Raymond of Poitiers
Raymond of Poitiers was Prince of Antioch from 1136 to 1149. He was the younger son of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine and his wife Philippa, Countess of Toulouse, born in the year that his father the Duke began his infamous liaison with Dangereuse de Chatelherault. Following the death of Prince Bohemund II of Antioch in 1130, the principality came under the regency first of King Baldwin II King Fulk, Princess Alice, Bohemond's widow; the reigning princess was Constance. Against the wishes of Alice, a marriage was arranged for Constance with Raymond, at the time staying in England, which he left only after the death of Henry I on 1 December 1135. Upon hearing word that Raymond was going to pass through his lands in order to marry the princess of Antioch, King Roger II of Sicily ordered him arrested. By a series of subterfuges, Raymond passed through southern Italy and only arrived at Antioch after 19 April 1136. Patriarch Ralph of Domfront convinced Alice that Raymond was there to marry her, whereupon she allowed him to enter Antioch and the patriarch married him to Constance.
Alice left the city, now under the control of Raymond and Ralph. The first years of their joint rule were spent in conflicts with the Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus, who had come south to recover Cilicia from Leo of Armenia, to reassert his rights over Antioch. Raymond was forced to pay homage, to promise to cede his principality as soon as he was recompensed by a new fief, which John promised to carve out for him in the Muslim territory to the east of Antioch; the expedition of 1138, in which Raymond joined with John, and, to conquer this territory, proved a failure. The expedition culminated in the unsuccessful Siege of Shaizar. Raymond was not anxious to help the emperor to acquire new territories, when their acquisition only meant for him the loss of Antioch. John Comnenus returned unsuccessful to Constantinople, after demanding from Raymond, without response, the surrender of the citadel of Antioch. There followed a struggle between the patriarch. Raymond was annoyed by the homage which he had been forced to pay to the patriarch in 1135 and the dubious validity of the patriarch's election offered a handle for opposition.
Raymond triumphed, the patriarch was deposed. In 1142 John Comnenus returned to the attack, but Raymond refused to recognize or renew his previous submission, John, though he ravaged the neighborhood of Antioch, was unable to effect anything against him. When, however Raymond demanded from Manuel, who had succeeded John in 1143, the cession of some of the Cilician towns, he found that he had met his match. Manuel forced him to a humiliating visit to Constantinople, during which he renewed his oath of homage and promised to acknowledge a Greek patriarch. In the last year of Raymond's life Louis VII and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine visited Antioch during the Second Crusade. Raymond sought to prevent Louis from going south to Jerusalem and to induce him to stay in Antioch and help in the conquest of Aleppo and Caesarea. Raymond was suspected of having an incestuous affair with his beautiful niece Eleanor. According to John of Salisbury, Louis became suspicious of the attention Raymond lavished on Eleanor, the long conversations they enjoyed.
William of Tyre claims that Raymond seduced Eleanor to get revenge on her husband, who refused to aid him in his wars against the Saracens, that "contrary to royal dignity, she disregarded her marriage vows and was unfaithful to her husband." Most modern historians dismiss such rumours, pointing out the closeness of Raymond and his niece during her early childhood, the effulgent Aquitainian manner of behaviour. As the pious Louis continued to have relations with his wife, it is doubtful that he believed his charge of incest. Louis hastily left Raymond was balked in his plans. In 1149 he was killed in the Battle of Inab during an expedition against Nur ad-Din Zangi, he was beheaded by Shirkuh, the uncle of Saladin, his head was placed in a silver box and sent to the Caliph of Baghdad as a gift. Raymond is described by William of Tyre as "a lord of noble descent, of tall and elegant figure, the handsomest of the princes of the earth, a man of charming affability and conversation, open-handed and magnificent beyond measure".
For his career see Rey, in the Revue de l'orient latin, vol. iv. With Constance he had the following children: Bohemond III Maria, married emperor Manuel I Komnenos Philippa Baldwin Maalouf, Amin; the Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Hamilton, Bernard. "Ralph of Domfront, Patriarch of Antioch". Nottingham Medieval Studies. 28: 1–21. Luscombe, David; the New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 4, C.1024-c.1198, Part II. Cambridge University Press. Murray, Alan V.. Van Houts, Elisabeth, ed. Constance, Princess of Antioch: Ancestry and Family. Anglo-Norman Studies XXXVIII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2015; the Boydell Press
Hillah spelled Hilla, is a city in central Iraq on the Hilla branch of the Euphrates River, 100 km south of Baghdad. The population is estimated at 364,700 in 1998, it is the capital of Babylon Province and is located adjacent to the ancient city of Babylon, close to the ancient cities of Borsippa and Kish. It is situated in a predominantly agricultural region, extensively irrigated with water provided by the Hilla canal, producing a wide range of crops and textiles, its name may be derived from the word "beauty" in Arabic. The river runs in the middle of the town, it is surrounded by date palm trees and other forms of vegetation enhancing the weather and reducing the harmful effect of dust and the desert winds; the city was once a major center of Islamic education. The tomb of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel is reputed to be located in Al Kifl, it became a major administrative centre during the rule of the British Empires. In the 19th century, the Hilla branch of the Euphrates started to silt up and much agricultural land was lost to drought, but this process was reversed by the construction of the Hindiya Barrage in 1911–1913, which diverted water from the deeper Hindiya branch of the Euphrates into the Hilla canal.
It saw heavy fighting in 1920 during an uprising against the British, when 300 men of the Manchester Regiment were defeated in the city. Hillah is located near the ruins of ancient Babylon, it is that Babylon was founded in the third millennium BC and rose to prominence over the next thousand years. By the 18th century BC the city was the centre of the empire of Hammurabi. Various empires controlled Babylon over the following centuries. Babylon regained independence during the Neo-Babylonian empire towards the end of the 7th century BC, most notably under the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar II, but came under Persian rule in the 6th century BC. In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great captured Babylon. Babylon remained a notable Persian province until the 7th century AD, fell into decline; the ruins of Babylon have suffered due to looting and destructive policies. Parts of Nebuchadnezzar's palace and some of the old city walls still remain. Saddam Hussein commissioned a non-scientific, much controversial "restoration" of ancient Babylon on part of the site, in the process destroying much of the ancient site all the way to the foundations for the purpose.
A modern palace was constructed for him on what was purported to have been Nebuchadnezzar ancient palace. A reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate is displayed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. In the 10th century, the town of Al Jami'ayn was founded on the eastern bank of the Euphrates; the location of that town is in modern-day Hillah now. In 1101 AD a new town was founded near Al Jami'ayn. Bricks were taken from Babylon to build houses and so Hillah expanded. During the 18th century, the town became an administrative center in the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, the flow in the al-Hillah stream decreased, that led to worsening conditions for agriculture, which affected them greatly. To solve the problem, al-Hindiya Barrage was built. Hillah was the scene of heavy fighting in the 2003 invasion of Iraq on and around April 1, 2003. Iraqi casualties from the Medina Division of the Republican Guard were unknown but heavy, with several hundred reported to have been killed in fierce fighting with the United States Army's 2-70th Armor.
After the battle with the Medina Division the US Army forces moved to Baghdad and the U. S. Marine forces took over responsibilities in Al Hillah. Shortly after the invasion a mass grave site was reported by locals to be in the area around Hillah. Local citizens and members of ORHA worked together to exhume thousands of Iraqis, killed by Saddam Hussein's security forces during the uprising against his government in 1991; the 1st Marine Division had established a base at one of Saddam Hussein's palaces about one mile north of Hillah. The 372nd Military Police Company had performed law and order and Iraqi Police training in the city from June 2003 to October 2003 prior to moving on to Abu Ghraib prison; the city was part of the Polish military zone under the occupation of Iraq. After the initial invasion, Hilla was peaceful, but it became the scene of numerous bomb attacks. In February, 2004, insurgents tried but failed to blow up a camp run by Hungarian troops with truck bombs. February 28, 2005 saw the deadliest single insurgent attack up till when a car bomb killed 125 people outside a medical clinic.
On May 30, 2005, two suicide bombers killed 31, wounded 108, Shia police. On September 30, 2005, a car bomb exploded in a vegetable market in Hilla, killing 10 and wounding 30 others. On January 2, 2007, at least 73 people were killed and more than 160 were injured when two suicide bombers blew up themselves at a gathering of Shia militias. On February 1, 2007, a pair of suicide bombers detonated explosives among shoppers at a crowded outdoor market, killing at least 45 people and wounding 150. On March 6, 2007, 114 people were killed and at least 147 people were wounded in two car bomb attacks on a Shia shrine. On May 10, 2010, a series of three to four suicide car bombs at the'State Company for Textile Industries' in the city killed a total of 45 people and left 140 wounded. On March 6, 2016, a truck bomb hit a military checkpoint in Hillah, killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 70; the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the bombing. Hillah has a hot desert climate in the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.
Most rain falls in the winter. The average annual temperature in Hillah is 23.1 °C. About 114 mm (4.4
The Artquids or Artuqid dynasty was a Turkmen dynasty that ruled in Eastern Anatolia, Northern Syria and Northern Iraq in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The Artuqid dynasty took its name from its founder, Zaheer-ul-Daulah Artuk Bey, of the Döger branch of the Oghuz and ruled one of the Turkmen atabeyliks of the Seljuk Empire; the Artuqid rulers viewed the state as the common property of the dynasty members. Three branches of the family ruled in the region: Sokmen Bey's descendants ruled the region around Hasankeyf between 1102 and 1231. Artuqid rulers commissioned many public buildings, such as mosques, bridges and baths for the benefit of their subjects, they left an important cultural heritage by contributing to the art of metalworking. The door and door handles of the great Mosque of Cizre are unique examples of Artuqid metal working craftsmanship, which can be seen in the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul, Turkey; the dynasty was founded by Artuk Bey, son of Eksük, a general under Malik Shah I and under the Seljuq emir of Damascus, Tutush I.
Tutush appointed Artuq governor of Jerusalem in 1086. Artuq died in 1091, his sons Sökmen and Ilghazi were expelled from Jerusalem by the Fatimid vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah in 1098. Sokman and Ilghazi set themselves up in Diyarbakır, Hasankeyf in the Jezirah, where they came into conflict with the sultanate of Great Seljuq. Sokman, bey of Mardin, defeated the crusaders at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Ilghazi succeeded Sokman in Mardin and imposed his control over Aleppo at the request of the qadi Ibn al-Khashshab in 1118. In 1119 Ilgazi defeated the crusader Principality of Antioch at the Battle of Ager Sanguinis. After pillaging the County of Edessa, Ilghazi made peace with the crusaders. In 1121, he went north towards Armenia and with up to 250 000 – 350 000 troops, including men led by his son-in-law Sadaqah and Sultan Malik of Ganja, he invaded Georgia and was defeated by the David IV of Georgia at the Battle of Didgori. Ilghazi died in 1122, although his nephew Balak nominally controlled Aleppo, the city was controlled by Ibn al-Khashshab.
Al-Kashshab was assassinated in 1125, Aleppo fell under the control of Zengi of Mosul. After the death of Balak, the Artuqids were split between Harput and Mardin. Sokman's son Davud, bey of Hasankeyf, died in 1144, was succeeded by his son Kara Aslan. Kara Aslan allied with Joscelin II of Edessa against the Zengids, while Joscelin was away in 1144, Zengi recaptured Edessa, the first of the Crusader states to fall. Hasankeyf became a vassal of Zengi as well. Kara Aslan's son Nur ad-Din Muhammad allied with the Ayyubid sultan Saladin against the Sultan of Rum Kilij Arslan II, whose daughter had married Nur ad-Din Muhammad. In the peace settlement with Kilij Arslan, Saladin gained control of the Artuqid territory though the Artuqids were still technically vassals of Mosul, which Saladin did not yet control. With Artuqid support, Saladin took control of Mosul as well, transferring the rule from nominal Seljuk Empire to the Ayyubid Sultanate by late 1180s; the Seljuk Empire disintegrated soon after that in 1194.
The Artuklu dynasty remained in nominal command of upper Mesopotamia, but their power declined under Ayyubid rule. The Hasankeyf branch conquered Diyarbakır in 1198 and its center was moved here, but was demolished by the Ayyubids in 1231 when it attempted to form an alliance with the Seljuqs; the Harput branch was destroyed by the Sultanate of Rum due to following a slippery policy between the Ayyubids and Seljuqs. The Mardin branch survived for longer, but as a vassal of the Ayyubids, Sultanate of Rum, Il-Khanate and the Timurids; the Kara Koyunlu captured Mardin and put an end to Artuklu rule in 1409. Between Artuqids and house of Seljuq governor Tutush I was rivalry. Despite their constant preoccupation with war, members of the Artuklu dynasty left many architectural monuments, they made the most significant additions to Diyarbakır City Walls. Urfa Gate was rebuilt by son of Kara Arslan. In the same area of the western wall, south of Urfa Gate, two imposing towers, Ulu Beden and Yedi Kardeş were commissioned in 1208 by the Artuklu ruler Salih Mahmud who designed the Yedi Kardeş tower himself and apposed the Artukid double-headed eagle on its walls.
A large caravanserai in Mardin as well as the civil engineering feat of Malabadi Bridge are still in regular use in our day. The standing Old Bridge, was built in 1116 by Kara Arslan; the Great Mosques of Mardin and Silvan were but in any case developed over the 12th century by several Artuklu rulers on the basis of existing Seljuq edifices. The congregational mosque of Dunaysir was commissioned by Artuklu Bey Yülük Arslan and completed after his death in 1204 by his brother Artuk Arslan; this branch was based at Hasankeyf. The capital moved to Diyarbakır in 1183. Muʿīn ad-Dīn Soqman, Turkish: Müineddevle, Muineddin Sokman, Soqman ibn Ortoq, or Sökmen Turkish: İbrahim Rukn al-Daula Dāʾūd, Turkish: Rükneddin Davud Fakhr al-Dīn Qarā Arslān, Turkish: Fahreddin Kara Arslan Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad, Turkish: Nureddin Muhammed Quṭb al-Dīn Sukmān II, Turkish
Jalāl al-Dawla Mu'izz al-Dunyā Wa'l-Din Abu'l-Fatḥ ibn Alp Arslān, better known by his regnal name of Malik-Shah I, was Sultan of the Seljuq Empire from 1072 to 1092. During his youth, he spent his time participating in the campaigns of his father Alp Arslan, along the latter's vizier Nizam al-Mulk. During one of such campaigns in 1072, Alp Arslan was fatally died only a few days later. After that, Malik-Shah was crowned as the new sultan of the empire, Malik-Shah did not access the throne peacefully, had to fight his uncle Qavurt, who claimed the throne. Although Malik-Shah was the nominal head of the Seljuq state, the vizier Nizam al-Mulk held near absolute power during his reign. Malik-Shah spent the rest of his reign waging war against the Karakhanids on the eastern side, establishing order in the Caucasus. Malik-Shah's death to this day remains under dispute. Although he was known by several names, he was known as "Malik-Shah", a combination of the Arabic word malik and the Persian word shah.
Malik-Shah spent his youth in Isfahan. According to the 12th-century Persian historian Muhammad bin Ali Rawandi, Malik-Shah had fair skin, was tall and somewhat bulky. In 1064, Malik-Shah, only 9 years old by along with Nizam al-Mulk, the Persian vizier of the Empire, took part in Alp Arslan’s campaign in the Caucasus; the same year, Malik-Shah was married to Terken Khatun, the daughter of the Karakhanid khan Ibrahim Tamghach-Khan. In 1066, Alp Arslan arranged a ceremony near Merv, where he appointed Malik-Shah as his heir and granted him Isfahan as a fief. In 1071, Malik-Shah took part in the Syrian campaign of his father, stayed in Aleppo when his father fought the Byzantine emperor Romanos IV Diogenes at Manzikert. In 1072, Malik-Shah and Nizam al-Mulk accompanied Alp-Arslan during his campaign in Transoxiana against the Karakhanids. However, Alp-Arslan was badly wounded during his expedition, Malik-Shah shortly took over the army. Alp-Arslan died some days and Malik-Shah was declared as the new sultan of the empire.
However, right after Malik-Shah accession, his uncle Qavurt claimed the throne for himself and sent Malik-Shah a message which said: "I am the eldest brother, you are a youthful son. Malik-Shah replied by sending the following message: "A brother does not inherit when there is a son.". This message enraged Qavurt. In 1073 a battle took place near Hamadan. Qavurt was accompanied by his seven sons, his army consisted of Turkmens, while the army of Malik-Shah consisted of ghulams and contingents of Kurdish and Arab troops. During the battle, the Turks of Malik-Shah's army mutinied against him, but he managed to defeat and capture Qavurt. Qavurt begged for mercy and in return promised to retire to Oman. However, Nizam al-Mulk declined the offer. After some time, Qavurt was strangled to death with a bowstring. After having dealt with that problem, Malik-Shah appointed Qutlugh-Tegin as the governor of Fars and Sav-Tegin as the governor of Kerman. Malik-Shah turned his attention towards the Karakhanids, who had after the death of Alp-Arslan invaded Tukharistan, ruled by Malik-Shah's brother Ayaz, unable to repel the Karakhanids and was killed by them.
Malik-Shah managed to repel the Karakhanids and captured Tirmidh, giving Sav-Tegin the key of the city. Malik-Shah appointed his other brother Shihab al-Din Tekish as the ruler of Tukharistan and Balkh. During the same period, the Ghaznavid ruler Ibrahim was seizing Seljuq territory in northern Khorasan, but was defeated by Malik-Shah, who made peace with the latter and gave his daughter Gawhar Khatun in marriage to Ibrahim's son Mas'ud III. In 1074, Malik-Shah ordered the Turkic warlord Arghar to restore what he had destroyed during his raids in the territory of the Shirvanshah Fariburz I. During the same year, he appointed Qavurt's son Rukn al-Dawla Sultan-Shah as the ruler of Kerman. One year Malik-Shah sent an army under Sav-Tegin to Arran, ruled by the Shaddadid ruler Fadlun III. Sav-Tegin managed to conquer the region, thus ending Shaddadid rule. Malik-Shah gave Gorgan to Fadlun III as a fief. Throughout Malik's reign new institutions of learning were established and it was during this time that the Jalali calendar was reformed at the Isfahan observatory.
In 1089, Malik-Shah captured Samarkand with the support of the local clergy, imprisoned its Karakhanid ruler Ahmad Khan ibn Khizr, the nephew of Terken Khatun. He marched to Semirechye, made the Karakhanid Harun Khan ibn Sulayman, the ruler of Kashgar and Khotan, acknowledge him as his suzerain. In 1092 Nizam al-Mulk was assassinated near Sihna, on the road to Baghdad, by a man disguised as a Sufi; as the assassin was cut down by Nizam's bodyguard, it became impossible to establish with certainty who had sent him. One theory had it that he was an Is'maili fanatic, since these made attempts on the lives of Seljuq officials and rulers during the 11th century. Another theory had it that the attack had been instigated by Malik-Shah, who may have grown tired of his overmighty vizier. After Nizam al-Mulk's death, Malik-Shah appointed another Persian named Taj al-Mulk Abu'l Ghana'im as his vizier. Mal
Nur ad-Din (died 1174)
Nūr ad-Dīn Abū al-Qāsim Maḥmūd ibn ʿImād ad-Dīn Zengī shortened to his laqab Nur ad-Din, was a member of the Oghuz Turkish Zengid dynasty which ruled the Syrian province of the Seljuk Empire. He reigned from 1146 to 1174. Nur ad-Din was the second son of Imad ad-Din Zengi, the Turkish atabeg of Aleppo and Mosul, a devoted enemy of the crusader presence in Syria. After the assassination of his father in 1146, Nur ad-Din and his older brother Saif ad-Din Ghazi I divided the kingdom between themselves, with Nur ad-Din governing Aleppo and Saif ad-Din Ghazi establishing himself in Mosul; the border between the two new kingdoms was formed by the Nahr al-Khabur River. As soon as he began his rule, Nur ad-Din attacked the Principality of Antioch, seizing several castles in the north of Syria, while at the same time he defeated an attempt by Joscelin II to recover the County of Edessa, conquered by Zengi in 1144. In 1146, after the Frankish attempt to reoccupy Edessa, Nur ad-Din massacred the local Armenian Christian population of the city and destroyed its fortifications, in punishment for assisting Joscelin in this attempt.
According to Thomas Asbridge, the women and children of Edessa were enslaved. He secured his hold on Antioch after crushing Raymond of Poitiers at the Battle of Inab in 1149 presenting to the caliph, Raymond's severed head and arms. Nur ad-Din sought to make alliances with his Muslim neighbours in northern Iraq and Syria in order to strengthen the Muslim front against their Crusader enemies. In 1147 he signed a bilateral treaty with governor of Damascus; as part of this agreement, he married Mu'in ad-Din's daughter Ismat ad-Din Khatun. Together Mu'in ad-Din and Nur ad-Din besieged the cities of Bosra and Salkhad, captured by a rebellious vassal of Mu'in ad-Din named Altuntash, but Mu'in ad-Din was always suspicious of Nur ad-Din's intentions and did not want to offend his former crusader allies in Jerusalem, who had helped defend Damascus against Zengi. To reassure Mu'in ad-Din, Nur ad-Din curtailed his stay in Damascus and turned instead towards the Principality of Antioch, where he was able to seize Artah, Kafar Latha and Balat.
In 1148, the Second Crusade arrived in Syria, led by Conrad III of Germany. Nur ad-Din's victories and the Crusader's losses in Asia Minor however had made the recovery of Edessa – their original goal – impossible. Given that Aleppo was too far off from Jerusalem for an attack and Damascus allied with the Kingdom of Jerusalem against Zengi, had entered into an alliance with Nur ad-Din, the Crusaders decided to attack Damascus, the conquest of which would preclude a combination of Jerusalem's enemies. Mu'in ad-Din reluctantly called for help from Nur ad-Din, but the crusader siege collapsed after only four days. Nur ad-Din took advantage of the failure of the Crusade to prepare another attack against Antioch. In 1149, he launched an offensive against the territories dominated by the castle of Harim, situated on the eastern bank of the Orontes, after which he besieged the castle of Inab; the Prince of Antioch, Raymond of Poitiers came to the aid of the besieged citadel. The Muslim army destroyed the Crusader army at the Battle of Inab.
Raymond's head was sent to Nur ad-Din. Nur ad-Din marched all the way to the coast and expressed his dominance of Syria by symbolically bathing in the Mediterranean, he did not, attack Antioch itself. In 1150, he defeated Joscelin II for a final time, after allying with the Seljuk Sultan of Rüm, Mas'ud. Joscelin was blinded and died in his prison in Aleppo in 1159. In the Battle of Aintab, Nur ad-Din tried but failed to prevent King Baldwin III of Jerusalem's evacuation of the Latin Christian residents of Turbessel. In 1152 Nur ad-Din captured and burned Tortosa occupying the town, it was Nur ad-Din's dream to unite the various Muslim forces between the Euphrates and the Nile to make a common front against the crusaders. In 1149 Saif ad-Din Ghazi died, a younger brother, Qutb ad-Din Mawdud, succeeded him. Qutb ad-Din recognized Nur ad-Din as overlord of Mosul, so that the major cities of Mosul and Aleppo were united under one man. Damascus was all. After the failure of the Second Crusade, Mu'in ad-Din had renewed his treaty with the crusaders, after his death in 1149 his successor Mujir ad-Din followed the same policy.
In 1150 and 1151 Nur ad-Din besieged the city, but retreated each time with no success, aside from empty recognition of his suzerainty. When Ascalon was captured by the crusaders in 1153, Mujir ad-Din forbade Nur ad-Din from travelling across his territory. Mujir ad-Din, was a weaker ruler than his predecessor, he agreed to pay an annual tribute to the crusaders in exchange for their protection; the growing weakness of Damascus under Mujir ad-Din allowed Nur ad-Din to overthrow him in 1154, with help from the population of the city. Damascus was annexed to Zengid territory, all of Syria was unified under the authority of Nur ad-Din, from Edessa in the north to the Hauran in the south, he was cautious not to attack Jerusalem right away, continued to send the yearly tribute established by Mujir ad-Din.
Hama is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria. It is located 46 kilometres north of Homs, it is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate. With a population of 854,000, Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria after Damascus and Homs; the city is renowned for its seventeen norias used for watering the gardens, which are locally claimed to date back to 1100 BC. Though used for purpose of irrigation, the norias exist today as an entirely aesthetic traditional show; the ancient settlement of Hamath was occupied from the early Neolithic to the Iron Age. Remains from the Chalcolithic have been uncovered by Danish archaeologists on the mount on which the former citadel once stood; the excavation took place between 1938 under the direction of Harald Ingholt. The stratigraphy is generalized, which makes detailed comparison to other sites difficult. Level M contained both white true pottery, it may be contemporary with Ras Shamra V. The overlying level L dates to the Chalcolithic Halaf culture.
Although the town appears to be unmentioned in cuneiform sources before the first millennium BC, the site appears to have been prosperous around 1500 BC, when it was an Amorite dependency of Mitanni, an empire along the Euphrates in northeastern Syria. Mitanni was subsequently overthrown by the Hittites, who controlled all of northern Syria following the famous Battle of Kadesh against Ancient Egypt under Ramesses II near Homs in 1285 BC. In early 19th century, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt was the first to discover Hittite or Luwian hieroglyphic script at Hama; the site shows signs of Assyrian and Aramaean settlement. By the turn of the millennium, the centralized old Hittite Empire had fallen, Hama is attested as the capital of one of the prosperous Syro-Hittite states known from the Hebrew Bible as Hamath, which traded extensively with Israel and Judah; when the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III conquered the north of Aramea reached Hamath in 835 BC. Irhuleni of Hamath and Hadadezer of Aram-Damascus led a coalition of Aramean cities against the encroaching Assyrian armies.
According to Assyrian sources, they were confronted by 4,000 chariots, 2,000 horsemen, 62,000 foot-soldiers and 1,000 Arab camel-riders in the Battle of Qarqar. The Assyrian victory seems to have been more of a draw, although Shalmaneser III continued on to the shore and took a ship to open sea. In the following years, Shalmaneser III failed to conquer Aram-Damascus. After the death of Shalmaneser III, the former allies Hamath and Aram-Damascus fell out, Aram-Damascus seems to have taken over some of Hamath's territory. An Aramaic inscription of Zakkur, dual king of Hamath and Luhuti, tells of an attack by a coalition including Sam'al under Ben-Hadad III, son of Hazael, king of Aram-Damascus. Zakir was saved by intervention of the God Baalshamin. On, the state of Sam'al came to rule both Hamath and Aram. In 743 BC, Tiglath-Pileser III took a number of towns in the territory of Hamath, distributed the territories among his generals, forcibly removed 1,223 selected inhabitants to the valley of the Upper Tigris.
In 738 BC, Hamath is listed among the cities again conquered by Assyrian troops. Over 30,000 natives were replaced with captives from the Zagros Mountains. After the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel, Hamath's king Ilu-Bi'di led a failed revolt of the newly organized Assyrian provinces of Arpad, Simirra and Samara. Styling himself the "Destroyer of Hamath," Sargon II razed the city c. 720 BC, recolonized it with 6,300 Assyrians, removed its king to be flayed alive in Assyria. He carried off to Nimrud the ivory-adorned furnishings of its kings; the few Biblical reports state that Hamath was the capital of a Canaanite kingdom, whose king congratulated King David on his victory over Hadadezer, king of Zobah. In God’s instructions to Moses, Hamath is specified as part of the northern border of the land that will fall to the children of Israel as an inheritance when they enter the land of Canaan. Solomon, it would seem, built store cities. 1 Kings 8:65 names the "entrance of Hamath", or Lebo-Hamath, as the northern border of Israel at the time of the dedication of the first temple in Jerusalem.
The area was subsequently lost to the Syrians, but Jeroboam II, king of Israel, is said to have "restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah". Assyria's defeat of Hamath made a profound impression on Isaiah; the prophet Amos named the town "Hamath the Great". Indeed, the name appears to stem from Phoenician khamat, "fort." In the second half of the 4th century BC the modern region of Syria came under the influence of Greco-Roman culture, following long lasting semitic and Persian cultures. Alexander the Great's campaign from 334 to 323 BC brought Syria under Hellenic rule. Since the country lay on the trade routes from Asia to Greece and many other Syrian cities again grew rich through trade. After the death of Alexander the Great his Near East conquests were divided between his generals, Seleucus Nicator became ruler of Syria and the founder of the Seleucid dynasty. Under the
Homs known as Emesa or Emisa, is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is located 162 kilometres north of Damascus. Located on the Orontes River, Homs is the central link between the interior cities and the Mediterranean coast. Before the Syrian civil war, Homs was a major industrial centre, with a population of at least 652,609 people in 2004, it was the third largest city in Syria after Aleppo to the north and the capital Damascus to the south, its population reflects Syria's general religious diversity, composed of Sunni and Alawite and Christian. There are a number of historic mosques and churches in the city, it is close to the Krak des Chevaliers castle, a world heritage site. Homs did not emerge into the historical record until the 1st century BCE at the time of the Seleucids, it became the capital of a kingdom ruled by the Emesene dynasty who gave the city its name. A center of worship for the sun god El-Gabal, it gained importance in Christianity under the Byzantines.
Homs was conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century and made capital of a district that bore its current name. Throughout the Islamic era, Muslim dynasties contending for control of Syria sought after Homs due to the city's strategic position in the area. Homs began to decline under the Ottomans and only in the 19th century did the city regain its economic importance when its cotton industry boomed. During French Mandate rule, the city became a center of insurrection and, after independence in 1946, a center of Baathist resistance to the first Syrian governments. During the Syrian civil war, much of the city was devastated due to the Siege of Homs; the origin of the city's modern name is that it is an Arabic form of the city's Latin name Emesus, derived from the Greek Emesa or Emesos, or Hemesa. The name "Emesa" or "Hemesa" was derived from the Aramean city of "Hamath-zobah"; the latter is a combination of Sawbah. Thus, the name collectively means "The fortress surrounding" which refers to the Citadel of Homs and the encircling plains.
Other claim of the origin is that the name "Emesa" seems to be derived from the nomadic Arab tribe, called Emesenoi by the Greeks and the Romans, that inhabited the region prior to Roman influence in the area."Emesa" was shortened to "Homs" or "Hims" by its Arab inhabitants, many of whom settled there prior to the Muslim conquest of Syria. This name has been preserved throughout the period of Islamic rule continuing to the present day, it was known as "la Chamelle" by the Crusaders. For 2,000 years, Homs has served as a key agricultural market, production site and trade center for the villages of northern Syria, it has provided security services to the hinterland of Syria, protecting it from invading forces. Excavations at the Citadel of Homs indicate that the earliest settlement at the site dates back to around 2300 BCE. Biblical scholars have identified the city with Hamath-zobah of Zobah mentioned in the Bible. In 1274 BCE, a battle took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River near Homs.
It was the largest chariot battle fought, involving 5,000–6,000 chariots. Strabo only mentioned Arethusa in his Geography, as a "very-strong place" of Sampsigeramos and of his son Iamblikhos, "phylarchs" of the Emesene, who had allied themselves to Q. Caecilius Bassus against Caesar in 47 BC. Claims have been made that Emesa was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who established the Seleucid Empire upon the death of Alexander the Great. However, according to Henri Seyrig, Emesa does not seem to have received any Greek colony and the authors' complete silence makes one think that it did not increase its visibility under the Seleucid kings. According to Henri Seyrig, it seems that Posidonius, to whom Strabo referred concerning the Emesenes' phylarchs' alliance with Q. Caecilius Bassus, regarded the Emesenes as a simple tribe, governed by its sheikhs, still devoid of a real urban existence. Upon Pompey's incorporation of the Seleucid state of Syria into the Roman Empire in 64 BCE, the Emesene dynasty were confirmed in their rule as client kings of the Romans for aiding their troops in various wars.
At its greatest extent, the kingdom's boundaries extended from the Bekaa Valley in the west to the border with Palmyra in the east, from Yabrud in the south to al-Rastan in the north. The kingdom of Sampsiceramus I, was the first of Rome's Arab clients on the desert fringes; the city of Emesa grew to prominence after the new-found wealth of the Emesene dynasty, governed first by one of the sons of Sampsiceramus I, Iamblichus I who made it the kingdom's capital. The Emesene proved their loyalty to Rome once more when they aided Gaius Julius Caesar in his siege of Alexandria in 48 BC, by sending him army detachments. Subsequently, they became embroiled in the Roman Civil War