Asia (Roman province)
Asia was a province of the Roman Empire, which encompassed the western Asia Minor in modern Turkey. She was originally the territory of the Kingdom of Pergamon, the BC 133 fell by inheritance to Rome. The exact borders of the province have been amended several times. In imperial times, Asia belonged to the so-called senatorial provinces, which were managed by a delegated by the Senate governor ( proconsul ). The province's name was derived from the continent of Asia, but comprised only a small part of whose known in antiquity expansion (similar to seduce the Romans in the North African province of Africa ).
Asia was one of the most important and richest provinces of the Roman Empire, especially by the large number of cities located there. Capital ( seat of the proconsul ) was Ephesus, which vied especially with Pergamon and Smyrna by the priority in the province. Other important cities were, among others, Miletus, Sardis, Tralles, Mylasa and ( as an example of a smaller but well-researched city) Aizanoi. In the cities, lived mainly Greeks; in the country, there was also a significant pre-Greek population. The province was, at least in the cities, already Christianized fairly early.
Under Emperor Diocletian, the province was divided under its administrative reform into seven smaller provinces. This carried the old landscape names ( Phrygia, Caria, etc. ), see List of Roman provinces from Diocletian. Thus the history of the province of Asia had ended. In Byzantine times, the region was divided into topics ( combined military- civilian administration areas).