🔼The name Lycia: Summary
- Lukka Lands
- Possibly from a Hittite term.
- From the noun λυκος (lukos), wolf.
🔼The name Lycia in the Bible
The name Lycia belongs to an area in Anatolia (modern Turkey), namely the bulbous section that protrudes from of the southern coast approximately in between Crete and Cyprus.
Lycia is mentioned only once in the Bible. After Felix and Agrippa had put Paul on transport to Rome, he first boarded an Adramyttian ship to Myra in Lycia (Acts 27:5), and in Myra he boarded an Alexandrian ship headed for Italy. That ship would famously beach at Malta.
🔼Etymology of the name Lycia
The name Lycia is very old and its formal etymology is obscure, but probably has to do with the Lukka Lands, which are mentioned frequently in Hittite records. But the survival of this name was probably helped along by its similarity to the Greek noun λυκος (lukos), meaning wolf:
The noun λυκος (lukos), meaning wolf, served as a label of insult, signifying cowardice and a preying on the weak and defenseless. Since natural evolution allows the weak to unite and create symbiotic ecosystems that the autonomous super-fit could never compete with, these alpha-wolves, though dominant today, were also seen as tomorrow's great losers.
What the name Lycia may have originally meant is no longer clear, but to the Greeks it sounded like Wolf-Land.
Note that Gaius Caesar died in Lycia, from battle wounds at age 24. He would have succeeded Caesar Augustus and was replaced by Tiberius. The later governor of Syria, Quirinius, was Gaius' rector until his death.