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We must now speak of the interior of Syria. Cœle Syria has the town of Apamea1, divided by the river Marsyas from the Tetrarchy of the Nazerini2; Bambyx, the other name of which is Hierapolis3, but by the Syrians called Mabog4, (here the monster Atargatis5, called Derceto by the Greeks, is worshipped); and the place called Chalcis6 on the Belus7, from which the region of Chalcidene, the most fertile part of Syria, takes its name. We here find also Cyrrhestice, with Cyrrhum8, the Gazatæ, the Gindareni, the Gabeni, the two Tetrarchies called Granucomatæ9, the Emeseni10, the Hyla- tæ11, the nation of the Ituræi, and a branch of them, the people called the Bætarreni; the Mariamitani12, the Tetrarchy known as Marnmisea, Paradisus13, Pagræ14, the Pinaritæ15, two cities called Seleucia, besides the one already mentioned, the one Seleucia on the Euphrates16, and the other Seleucia17 on the Belus, and the Cardytenses. The remaining part of Syria (except those parts which will be spoken of in conjunction with the Euphrates) contains the Arethusii18, the Berœenses19, and the Epiphanæenses20; and on the east, the Laodiceni21, who are called the Laodiceni on the Libanus, the Leucadii22, and the Larissæi, besides seventeen other Tetrarchies, divided into kingdoms and bearing barbarous names.

1 Now Kulat-el-Mudik, situate in the valley of the Orontes, and capital of the province of Apamene. It was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus Nicator, who gave it its name, after his wife Apama. It also bore the Macedonian name of Pella. It was situate on a hill, and was so far surrounded by the windings of the Orontes, as to become a peninsula, whence its name of Chersonesus. Very extensive ruins of this place still exist.

2 It is suggested, that these are the Phylarchi Arabes of Strabo, now called the Nosairis, who were situate to the east of Apamea. The river Marsyas here mentioned was a small tributary of the Orontes, into which it falls on the east side, near Apamea.

3 This was situate in Cyrrhestica, in Syria, on the high road from Antioch to Mesopotamia, twenty-four miles to the west of the Euphrates, and thirty-six to the south-west of Zeugma; two and a half days' journey from Berœa, and five from Antioch. It obtained its Greek name of the "Sacred City" from Seleucus Nicator, owing to its being the chief seat of the worship of the Syrian goddess Astarte. Its ruins were first discovered by Maundrell.

4 In the former editions it is "Magog;" but Sillig's reading of "Mabog" is correct, and corresponds with the Oriental forms of Munbedj, Manbesja, Manbesjun, Menba, Manba, Manbegj, and the modern name, Kara Bambuche, or Buguk Munbedj.

5 Astarte, the semi-fish goddess.

6 This Chalcis is supposed to have been situate somewhere in the district of the Buckaa, probably south of Heliopolis, or Baalbec. It has been suggested, that its site may have been at, or near Zahle; in the vicinity of which, at the village of Heusn Nieba, are to be seen some remarkable remains. Or else, possibly, at Majdel Anjar, where Abulfeda speaks of great ruins of hewn stone.

7 Ansart suggests, that Belus is here the name of a mountain, and that it may be the same that is now called Djebel-il-Semmaq.

8 To the north of Chalcidene, a town of Syria, on the slopes of the Taurus, eighty miles to the north-east of Antioch. In the Roman times, it was the head-quarters of the Tenth Legion. The ruins near the modern village of Corus represent the ancient Cyrrhus. Of the Gazatæ and Gindareni, nothing is known.

9 Possibly meaning the "Burghers of Granum." Nothing is known of these people.

10 The people of Emesa, a city in the district of Apamene, on the right, or eastern bank of the Orontes, to which, in C. 26 of the present Book, Pliny assigns a desert district beyond Palmyra. It was celebrated in ancient times for its magnificent temple of the sun, and the appointment of its priest, Bassianus, or Heliogabalus, to the imperial dignity, in his fourteenth year. It was made a colony, with the jus Italicum, by Caracalla, and afterwards became the capital of Phœnicia Libanesia. The present name of its site is Hems.

11 The Hylatæ are totally unknown. Ituræa was situate in the north-east of Palestine, and, with Trachonitis, belonged to the tetrarchy of Philip. Its boundaries cannot be precisely determined; but it may probably be traversed by a line drawn from the Lake of Tiberias to Damascus.

12 According to Ptolemy, the people of Mariama, some miles to the west of Emesa.

13 In the district of Laodicea, according to Ptolemy.

14 Near the Portæ Amani, or "Passes of Amanus."

15 Pinara was near Pagræ, in Pieria, last mentioned.

16 Probably Seleucia, in Mesopotamia, now called Bir, on the left bank of the Euphrates, opposite to the ford of Zeugma, a fortress of considerable importance.

17 Its site is doubtful. Sebj d'Aboulgazi has been suggested.

18 The people of Arethusa, a city of Syria, not far from Apamea, situate between Epiphania and Emesa. In later times, it took the name of Restan.

19 The people of Berœa, a town of Syria, midway between Antioch and Hierapolis. Seleucus Nicator gave to it the Macedonian name of Berœa; but, in A.D. 638, it resumed its ancient name of Chaleb, or Chalybon. The modern Haleb, or Aleppo, occupies its site. Some excavations, on the eastern side of it, are the only vestiges of ancient remains in the neighbourhood.

20 The people of Epiphanæa, placed by Ptolemy in the district of Cassiotis, in which also Antioch and Larissa were situate. The Itinerary of Antoninus places it sixteen miles from Larissa, thirty-two from Emesa, and 101 from Antioch of Syria. It is supposed to have been identical with the ancient Hamath, mentioned in 2 Sam. viii. 9; 1 Kings viii. 65; Isaiah x. 9, and called "Hamath the great" in Amos vi. 2, which name it also retained in the time of St. Jerome.

21 The people of Laodicea ad Libanum, a city of Cœle-Syria, at the northern entrance to the narrow valley, between Libanus and Anti- Libanus. During the possession of Cœle-Syria by the Greek kings of Egypt, it was the south west border fortress of Syria. It was the chief city of a district called Laodicene.

22 Of Leucas, or Leucadia, nothing is known. Larissa, in Syria, was a city in the district of Apamene, on the western bank of the Orontes, about half-way between Apamea and Epiphania. The site is now called Kulat-Seijar.

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  • Cross-references to this page (13):
    • Harper's, Belus
    • Harper's, Quiza
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ALBUM PROMONTORIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BELUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), COCOSA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ECBA´TANA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GADES
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HIERA´POLIS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HISPA´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ITURAEA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PINARA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TYRUS
    • Smith's Bio, Crassus, Clau'dius
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