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CARRHAE (Κάρραι, D. C. 37.5, 40.25; Strab. xvi. p.747 ; Ptol. 5.18.12; Steph. B. sub voce Amm. Marc. 23.3; Plin. Nat. 5.24; Flor. 3.11; Eutrop. 6.15; Lucan 1.104; Kapat, Isid. Char.; HARAN or CHARRAN, O. T.; Κοραία ἐν Βατάνη LXX., Genes. 11.31, 24.10; J. AJ 1.16; Zonar. Annal. p. 14), a town in the NW. part of Mesopotamia, which derived its name, according to Stephanus, from a river Carrha in Syria, celebrated in ancient times for its Temple of Lunus or Luna (Anaitis, Spartian. Carac. 7; Amm. Marc. 23.3; Herodian. iv.), and a colony said to have been founded by the Macedonians, and still more as the scene of the celebrated overthrow of Crassus by the Parthian general Suraena. (Strab., Dio Cass., Plut., ll. cc.) Ammianus states that Julian here secretly invested Procopius with the purple, in case that fate should befall him.

It has been generally supposed that Carrhae represents the place which in Sacred history is called Haran or Charran; a view which seems to be supported by the spelling of the name in Josephus, Zonaras, &c. (ll. cc.) It is also stated that the name still remains in the country, though the place is now deserted. (Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 410; Pococke, vol. ii. p. 235.) Several coins exist, in which Carrhae is spoken of as a colony and a metropolis. They belong to the times of Alexander Severus and the Gordians. One of M. Aurelius is curious, as it bears the inscription Καρρηνων φιλορωμαιων. There appears to be some doubt about the correct name of the neighbourhood on which the town of Carrhae was situated. Stephanus (s. v. Βόγχαι) speaks of a river Cyrus, between which and the Euphrates this place stood. It is most likely that Carrha was the true name, and Cyrus the mistake of some transcriber of the MSS.


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