The Seljuk invasion of Armenia was followed by an exodus of Armenians southwards, and in 1080 Rhupen, a relative of the last king of Ani, founded in the heart of the Cilician Taurus a small principality, which gradually expanded into the kingdom of Lesser Armenia.
The two sources together drain the region south as the Euphrates drains the region north of the Taurus mountains.
On the east, no natural boundary separates it from the Armenian plateau; but, for descriptive purposes, it will suffice to take a line drawn from the southern extremity of the Giaour Dagh, east of the Gulf of Alexandretta along the crest of that chain, then along that of the eastern Taurus to the Euphrates near Malatia, then up the river, keeping to the western arm till Erzingan is reached, and finally bending north to the Black Sea along the course of the Churuk Su, which flows out west of Batum.
In the recesses of Mount Taurus the peasants are tall, handsome, though somewhat sharp-featured, agile and brave.
On the south the plateau is buttressed by the Taurus range, which stretches in a broken irregular line from the Aegean to the Persian frontier.
Except indeed for Egypt and Palestine under Ptolemy, Lysimachus and Seleucus now divided the empire between them, with the Taurus in Asia Minor for their frontier.
The southern and south-western face follows the coast closely up the Persian Gulf from the mouth of the Indus, and is formed farther west by the mountain scarp, which, rising in many points to 10,000 ft., flanks the Tigris and the Mesopotamian plains, and extends along Kurdistan and Armenia nearly to the 40th meridian; beyond which it turns along the Taurus range, and the north - eastern angle of the Mediterranean.
West of Ararat high hills extend along the Black Sea, between which and the Taurus range lies the plateau of Asia Minor, reaching to the Aegean Sea; the mountains along the Black Sea, on which are the Olympus and Ida of the ancients, rise to 6000 or 7000 ft.; the Taurus is more lofty, reaching 8000 and 10,000 ft.; both ranges decline in altitude as they approach the Mediterranean.
The range of Amanus (Giaour Dagh) is separated from the mass of Taurus by the deep gorge of the Jihun, whence it runs south - south - west to Ras el - Khanzir, forming the limit between Cilicia and Syria, various parts bearing different names, as Elma Dagh above Alexandretta.
The Jihun now enters a remarkable defile which separates Taurus from the Giaour Dagh, and reaches the Cilician Plain near Budrun.