previous next

BATNAE

BATNAE (Βάτναι: Eth. Βατνᾶιος).


1.

A town of Osroene. This name of Syriac origin is found in the Arabic, and means a place in a valley where waters meet. (Milman, note on Gibbon's Decl. and Fall, vol. iv. p. 144; St. Martin, note on Le Beau, vol. iii. p. 56.) According to Amm. Marcellinus (14.3.3) it was a municipal town in the district of Anthemusia, built by the Macedonians at a little distance from the Euphrates. Many opulent traders resided here, and during the month of September a large fair was held, which was attended by merchants from India and China. Dio Cassius mentions that Trajan, after his capture of Batnae and Nisibis, assumed the name of Parthicus. At Batnae it is recorded that the emperor Julian met with one of those disastrous presages which had so much influence upon him. (Amm. Marc. 23.2.) Zosimus (3.12) merely mentions his march from it to Carrhae. Procopius (B. P. 2.12) describes it as a small and unimportant town at about a day's journey from Edessa, which was easily taken by Chosroes. Justinian afterwards fortified it, and it became a place of some consideration. (Procop. De Aedif. 12.8.) The Syrian Christians called this city Batna Sarugi, or Batna in Sarugo. (Assemanni. Bibl. Oríent. vol. i. p. 285.) Afterwards the name of Batnae seems to have given way to that of Sarug; and under that title its later history is fully given in Assemann (Bibliotheca Orientalis). In the Peutinger Tables it appears under the name of Batnis, between Thiar (Deoera) and Charris (Carrhae), and the Antonine Itinerary places it at 10 M. P. from Edessa; the unintelligible affix of “Mart” to the name being, according to Wesseling, an abbreviation of “Municipium.” This place is mentioned also by Hierocles. Colonel Chesney speaks of remains of this city, and describes two colossal unfinished lions at Aulan Tágh, about 8 miles S. of Batnae, as of peculiar interest. (Exped. Euphrat. vol. i. p. 114.) The ruins of which Lord Pollington (Journal Geog. Soc. vol. x. p. 451) speaks as being on the road from Edessa to Bir, are conjectured by Ritter to belong to this place. (Erdkunde, vol. xi. p. 282.)


2.

A village of Syria, which has often been confounded with the city of the same name on the other side of the Euphrates; according to the Antonine Itinerary it was situated between Beroea and Hierapolis, 54 M. P. from the former, and 21 M. P., or, according to the Peutinger Tables, 18 M. P. from the latter. It is to this place that the well-known description of Julian, Βαρβαρικὸν ὄνομα τοῦτο, χωρίον ἐστίν Ἑλληνικόν (Epist. 27), applies. The emperor describes it as situated in a grove of cypresses, and prefers it to Ossa, Pelion, and Olympus. Abúlfedá (Tab. Syr. p. 192) speaks of it in a manner to justify these praises. [E.B.J]

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 23.2
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: