|Tetrarchy of Galatia|
Tetrachi o Galatia
Motto: Tragwydeol gan fad y mynydaedd.
Anthem: Glae Ci Cefnor
Location of Galatia in Asia Minor
|Official languages||Galatian, Turkish|
|Recognised regional languages||Pontic Greek, Russian|
|Ethnic groups (2010)||80% Galatian, 5% Turkish, 5% Pontic Greek, 10% Other|
• Duchy Established
|Sixth Century AD|
|[convert: invalid number]|
• 2010 census
|210/km2 (543.9/sq mi) (83)|
• Per capita
|Currency||Galatian Krona (GLK)|
|Time zone||Eastern European Time (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST)
|Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+2)|
|Drives on the||right|
The name "Galatia" (celtified to Galaycha) originates from a Latin word meaning "land of the Gauls". This was originally used to refer to parts of the Central Anatolian regions of Phyrgia and Buthynia, where the Celtic tribes who originated the Galatian people settled first. The term was eventually transferred to areas of ancient Pontus where the Celts moved, before being applied to all of modern Galatia following the more recent conquests of the nation.
In part of the great Celtic migration, a large group of Celts moved into Greece in the 270s.These groups separated, ravaging the Balkans, although most were eventually defeated. Nicomedes I, King of Bithynia, invited several Celtic tribes to cross the Bosphorus in order to assist him in his dynastic wars around 278 B.C. The Celts were disinclined to support him once in Asia Minor, however, and set about plundering the area. They eventually settled in Central Anatolia, a poor and arid region which did not lend itself to settled farming. They continued to act as semi-nomadic mercenaries for the next century, fighting with and against the various groups who struggled for control of Asia Minor. In 217 B.C. the Celts supported Antiochus III "The Great" against his mutinous brother Achaeus, where stye proved themselves ferocious fighters, contributing to Antiochus' victory over his brother at Sardis. As a reward, Antiochus loosed them against the Greek kingdoms of Pontus, on the Black Sea coast, reportedly saying "Let them ravage Pontus such that the ashes of its great buildings shall lie like snow upon the land." The Celts destroyed Pontus, then settled there as a client kingdom of the Seleucids.
For the next few decades, the Celts spread into the Pontic Mountains. They continued to support the Seleucids as Antiochus invaded Greece and fought against the Roman Republic in the 180s. However, the Romans crushed the Seleucid Army, establishing themselves as the premier power in Greece. At the Second Battle of Thermopylae, 5,000 Celts were killed and Antiochus suffered a crushign defeat, compelling him to abandon his allies and surrender Anatolia to Roman domination. Abandoned, the Celts fought against the Roman ally Pergamon, which had nominally received their territory. After suffering several defeats, several warbands struck directly at Pergamon itself, razing and sacking the city in 193, killing the Attalid royal family. However, this only hastened the expansion of Romsn rule into Asia Minor itself.
From Rome to the Seljuks
In 66 BC, the Roman leader Pompey began a campaign to occupy Anatolia and Syria. He successfully captured Antioch and Jerusalem, then launched an attack on Armenian king Tigranes the great, whom he defeated. This enabled Rome to annex all of Anatolia south of the Pontic Mountains, leaving the Celts an island in a sea of Roman provinces. However, the Celts were able to reassert their independence in the war between Caesar and Pompey, in which they played an important role by dissuading the eastern provinces from supporting Pompey. Hamstrung, he was killed at the battle of Pharsalus in Greece.
The continued expansion of Roman rule through Anatolia left the Celts increasingly nervous. Although not hesitant to adopt some Roman cultural practices, such as the Latin alphabet, they increasingly feared assimilation, or, as one Celtic chieftain put it, "conquest without armies". Before these fears came to fruit, however, The Emperor Trajan attacked the Celts in 112. Sweepign along the coast, his victorious forces captured every major city in Galatia, killing dozens of Celtic chieftains. The surviving Celts withdrew into the mountains, where they were gradulally hunted down or surrendered. Some were settled in Dacia. However, repeated revolts by the unsubdued inhabitants of the provinces, accompanied by freqeuent massacres of Roman citizens, gradually dissuaded Rome of the value of Galatia. In 126 he withdrew Roman troops from the province and built a line of forts to keep the Celts in. This created cultural isolation which enabled the Galatians to preserve their cultural and religious practices almost devoid of Roman influence. Trade and immigration was minimal.
This situation remained stable for close to 300 years. As the Roman Empire began to lose its stability, the Celts became increasingly valued as foederati, or auxiliary troops. However, they were disinclined to fight for the Romans, and many deserted over the Rhine to the Germanic tribes. Meanwhile, the Huns arrived, sending a wave of barbarians crashing into the Empire. Emperor Valens lost much of his army in a battle against the Goths at Adrianople, and the last barrier aginst the Galatians was removed. Invading the rich regions of Roman Anatolia, they repeatedly ravaged the countryside, seizing a swathe of territory accross Central Anatolia. They imposed tribute payments on the Eastern Empire, which began to steadily mount. As the Roman Empire disentegrated, the Galatians took advantage, expanding their domain accross the Black Sea coast.
In the 630s, the armies of Islam attacked the Roman Empire. Supported by the Celts, they quickly seized Syria and Egypt, and began to intrude into Southern Anatolia. The Eastern Roman Empire steadily lost ground against these forces, and by 867 had relinquished much of Eastern Anatolia.
Byzantium Resurgent and the Galatian Crusade
As the Muslim forces became preoccupied with internal conflicts, the Byzantines began to regain ground. The Galatians allied themselves with the Georgians, Khazars, an Bulgarians progressively, in an attempt to halt the Byzantine advance. Under Simeon I the Great of Bulgaria, the two nations drove the Byzantines back into Constantinople itself. Bulgaria took much of Greece, while Galatia annexed Central Anatolia. Neither, however, was able to hold their conquest. Galatia gradually lost the Central Anatolian highlands to the pressure of the Byzantines and Turks arriving from the east. The Bulgarians were pushed back into the hills and killed in such numbers that the Byzantine Emperor at the time, Basil, gained the moniker "Killer of Bulgars". The Byzantines blinded 98 men out of every hundred in the defeated Bulgarian armies, and annexed most of the Bulgarian Empire. This was to prove a catastrophe for the Galatians, who had no allies left.
Now, however, a new force had arrived in Anatolia ; the Seljuk Turks. Having reunited the Muslim lands, they renewed the onslaught against Byzantium and Galatia. Although defended by the Pontic Mountains, Galatia lost most of its Anatolian territory. Desperate to repel them, the Byzantine Emperor invited a number of European princes to launch a crusade to retake the Holy Land. After successfully defeating the Turks, some of these Crusaders turned north. Transported by a Byzantine fleet, they landed in Galatia and seized several coastal cities. The Galatian light cavalry was unable to halt them as the pace of their conquests increased with the arrival of Turkish mercenaries and a Venetian fleet. Eventually, the tetrarchs bribed one of the Crusader princes, promising him "enough gold to fill a room." He admitted them to the city where the Crusader troops were barracked, whereupon the Galatians massacred all of the Crusaders, including the traitorous prince.
Byzantium steadily lost ground, and after a succession of pretenders and civil wars it had lost even the Balkans and most of Anatolia to the Turks, now reconstituted as the Ottoman Empire. In 1453 Constantinople fell after a long siege, leaving the Galatians increasingly isolated by the Ottomans.
Galatia now rebuilt its largely derelict fleet, enabling it to maintain tenuous links with Europe through Moldavia and Wallachia at the Danube delta. Galatians merchants became wealthy trading goods like silk, spices, ivory and porcelain secured through friendly states like Georgia and Armenia in the Caucasus to Western Europe and Muscovy via the Danube. They also acted as middlemen for furs and lumber from Muscovy being sent south to the Ottomans. As a result, Galatian influence in the Danubian Principalities and the Caucasus became significant, as did Galatia's interest in the regions. It fought several wars with the Ottomans over control of these areas. Through an alliance with Poland, it was able to defeat the Ottomans and annex an enclave in Bessarabia at the mouth of the Danube, known as Galatian Moldavia.
Constant naval warfare and raiding with the Ottomans persisted into the 17th century. Galatia opposed the partition of Poland in the 17th century, as the country was a major European ally, but was forced to shift into support of Russia in order to preserve its trade routes. At this time, contact with Western Europe brought the ideals of the Enlightenment to Galatia, resulting in a national revival and cultural resurgence. As a result, Galatia suffered a vicious civil war between several political factions which left it heavily damaged.
Galatia colluded with Russia to force the Ottomans to recognize the independence of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a series of Russo-Ottoman wars in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, Galatia failed to modernize its military due to its isolation. In the Crimean War, its fleet and army were destroyed by Franco-British forces in an attempt to relieve Sevastopol, where Russian troops had been besieged. It also suffered heavy casualties for little gain in the Balkan Wars, where it fought against the Ottoman Empire.
Galatia began rebuilding its military and industrializing. By the 1890s, it had a large socialist movement and some of the most stringent worker protection laws in Europe. It had also constructed a fairly modern army, although a high reliance was still placed on cavalry.
When the First World War broke out, Galatia declared for the Allies and attacked the Ottoman Empire. Years of trench warfare on the narrow axis between the Pontic Mountains and Black Sea proved unrewarding, and both countries became increasingly war-weary. FInally, a massive amphibious assault enabled the Galatians to cut off much of the Ottoman army and seize Ankara and, finally, Istanbul.