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Gerasa

(366 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | Theatre | Hasmonaeans | Pilgrimage | Pompeius (modern Ǧaraš). City located 34 km north of Ammān. Thanks to a stream with the ancient name of Chrysorrhoas, G. was a place of settlement from the time of the early Stone Age. It is therefore reasonable to assume that a settlement already existed when the Macedonians, mentioned in a Roman inscription, introduced the Greek element ─ contrary to legends that  Alexander [4] the Great,  Perdiccas, or  A…

Beroea

(1,229 words)

Author(s): Errington, Robert Malcolm (Marburg/Lahn) | Wirbelauer, Eckhard (Freiburg) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
(Βέροια; Béroia). [German version] [1] In Macedonia This item can be found on the following maps: Christianity | Macedonia, Macedones | Macedonia, Macedones | Education / Culture In Macedonia. Errington, Robert Malcolm (Marburg/Lahn) [German version] A. Hellenistic and Roman periods City in Macedonian  Bottice, east of the Bermium; now Verria. First mentioned in the 5th cent. BC (Thuc. 1,61,4), B. had its development, like many Macedonian cities, principally in the Hellenistic period; the Antigonids seem to have particularly favoured…

Dekapolis

(414 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] (ἡ Δεκάπολις; hē Dekápolis). Term for a territory comprising a varying number of cities and with a predominantly Greek population, concentrated in northern Trans-Jordan, southern Syria and northern Palestine. Although some towns later to belong to the Dekapolis had already been in existence in pre-Hellenistic times, most of them claimed to have been founded by  Alexander [4] the Great. Archaeological investigations, however, have shown that the development of many towns into urban centres began only under Seleucid an…

Ancyra

(470 words)

Author(s): Strobel, Karl (Klagenfurt) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids | Theatre | Byzantium | Zenobia | | Commerce | Hellenistic states | Hellenistic states | Asia Minor | Limes | Pergamum | Pilgrimage | Pompeius | Patricius | Rome | Rome (Ἄνκυρα; Ánkyra). City and fortress in  Galatia, modern Ankara. Anchors feature in legends, explaining the origin of the name (Paus. 1,4,5; Steph. Byz. s. v. A.; anchor as the city's symbol). Its origins lay in the prehistoric/ Hittite period; a Phrygian centre from the 8th to the 6th cents. BC (foundation myth: Paus…

Kerbela

(194 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] (Arabic Karbalāʾ). Shiite pilgrimage centre in Iraq, situated c. 95 km south-west of Baghdad; until right through to the 20th cent. the final station of caravan routes from Iran and the starting-point for Persian Mecca pilgrims. The name K. describes the palm gardens that surround the funerary sanctuary and the town of Mašhad al-Ḥusain. A town Kerbelā is already mentioned in the OT (Dan 3:21), but Shiite lexicographers explain K. as a combination of Arabic karb (mourning) and balāʾ (disaster). K. became significant for the Shiite Islamic world through the m…

Bostra

(336 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids | Syria | Theatre | Christianity | Zenobia | | Coloniae | Legio | Limes Small town on the southern edge of the Syrian basalt desert (Ḥaurān). The modern name Buṣrā corresponds with the Nabataean and Palmyrenian version BṢR (‘fortress’). B. was a settlement from the early Bronze Age and, in the 2nd. millennium BC, had close relations with Egypt because of its role as a caravanserai and a staging-post on the road to northern Syria and to the Red Sea (…

Mariamme

(392 words)

Author(s): Bringmann, Klaus (Frankfurt/Main) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] [1] Granddaughter of Aristobulus II. and Iohannes Hyrcanus II. (Hebrew Mirjam; the form Mariamne in Fr. Hebbel's drama is a corruption from later MSS). Granddaughter of Aristobulus [2] II. and Iohannes Hyrcanus [3] II. Born c. 53/52 BC, M. was a celebrated beauty. Married to Herod ( Herodes [1]) the Great, she became involved in the intrigues and conflicts between Hasmoneans and Herodeans. In 29 Herod had her executed on suspicion of unfaithfulness based on the calumnies of his sister Salome (Jos. Ant. Iud. 15,218-236). Bringmann, Klaus (Frankfurt/Main) Bibliography A…

Damascus

(1,153 words)

Author(s): Klengel, Horst (Berlin) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
This item can be found on the following maps: Writing | Syria | Theatre | Caesar | Christianity | | Coloniae | Alexander | Commerce | Hasmonaeans | Hellenistic states | India, trade with | Mesopotamia | Phoenicians, Poeni | Pilgrimage [German version] A. Ancient Orient Oasis situated on the eastern edge of Antilebanon, watered by the undrained Barada, first mentioned in lists of Syrian towns of the pharaohs Thutmosis III and Amenophis III ( tmsq, Tamasqu) and then in the  Amarna letters ( Di/Dumašqu). In the 13th cent. BC too, D. was under Egyptian control. At the turn of the…

Baalbek

(276 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | Theatre | Coloniae | Asia Minor Town in the Biqa plain between Lebanon and Antilebanon, located at an elevation of 1150 m, 64 km north-east of Beirut. The town's name was changed to Heliopolis (Str. 753; Plin. HN 5,80), probably because the Ptolemies of Alexandria identified the god ‘Baal (Haddad) of Biqa’ with the Egyptian sun god Ra/Helios. After the temporary rulership of the Seleucids (2nd cent. BC), B. became the cult centre for the Itu…

Rusafa

(220 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Pilgrimage ( Ruṣāfa; in the Byzantine era also Sergiopolis). Ruins in central Syria, c. 180 km east of Aleppo and 35 south of the Euphrates. Roman limes fortress (Limes [VI D], with map) beginning in the 1st cent. BC. In Late Antiquity, the town, where the officer Sergius suffered martyrdom under Diocletianus (cf. [1]), became the central pilgrimage destination for Christian Arab tribes of the Levant and Mesopotamia. R. had churches from the 5th cent. AD on, including t…

Damghan

(176 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] (Dāmġān). Town in Iran on the southern foothills of the Alborz, 342 km east of Teheran on the road to Nīšāpūr. The name possibly arose from the contraction of Deh-e Moġān (village of the Magi). The prehistoric antecedent of D. is Tepe Ḥeṣār with layers between the 5th millennium and the early 2nd millennium BC. After a hiatus of 1,500 years D. became the main settlement of the Parthian and Sassanid province of Qūmes, site of one of the holy state fires (ātaxš-ī xwarišnīh, ‘unfed f…

Irāq al-Amı̄r

(102 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] (Araq al-Amir). The ruins of I. and Qaṣr al-ʿAbd are located in Wādī al-Sīr, to the west of present-day Amman. From Achaemenid times it was a domain of the  Tobiads (Neh. 2,10; 2,19; 3,33; 3,35). I. consists of two man-made cave galleries, about 300 m in length. Lying above on a plateau, the palace or monument structure with animal reliefs (Qaṣr al-ʿAbd) belonged to the fortification (βάρις) of Tyre of the Tobiad  Hyrcanus [1], founded in 181 BC (Jos. Ant. Iud. 12, 229-234). Leisten, Thomas (Princeton) Bibliography E. Will, F. Larché et al., I.: Le château du Tobiade…

Pella

(760 words)

Author(s): Errington, Robert Malcolm (Marburg/Lahn) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
(Πέλλα; Pélla). [German version] [1] City near modern Palea {{?}}Pella This item can be found on the following maps: | Coloniae | Diadochi and Epigoni | Alexander | Hellenistic states | Macedonia, Macedones | Macedonia, Macedones | Peloponnesian War | Persian Wars | Punic Wars | Balkans, languages | Education / Culture From c. 400 BC under Archelaus [1] the residence of Macedonian kings near modern Palea P., in Antiquity reachable from the sea by ship on the Lydias. By the 4th cent. BC the largest Macedonian city (Xen. Hell. 5,2,13), with a system…

Aphrodisias

(1,126 words)

Author(s): Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Hild, Friedrich (Vienna)
(Ἀφροδισίας; Aphrodisías). [German version] [1] City in  Caria This item can be found on the following maps: Theatre | Byzantium | Asia Minor | Marble | Rome | Education / Culture City in  Caria, 38 km south of the Maeander, in the left side valley of the Morsylos (present-day Dandalaz çayı); the modern Geyre. Traces of neolithic and early Bronze Age settlement on the acropolis; old name of Νινόη (Steph. Byz. s. v. Ninoe) preserved in the local cult ( Zeus Nineudios). A. was for a long time overshadowed by the neighbouring co…

Petra

(874 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton) | Errington, Robert Malcolm (Marburg/Lahn) | Plontke-Lüning, Annegret (Jena) | Falco, Giulia (Athens)
(Πέτρα/ Pétra, 'rock') [German version] [1] Capital of the Nabataean Empire This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | Theatre | | Commerce | Hellenistic states | India, trade with | Limes | Rome | Rome | Egypt Capital of the Nabataean kingdom (Nabataei) in Edom, about 80 km to the south of the Dead Sea in the Wādı̄ Mūsā (in modern Jordan). The city is first mentioned by Diodorus [18] under the name Pétra (Diod. Sic. 19, 95-98) as the Nabataei's place of refuge and assembly ('High place, rock'). The inscriptionally documented Semitic name of P. is Raqmu. Although the surrounding are…

Berytus

(536 words)

Author(s): Finkbeiner, Uwe (Tübingen) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | | Coloniae | Commerce | Hasmonaeans | Colonization | Phoenicians, Poeni | Pompeius | Aegean Koine (Βηρυτός; Bērytós). [German version] A. Phoenician period B., modern Beirut, is mentioned as Beruta in the  Amarna letters and in documents from Ugarit (14th and 13th cent. BC respectively), and as Birû in the annals of Asarhaddon (7th cent. BC) [1. 48]. Its identification with the Baurad of the Ebla documents is disputed [2. 68]. Sources document that the Canaanite B. of the 2nd millennium BC was controlled by By…

Carthage

(1,885 words)

Author(s): Huß, Werner (Bamberg) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg)
This item can be found on the following maps: Theatre | Caesar | Christianity | Africa | Wine | | Coloniae | Africa | Etrusci, Etruria | Commerce | Colonization | Limes | Limes | Pertinax | Phoenicians, Poeni | Pilgrimage | Punic Wars | Punic Wars | Rome | Rome (Phoenician Qrt-ḥdšt, ‘new town’; Greek Καρχηδών/ Karchēdṓn, Lat. Carthago). I. History [German version] A. From Phoenician foundation to Roman colony According to Timaeus' report (FGrH 566 F 60), C. was founded in 814/13 or 813/2 BC -- on the site of Tunis' modern suburb of the same name. The colonist were …

Epiphaneia

(502 words)

Author(s): Sayar, Mustafa H. (Cologne) | Lehmann, Gustav Adolf (Göttingen) | Lehmann, Gunnar (Jerusalem) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
(Ἐπιφάνεια; Epipháneia). [German version] [1] City in Cilicia Pedias City in Cilicia Pedias (Ptol. 5,8,7; Steph. Byz. s.v. E., 274 Meineke), previously Oeniandus (Plin. HN 5,93), renamed E. after  Antiochus [6] IV Epiphanes. Road station (Geogr. Rav. 2,16,93; [2. 766]). In AD 260, E. was captured by Šapur I [1. 312f.]. After the restructuring of the province in AD 408, E. was seen as one of the cities of Cilicia II (Hierocles, 705,5). Its ruins (well preserved theatre and aqueduct) are c. 8 km west of Erzin in Gözene/Gözcucler Harabeleri. Sayar, Mustafa H. (Cologne) Bibliography 1 A. …

Chorāsān

(257 words)

Author(s): Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
[German version] Middle Persian xwarsārān, ‘[Land of the] Sunrise, the East’. Nowadays denotes the north-eastern part of Iran, with Mašhad as its administrative centre. In the pre-Islamic and early Islamic period C. included parts of Central Asia and western Afghanistan. It was under the Sassanids that C. first formed one of the four great provincial satrapies; it was ruled by a Spāhpat with his seat in Merv, having jurisdiction over the following districts (Yaqūbī, Tarīḫ I, 201): Nīšāpūr, Harāt…

Edessa

(672 words)

Author(s): Errington, Robert Malcolm (Marburg/Lahn) | Wirbelauer, Eckhard (Freiburg) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids | Syria | Christianity | Zenobia | | Coloniae | Commerce | Asia Minor | Limes | Pilgrimage | Pompeius | Rome (Ἔδεσσα; Édessa). [German version] [1] City in central Macedonia This item can be found on the following maps: | Macedonia, Macedones City in central Macedonia at the eastern entrance to the Kara-Burun pass from Lower to Upper Macedonia, today known as Edessa, formerly as Vodena. In previous times, E. was wrongly regarded as the old Macedonian royal seat of  Aegae [1]. E. was first men…
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