Category Archives: roman era

Dura Europos

Dura Europos

Dura-Europos was a Hellenistic, Parthian and Roman border city built on an escarpment ninety meters above the right bank of the Euphrates river.

It is located near the village of Salhiyé, in today’s Syria (34°44.82′N 40°43.85′E / 34.747°N 40.73083°E / 34.747; 40.73083).

Dura-Europos is extremely important for archaeological reasons. As it was abandoned after its conquest in 256–7, nothing was built over it and no later building programs obscured the architectonic features of the ancient city. Its location on the edge of empires meant for a co-mingling of cultural traditions, much of which was preserved under the city’s ruins. Some remarkable finds have been brought to light, including numerous temples, wall decorations, inscriptions, military equipment, tombs, and even dramatic evidence of the Sassanian siege during the Imperial Roman period which led to the site’s abandonment.

Dura Europos

Dura Europos



Cyrrhus, Cyrrus, or Kyrros (Greek: Κύρρος) was a city in ancient Syria founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Other names for the city include Hagioupolis, Nebi Huri نبي حوري, Khoros (Arabic حوروس Ḳūrus). Its ruins are found about 14 km northwest of Kilis, Turkey, near the Syrian border.

Cyrrhus was the capital of the extensive district of Cyrrhestica, between the plain of Antioch and Commagene. A false etymology of the sixth century connects it to Cyrus, King of Persia due to the resemblance of the names.

The site of the city is marked by the ruins at Khoros, 14 km northwest of Kilis, near the village of Afrin. The ruins stand near the river Afrin Marsyas River a tributary of the Orontes, which had been banked up by Bishop Theodoret.

Cyrrhus was founded by Seleucus Nicator shortly after 300 BC, and was named for the Macedonian city of Cyrrhus. It was taken by the Armenian Empire in the 1st century BC, then became Roman when Pompey took Syria in 64 BC. By the 1st century AD, it had become a Roman administrative, military, and commercial center on the trade route between Antioch and the Euphrates River crossing at Zeugma, and minted its own coinage.[1] The Persian Empire took it several times during the 3rd century.[2]

In the 6th century, the city was embellished and fortified by Justinian. It was taken by the Muslims in 637 and by the Crusaders in the 11th century. Nur ud-Din recaptured it in 1150. Muslim travelers of the 13th and 14th century report it both as a large city and as largely in ruins.

Church history

Cyrrus became at an early date a suffragan of Hierapolis Bambyce in Provincia Euphratensis. Eight bishops are known before 536 (Lequien, II, 929; E.W. Brooks, The Sixth Book of the Select Letters of Severus, II, 341). The first was present at First Council of Nicaea in 325. The most celebrated is Theodoret (423-58), a prolific writer, well known for his rôle in the history of Nestorianism and Eutychianism. (His works are in Migne, P.G., LXXX-LXXXIV.) He tells us that his small diocese (about forty miles square) contained 800 churches, which supposes a very dense population.

A magnificent basilica held the relics of Saints Cosmas and Damian, who had suffered martyrdom in the vicinity about 283, and whose bodies had been transported to the city, whence it was also called Hagioupolis. Many holy personages, moreover, chiefly hermits, had been or were then living in this territory, among them Saints Acepsimas, Zeumatius, Zebinas, Polychronius, Maron (the patron of the Maronite Church), Eusebius, Thalassius, Maris, James the Wonder-worker, and others. Theodoret devoted an entire work to the illustration of their virtues and miracles. Under Justinian, it became an independent ecclesiastical metropolis, subject directly to Antioch. The patriarch, Michael the Syrian, names thirteen Jacobite bishops of Cyrrhus from the ninth to the eleventh century (Revue de l’Orient chrétien, 1901, p. 194). Only two Latin titulars are quoted by Lequien (III, 1195).

It remains a Roman Catholic titular see of the ecclesiastical province of Syria.

(info – wikipedia).

Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-49-44

Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-40-03 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-36-22 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-34-56 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-24-48 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-45-07 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-35-36 View From Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 14-19-27 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-31-51 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-36-09 Roman Theatre of Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-41-18 View From Cyrrhus 30-05-2009 13-52-04

Qatoura Graves

Qatura Graves - Ancient Times

Limestone Mass in Qatoura Limestone Mass Limestone Mass in Qatoura Qatura Graves - Ancient Times Qatura Graves - Ancient Times Aleppo Countryside - Limestone Mass

Palmyra: A stop for you in the desert

Palmyra (Arabic: تدمر) was in ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 120 km southwest of the Euphrates. It has long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its pre-Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur, [1] is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari [2]. Though the ancient site fell into disuse after the 16th century, it is still known as Tadmor (in Arabic تدمر) and there is a small newer settlement next to the ruins of the same name.
More in wikipedia about Palmyra.

Palmyran Pastor Woman Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Tombs Palmyra Souvenirs From Palmyra Palmyran People Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra - Roman Theatre Palmyra - Roman Theatre Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra - Roman Theatre Palmyra - Roman Theatre Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Oasis Palmyra Palmyran Man Inside Palmyran Tomb Palmyran Man Palmyra Tomb Palmyra Tomb and Fakhreddin Almaani Castle Palmyra Tomb Palmyra At Night Palmyra At Night Palmyra At Dusk


Halabiye. Historical Site On Euphrates River

The pictures here you will see are taken at sunset time, as we arrived Halabiye location at about afternoon 3:00 o’clock. It was very cloudy in the morning in Aleppo, so we postponed the trip altogether to another day, but suddenly at 12 o’clock noon, it was shiny again, so it was ok to set on trip towards DerEzzor.

Here is what we saw (go to my friend’s site, there are pictures not available here):

Halabiye. Euphrates At Dusk Time

Halabiye. The Walls And TowersHalabiye. The Walls And TowersHalabiye. The BasilicHalabiye. The BasilicHalabiye. The Ruined Palace RoomsHalabiye. The Towers And The BathsHalabiye. The BasilicHalabiye. The BasilicHalabiye. View From Top Mountain At The CastleHalabiye. Euphrates BasinHalabiye. The Towers And WallsHalabiye. The TowersHalabiye Location On EuphratesHalabiyeHalabiye. Ruined Walls Near The BanksHalabiye Location On Euphrates

Halabiye. General View

A little info about the location:
Halabiye site is located on Euphrates at 100 km distance from Raqqa, or 65 km from Der-Ezzor. It is built back in the times of Palmyra kingdom, when Zenobia made it a defensive structure. Romans came after it, and Diocletian rebuilt it.

Byzantine emperor Justinian also took control of the site, and prepared it for fighting Persian empire.

Then came Sassanids and fortified it again in 610. Later after 15 years Arabs occupied it and because it was no more a frontier, it was neglected.

The complex site consists of towers, tombs, baths, 2 basilicas and a forum. The walls of the city are preserved well.


While you came here, please see my friend’s photos about Rusafa, which some of them uniquely pictured.

Rusafa Remnants. Sergiopolis

Resafa (Arabic: الرصافة), known in Roman times as Sergiopolis, was a city in Syria. It is an archaeological site situated south-west of the city of Ar Raqqah and the Euphrates.

The site dates back to the 9th century B.C, when a military camp was built by the Assyrians. During Roman times it was a desert outpost fortified to defend against the Sassanids. It flourished as its location on the caravan routes linking Aleppo, Dura Europos, and Palmyra was ideal. Resafa had no spring or running water, so it depended on large cisterns to capture the winter and spring rains. Fortunately, the rainfall in the area was more than sufficient. Resafa was planted right in the path of the Persian-Byzantine wars, and was therefore a well-defended city that had massive walls that surrounded it without a break. It also had a fortress.

The city’s naming comes from “Sergius”,a Roman soldier who was persecuted for his Christian faith. Sergius was brought to Resafa for his execution, and there he became a martyr for the city. A church was built to mark his grave and the city was renamed Sergiopolis.

Info taken from

Rusafa Remnants. SergiopolisRusafa Remnants. SergiopolisRusafa Remnants. SergiopolisRusafa Remnants. Sergiopolis

Rusafa Ruins. Sergiopolis

Rusafa Ruins. SergiopolisRusafa. SergiopolisRusafa. SergiopolisRusafa. SergiopolisRusafa. SergiopolisRusafa. SergiopolisRusafa Ruins. SergiopolisRusafa Ruins. SergiopolisRusafa Ruins. Sergiopolis

Rusafa. Sergiopolis

Palmyra, Through My Lens

Palmyra was in the ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 120 km southwest of the Euphrates. It has long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The Greek name for the city, Palmyra (Παλμυρα), is a translation of its original Aramaic name, Tadmor, which means ‘palm tree’. Tadmor (in Arabic تدمر) is today the name of a small city next to the ruins, heavily dependent on tourism.Palmyra RuinsAncient

Temple of Bel.In the mid-first century A.D., Palmyra, a wealthy and elegant Syrian city located along the caravan routes linking the Parthian Iran with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria and Phoenicia, came under Roman control. During the following period of great prosperity, the Aramaean citizens of Palmyra adopted customs and modes of dress from both the Iranian Parthian world to the east and the Graeco-Roman west.

The city was first mentioned in the archives of Mari in the 2nd millennium BC. It was another trading city in the extensive trade network that linked Mesopotamia and northern Syria.

Palmyra ApproachTempleTempleHistory SilhouetteColulmns And What LeftPalmyra Temple's RemnantsPalmyra. TemplePalmyra Columns' PiecesPalmyra LookPalmyra AmphitheatreRoman WorksPalmyra AmphitheatrePalmyra AmphitheatrePalmyra Columns' Dance

PalmyraWhen the Seleucids took control of Syria in 323 BC, the city was left to itself and it became independent. The city flourished as a caravan halt in the 1st century BC. In 41 BC, the Romans under Mark Antony tried to occupy Palmyra but failed as the Palmyrans escaped to the other side of the Euphrates. The Palmyrans had received intelligence of the Roman approach. This proves that at that time Palmyra was still a nomadic settlement and its valuables could be removed at short notice. Palmyra was made part of the Roman province of Syria during the reign of Tiberius (14–37). It steadily grew in importance as a trade route linking Persia, India, China, and the Roman empire. In 129, Hadrian visited the city and was so enthralled by it that he proclaimed it a free city and renamed it Palmyra Hadriana.

Beginning in 212, Palmyra’s trade diminished as the Sassanids occupied the mouth of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Septimius Odaenathus, a Prince of Palmyra, was appointed by Valerian as the governor of the province of Syria. After Valerian was captured by the Sassanids and died in captivity in Bishapur, Odaenathus campaigned as far as Ctesiphon (near modern-day Baghdad) for revenge, invading the city twice. When Odaenathus was assassinated by his nephew Maconius, his wife Septimia Zenobia took power, ruling Palmyra on the behalf of her son, Vabalathus. Zenobia rebelled against Roman authority with the help of Cassius Dionysius Longinus and took over Bosra and lands as far to the west as Egypt. Next, she attempted to take Antioch to the north. In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian finally retaliated and captured her and brought her back to Rome. He paraded her in golden chains but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years. This rebellion greatly disturbed Rome, and so Palmyra was forced by the empire to become a military base for the Roman legions. Diocletian expanded it to harbor even more legions and walled it in to try and save it from the Sassanid threat. The Byzantine period only resulted in the building of a few churches and much of the city was in ruin.

Palmyra ColumnsPalmyra StonesThe PastHistory Voices From PalmyraPalmyra RuinsPalmyra RuinsPalmyra. Roman RemnantsPalmyra ArchesPalmyra ArchesPalmyra RuinsPalmyra Look From FakhrEddin Castle

FakhrEddin Castle on a Palmyran hill, (Arab castle):
The city was taken by the Muslim Arabs under Khalid ibn Walid. In the 6th century, Fakhreddine al Maany castle was built on top of a mountain overlooking the oasis. The castle was surrounded by a moat, with access only available through a drawbridge. The city of Palmyra was kept intact.

The Look To Palmyra From FakhrEddin Castle On The Hill
FakhrEddin Castle RoofOn The Roof Of FakhrEddin CastleFakhrEddin CastleCastle Wall - FakhrEddinCastle FakhrEddin InteriorCastle FakhrEddin InteriorCastle Entrance In Palmyra Hill

Palmyran Nature

Not On The Moon. Palmyra Mountains

Palmyra NaturePalmyra RoadPalmyra MountainsPalmyra Nature

Look also my friend’s blog Pictures of Syria.
Information from