ancient inland district of south-central Anatolia. Its inhabitants, a mountain people described by Greco-Roman authors as warlike and uncivilized, were conquered by the Roman general Publius Servilius Vatia "Isauricus" in a three-year campaign, 76-74 BC. Their country with its capital, Isaura Palaia, was joined with Cilicia by Pompey; and under the emperor Augustus (reigned 27 BC-AD 14) it became part of the Roman province of Galatia. Isauria was later prominent as the birthplace of the East Roman (Byzantine) emperor Zeno, whose reign (474-491) is sometimes known as the "Isaurian Ascendancy." The Byzantine emperor Leo III (reigned 717-741) was once called the Isaurian, but on the mistaken belief that he had been born in Isauria.
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