History of Gordion

Gordion has a rich history, which spans several civilizations - from the Bronze Age to the Hittite, Phrygian, Persian, Greek and Roman periods. The earliest settlements in Gordion date back to the third millennium BC. Between 2000 and 1200 BC, the Assyrians and the Hittites lived there. The Phrygians settled there in the 9th century. The most famous Phrygian king was King Midas of the famous golden touch. After that, Gordion was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. First the Cimmerians invaded the region and destroyed the city but the Lydians rebuilt it. Cyrus and his army once again destroyed it in 547-546.

Gordion was historically very significant because it stood between Troy and Antioch and you had to get past its fortress to trade with or conquer Asia. It was also a great commercial centre in the region.

Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot in 333 B.C. to gain access to Asia, and occupied Gordion. The legend of the Gordian knot says that a man named Gordius traveled to a village with his wife and son Midas in an ox cart. The cart was kept in the temple of Zeus, and it was said that anyone who could untie the knot of the rope that tied the cart pole to the oxen yoke would rule Asia. Alexander the Great ultimately cut the knot, defeated the Phrygians, captured the fortress and had access to the whole of Asia.

After the death of Alexander, the Seleucid kings, then the Celts followed by the Pergamanium kings and ultimately the Romans, ruled Gordion.