Olba (ancient city)

Temple of Zeus at Olba
Shown within Turkey
Location Mersin Province, Turkey
Region Cilicia
Coordinates 36°35′N 33°56′E / 36.583°N 33.933°E / 36.583; 33.933Coordinates: 36°35′N 33°56′E / 36.583°N 33.933°E / 36.583; 33.933
Type Settlement
Site notes
Condition In ruins

Olba (Turkish: Oura) was an ancient city and bishopric in the Roman province of Isauria, in present-day southern Turkey. It is included in the Catholic Church's list of Latin titular sees.[1]


Olba was a city of Cetis in Cilicia Aspera, later forming part of Isauria; it had a temple of Zeus, whose priests were once kings of the country, and became a Roman colony. Strabo (XIV, 5, 10) and Ptolemy (V, 8, 6) call it Olbasa.

A coin of Diocæsarea, Olbos; Hierocles (Synecdemus, 709), Olbe; Basil of Seleucia (Mirac. S.Theclæ, 2, 8) and the Greek Notitiæ episcopatuum, Olba. The primitive name must have been Ourba or Orba, found in Theophanes the Chronographer, hence Ourbanopolis in "Acta S. Bartholomei".

Its ruins, north of Silifke in the Turkish province of Mersin, are called Oura in Turkish.

Ecclesiastical history

Olba was a suffragan of the Metropolitan of Isauria's provincial capital Seleucia, but faded like most sees in Asia Minor.

Le Quien (Oriens christianus, II, 1031) gives four bishops between the fourth and seventh centuries; but the Notitiæ episcopatuum mentions the see until the thirteenth century.

Titular see

The diocese was nominally restored as titular bishopric of the episcopal (lowest) rank under the name Olba (Latin and Curiate Italian); Latin adjective Olbiensis.

In 1927 it was suppressed, having had the following incumbents, all of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank:

In 1933 it was again restored as titular bishopric of Olba. It is vacant since decades, having had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting episcopal rank :

  • Louis-Justin Gumy, Capuchin Friars Minor (O.F.M. Cap.) (1934.01.09 – 1941.04.27) as emeritate, previously Bishop of Port Victoria (Seychelles) (1921.03.10 – 1934.01.09)
  • Tihamér Tóth (1938.05.30 – 1939.03.03) as Coadjutor Bishop of Veszprém (Hungary) (1938.05.30 – 1939.03.03), succeeded as Bishop of Veszprém (1939.03.03 – death 1939.05.06)
  • Augustine Danglmayr (1942.04.24 – death 1992.09.18) as Auxiliary Bishop of Diocese of Dallas (Texas, USA) (1942.04.24 – retired 1969.08.22) and on emeritate

See also


  1. Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1)

 Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Olba". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 

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