tribes, one of which was probably the Proto-Armenians. The main body of the Phrygians settled in an area that included the old Hittite heartland. Gordion and Midas city were their capital cities, and their main sanctuary was at Pessinus.

On the contrary, the Lydians were a local Luwian people but heavily mixed with native Mediterranean Pre-Indoeuropean elements, possibly Leleges. The Lydians were formed in the core territory of the old Arzawan Federation of the Bronze Age (see the last map), almost contemporaneous to the Hittite empire and a great rival of hers. The splendid city of Sardeis was their capital. They also conquered most of the Phrygian heartland but they did not assimilate the Phrygians who remained for many centuries a distinct people. In the map of the Lydian kdm are also noted the Greek city-states of Smyrna, Ephesos and Miletos which they were annexed by the Lydian kings but soon gained their autonomy as vassal cities of the Persians who in their turn conquered the entire Lydian kdm. The presence of Troy in the map is an anachronism: the city was destroyed six centuries and in her place in the 6th century BC there was the Hellenic colony of Ilion.

 

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