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AMIDA (Diyarbakir) Turkey.

A city situated at the limit of navigation of the Tigris, on a bluff at a bend of the river. Though there was an earlier settlement, the site was not important until Constantius, as Caesar in the East, founded and fortified a large city there to protect the Armenian satrapies between the Antitauros and Masios mountains still retained from Diodetian's conquests. It was garrisoned by Legio V Parthica. When the Persian King Sapor II invaded, the garrison was increased to seven legions; nevertheless the city fell to siege in A.D. 359. Ammianus Marcellinus, a Roman officer there, has left an eyewitness account (19.1-8). The city was retaken by Julian and the population restored by refugees from Nisibis, ceded to the Persians by Jovian, in A.D. 363 and the completion of rebuilding may be recorded by an inscription of A.D. 367-75 (CIL III, 6730). After capture by Kobad in A.D. 503 and recapture by Anastasius, the walls were restored again by Justinian (Procop., Buildings 2.3.27). Amida changed hands several times in the Byzantine period and the walls reached their final form by A.D. 1068. The black basalt walls seen today at Diyarbakir are essentially built to the 4th c. plan. The courtyard of the Ulu Cami is built of Byzantine architectural elements. Some stray finds are in the Diyarbakir Museum.


M. Van Berchen & J. Strzygowski, Amida (1910); A. Gabriel, Voyages archéologiques dans la Turquie orientale (1940); D. Oates, Studies in the Ancient History of N. Iraq (1968).


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