It was founded by Assyrians. It was situated on the Pyramus
. According to the Suda
, the original name of the place was Cyinda
); that it was next called Diocaesarea.
How the city obtained the name Anazarbus (Ἀνάζαρβος) or Anazarba
(Ἀνάζαρβα), as it was also known, is a matter of conjecture. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, after the city was destroyed by an earthquake, the emperor Nerva sent thither one Anazarbus, a man of senatorial rank, who rebuilt the city, and gave to it his own name. This account cannot be accurate, as Valesius remarks, for it was called Anazarbus in Pliny's time. Dioscorides
is called a native of Anazarbus; but the period of Dioscorides is not certain. It was also the home of the poet Oppian. Its later name was Caesarea ad Anazarbum
and there are many medals of the place in which it is both named
Anazarbus and Caesarea at or under Anazarbus. On the division of Cilicia
it became the chief place of the Roman province of Cilicia Secunda, with the title of Metropolis. It suffered dreadfully from an earthquake both in the time of Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I, and, still more, in the reign of his successor Justin I. After Justinian rebuilt the place, it was renamed Justinianopolis or Ioustinianoupolis (Ἰουστινιανούπολις). Rebuilt by Justin I after the earthquake in the 6th century, it became Justinopolis or Ioustinoupolis (Ἰουστινούπολις) (525); but the old name persisted, and when Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.