ka'-ri-a (Karia): A country in the Southwest of Asia Minor which extended on the North to Lydia, on the East to Phrygia, on the South to Lycia, and the West to the Aegean Sea. Its borders, however, like those of most of the ancient countries of Asia Minor, were never definitely fixed; hence, the difficulty presented by the study of the political divisions. The general surface of the country is rugged, consisting of mountainous ridges running across it, and terminating as promontories jutting into the sea. Its history consists chiefly of that of its practically independent cities of which Miletus (Ac 20:15-20) and Cnidus (Ac 27:7) are the chief. For some time previous to 168 BC it had lost its independence, and belonged to the island of Rhodes, but in that year Rome made it again free. According to 1 Macc 15:23, Caria was one of several places to which the Roman senate in 139-138 BC sent letters in favor of the Jews, a fact showing that its population was mixed. Its coast cities, however, were peopled chiefly by Greeks. In 129 BC Caria became a part of the Roman province of Asia, and from that date its history coincides with that of the province. Though Paul and others of the apostles traversed Caria in their missionary journeys, only its cities are mentioned by name in that connection.
E. J. Banks