Syria Palaestina was a Roman province between 135 AD and about 390. It was established by the merger of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. Shortly after 193, the northern regions were split off as Syria Coele in the north and Phoenice in the south, the province Syria Palaestina was reduced to Judea; the earliest numismatic evidence for the name Syria Palaestina comes from the period of emperor Marcus Aurelius. Syria was an early Roman province, annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BCE by Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War, following the defeat of Armenian King Tigranes the Great. Following the partition of the Herodian kingdom into tetrarchies in 6 CE, it was absorbed into Roman provinces, with Roman Syria annexing Iturea and Trachonitis; the Roman province of Judea incorporated the regions of Judea and Idumea, extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel. It was named after Herod Archelaus's Tetrarchy of Judea, but the Roman province encompassed a much larger territory.
The capital of Roman Syria was established in Antioch from the beginning of Roman rule, while the capital of the Judaea province was shifted to Caesarea Maritima, according to historian H. H. Ben-Sasson, had been the "administrative capital" of the region beginning in 6 CE. Judea province was the scene of unrest at its founding in 6 CE during the Census of Quirinius and several wars were fought in its history, known as the Jewish–Roman wars; the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE as part of the Great Jewish Revolt resulting in the institution of the Fiscus Judaicus. The Provinces of Judaea and Syria were key scenes of an increasing conflict between Judaean and Hellenistic population, which exploded into full scale Jewish–Roman wars, beginning with the Great Jewish Revolt of 66–70. Disturbances followed throughout the region during the Kitos War in 117–118. Between 132–135, Simon bar Kokhba led a revolt against the Roman Empire, controlling parts of Judea, for three years; as a result, Hadrian sent Sextus Julius Severus to the region.
Shortly before or after the Bar Kokhba's revolt, the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of the Judea province and merged it with Roman Syria to form Syria Palaestina, while Jerusalem was renamed to Aelia Capitolina, which certain scholars conclude was done in an attempt to remove the relationship of the Jewish people to the region. Only circumstantial evidence links Hadrian with the name change, the precise date is not certain; the common view that the name change was intended to "sever the connection of the Jews to their historical homeland" is disputed. After crushing the Bar Kokhba revolt, the Roman Emperor Hadrian applied the name Syria Palestina to the entire region that had included Judea province. Hadrian chose a name that revived the ancient name of Philistia, combining it with that of the neighboring province of Syria, in an attempt to suppress Jewish connection to the land, although the actual Philistines from which the name derives had disappeared from history during the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
The city of Aelia Capitolina was built by the emperor Hadrian on the ruins of Jerusalem. The capital of the enlarged province remained in Antiochia. In 193, the province of Syria-Coele was split from Syria Palaestina. In the 3rd century, Syrians reached for imperial power, with the Severan dynasty. Syria was of crucial strategic importance during the Crisis of the Third Century. Beginning in 212, Palmyra's trade diminished as the Sassanids occupied the mouth of the Tigris and the Euphrates. In 232, the Syrian Legion rebelled against the Roman Empire. Septimius Odaenathus, a Prince of the Aramean state of Palmyra, was appointed by Valerian as the governor of the province of Syria Palaestina. After Valerian was captured by the Sassanids in 260, died in captivity in Bishapur, Odaenathus campaigned as far as Ctesiphon for revenge, invading the city twice; when Odaenathus was assassinated by his nephew Maconius, his wife Septimia Zenobia took power, ruling Palmyra on behalf of her son, Vabalathus. Zenobia rebelled against Roman authority with the help of Cassius Longinus and took over Bosra and lands as far to the west as Egypt, establishing the short-lived Palmyrene Empire.
Next, she took large sections of Asia Minor to the north. In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian restored Roman control and Palmyra was besieged and sacked, never to recover her former glory. Aurelian captured Zenobia, he paraded her in golden chains in the presence of the senator Marcellus Petrus Nutenus, but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years. A legionary fortress was established in Palmyra and although no longer an important trade center, it remained an important junction of Roman roads in the Syrian desert. Diocletian built the Camp of Diocletian in the city of Palmyra to harbor more legions and walled it in to try and save it from the Sassanid threat; the Byzantine period following the Roman Empire only resulted in the building of a few churches. In circa 390, Syria Palaestina was reorganised into the several administrative units: Palaestina Prima, Palaestina Secunda, Palaestina Tertia, Syria Prima and Phoenice and Phoenice Lebanensis.
All were included within the larger Eastern Roman Diocese of the East, together with the provinces of Isauria, Cyprus, Mesopotamia and Arabia Petraea. Palaestina Prima consisted of Judea, the Paralia, Peraea, with the governor residing in Caesarea. Palaestina Secu
The Akkadian Empire was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia, centered in the city of Akkad and its surrounding region, which the Bible called Akkad. The empire united Sumerian speakers under one rule; the Akkadian Empire exercised influence across Mesopotamia, the Levant, Anatolia, sending military expeditions as far south as Dilmun and Magan in the Arabian Peninsula. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism. Akkadian, an East Semitic language replaced Sumerian as a spoken language somewhere between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC; the Akkadian Empire reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests by its founder Sargon of Akkad. Under Sargon and his successors, the Akkadian language was imposed on neighboring conquered states such as Elam and Gutium. Akkad is sometimes regarded as the first empire in history, though the meaning of this term is not precise, there are earlier Sumerian claimants.
After the fall of the Akkadian Empire, the people of Mesopotamia coalesced into two major Akkadian-speaking nations: Assyria in the north, and, a few centuries Babylonia in the south. The Bible refers to Akkad in Genesis 10:10, which states that the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was in the land of Akkad. Nimrod's historical identity is unknown, but some have compared him with the legendary Gilgamesh, founder of Uruk. Today, scholars have documented some 7,000 texts from the Akkadian period, written in both Sumerian and Akkadian. Many texts from the successor states of Assyria and Babylonia deal with the Akkadian Empire. Understanding of the Akkadian Empire continues to be hampered by the fact that its capital Akkad has not yet been located, despite numerous attempts. Precise dating of archaeological sites is hindered by the fact that there are no clear distinctions between artifact assemblages thought to stem from the preceding Early Dynastic period, those thought to be Akkadian. Material, thought to be Akkadian continues to be in use into the Ur III period.
Many of the more recent insights on the Akkadian Empire have come from excavations in the Upper Khabur area in modern northeastern Syria, to become a part of Assyria after the fall of Akkad. For example, excavations at Tell Mozan brought to light a sealing of Tar'am-Agade, a unknown daughter of Naram-Sin, married to an unidentified local endan; the excavators at nearby Tell Leilan have used the results from their investigations to argue that the Akkadian Empire came to an end due to a sudden drought, the so-called 4.2 kiloyear event. The impact of this climate event on Mesopotamia in general, on the Akkadian Empire in particular, continues to be hotly debated. Excavation at the modern site of Tell Brak has suggested that the Akkadians rebuilt a city on this site, for use as an administrative center; the city included two large buildings including a complex with temple, offices and large ovens. The Akkadian Period is dated to either: c. 2334 BC – c. 2154 BC, or c. 2270 BC – c. 2083 BC It was preceded by the Early Dynastic Period of Mesopotamia and succeeded by the Ur III Period, although both transitions are blurry.
For example: it is that the rise of Sargon of Akkad coincided with the late ED Period and that the final Akkadian kings ruled with the Gutian kings alongside rulers at the city-states of both: Uruk and Lagash. The Akkadian Period is contemporary with: EB IV, EB IVA and EJ IV, EB IIIB The relative order of Akkadian kings is clear; the absolute dates of their reigns are approximate. The Akkadian Empire takes its name from the region and the city of Akkad, both of which were localized in the general confluence area of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Although the city of Akkad has not yet been identified on the ground, it is known from various textual sources. Among these is at least one text predating the reign of Sargon. Together with the fact that the name Akkad is of non-Akkadian origin, this suggests that the city of Akkad may have been occupied in pre-Sargonic times. Sargon of Akkad conquered his empire; the earliest records in the Akkadian language date to the time of Sargon. Sargon was claimed to be the son of La'ibum or Itti-Bel, a humble gardener, a hierodule, or priestess to Ishtar or Inanna.
One legend related to Sargon in Assyrian times says that My mother was a changeling, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azurpiranu, situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My changeling mother conceived, she set me with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river; the river carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, reared me. Akki the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was gardener Ishtar granted me her love, for four and... years I exercised kingship. Claims made on behalf of Sargon were that his mother was an "entu" priestess; the claims might have been made to ensure
Muslim conquest of the Levant
The Muslim conquest of the Levant known as the Arab conquest of the Levant occurred in the first half of the 7th century, refers to the conquest of the region known as the Levant or Shaam to become the Islamic Province of Bilad al-Sham, as part of the Islamic conquests. Arab Muslim forces had appeared on the southern borders before the death of prophet Muhammad in 632, resulting in the Battle of Mu'tah in 629, but the real invasion began in 634 under his successors, the Rashidun Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab, with Khalid ibn al-Walid as their most important military leader. Syria had been under Roman rule for seven centuries prior to the Arab Muslim conquest and had been invaded by the Sassanid Persians on a number of occasions during the 3rd, 6th and 7th centuries. During the Roman period, beginning after the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70, the entire region was renamed Palaestina, subdivided into Diocese I and II; the Romans renamed an area of land including the Negev and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III or Palaestina Tertia.
Part of the area was ruled by the Arab vassal state of the Ghassanids' symmachos. During the last of the Roman-Persian Wars, beginning in 603, the Persians under Khosrau II had succeeded in occupying Syria and Egypt for over a decade before being forced by the victories of Heraclius to conclude the peace of 628. Thus, on the eve of the Muslim conquests the Romans were still in the process of rebuilding their authority in these territories, which in some areas had been lost to them for twenty years. Politically, the Syrian region consisted of two provinces: Syria proper stretched from Antioch and Aleppo in the north to the top of the Dead Sea. To the west and south of the Dead Sea lay the province of Palestine. Syria was a Syriac and Hellenized land with some Jewish presence and with a Arab population in its eastern and southern parts; the Syriac Christians and Arabs had been there since pre-Roman times, some had embraced Christianity since Constantine I legalized it in the fourth century and moved the capital from Italy to Byzantium, from which the name Byzantine is derived.
The Arabs of Syria were people of no consequence until the migration of the powerful Ghassan tribe from Yemen to Syria, who thereafter ruled a semi-autonomous state with their own king under the Romans. The Ghassan Dynasty became one of the honoured princely dynasties of the Empire, with the Ghassan king ruling over the Arabs in Jordan and Southern Syria from his capital at Bosra; the last of the Ghassan kings, who ruled at the time of the Muslim invasion, was Jabla bin Al Aiham. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, after re-capturing Syria from the Sassanians, set up new defense lines from Gaza to the south end of the Dead Sea; these lines were only designed to protect communications from bandits, the bulk of the Byzantine defenses were concentrated in Northern Syria facing the traditional foes, the Sassanid Persians. The drawback of this defense line was that it enabled the Muslims, advancing from the desert in the south, to reach as far north as Gaza before meeting regular Byzantine troops; the 7th century was a time of rapid military change in the Byzantine Empire.
The empire was not in a state of collapse when it faced the new challenge from Arabia after being exhausted by recent Roman–Persian Wars, but utterly failed to tackle the challenge effectively. Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was appointed Caliph and political successor at Medina. Soon after Abu Bakr's succession, several Arab tribes revolted against him in the Ridda wars; the Campaign of the Apostasy was completed during the eleventh year of the Hijri. The year 12 Hijri dawned, on 18 March 633, with Arabia united under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina. Whether Abu Bakr intended a full-out imperial conquest or not is hard to say. After successful campaigns against the Sassanids and the ensuing conquest of Iraq, Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq. While engaged with Sassanid forces, he confronted the Ghassanids, Arab clients of the Byzantines. Medina soon recruited tribal contingents from all over the Arabian peninsula. Only those who had rebelled during the Ridda wars were excluded from the summons and remained excluded from Rashidun armies until 636, when Caliph Umar fell short of manpower for the Battle of Yarmouk and the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah.
The tradition of raising armies from tribal contingents remained in use until 636, when Caliph Umar organised the army as a state department. Abu Bakr organised the army into each with its own commander and objective. Amr ibn al-A'as: Objective Palestine. Move on Elat route across Valley of Arabah. Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan: Objective Damascus. Move on Tabuk route. Shurahbil ibn Hasana: Objective Jordan. Move on Tabuk route after Yazid. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: Objective Emesa. Move on Tabuk route after Shurahbil. Not knowing the precise position of the Byzantine army, Abu Bakr ordered that all corps should remain in touch with each other so that they could render assist
The Parthian Empire known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran; the empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians adopted the art, religious beliefs, royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions.
The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire. The court did appoint a small number of satraps outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris, although several other sites served as capitals; the earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Scythians in the east. However, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients; the Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, in 40–39 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant except Tyre from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius.
Various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the ensuing Roman–Parthian Wars of the next few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, but were never able to hold on to them. Frequent civil wars between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous to the Empire's stability than foreign invasion, Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I, ruler of Istakhr in Persis, revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus V, in 224 AD. Ardashir established the Sassanid Empire, which ruled Iran and much of the Near East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived on through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania. Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and earlier Achaemenid sources. Aside from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostraca, rock inscriptions, drachma coins, the chance survival of some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources.
These include Greek and Roman histories, but Chinese histories, prompted by the Han Chinese desire to form alliances against the Xiongnu. Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources. Before Arsaces I of Parthia founded the Arsacid Dynasty, he was chieftain of the Parni, an ancient Central-Asian tribe of Iranian peoples and one of several nomadic tribes within the confederation of the Dahae; the Parni most spoke an eastern Iranian language, in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia. The latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid, the Seleucid empires. After conquering the region, the Parni adopted Parthian as the official court language, speaking it alongside Middle Persian, Greek, Babylonian and other languages in the multilingual territories they would conquer. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain.
A. D. H. Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras, the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I "backdated his regnal years" to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased. However, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. Homa Katouzian and Gene Ralph Garthwaite claim it was the year Arsaces conquered Parthia and expelled the Seleucid authorities, yet Curtis and Maria Brosius state that Andragoras was not overthrown by the Arsacids until 238 BC, it is unclear who succeeded Arsaces I. Bivar and Katouzian affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC, yet Curtis and Brosius state that Arsaces II was the immediate successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC, Brosius in 217 BC. Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is "the first established regnal date of Parthian history."
Due to these and other discrepancies
United Arab Republic
The United Arab Republic was a sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 to 1971. It was a political union between Egypt and Syria from 1958 until Syria seceded from the union after the 1961 Syrian coup d'état, leaving a rump state. Egypt continued to be known as the United Arab Republic until 1971; the republic was led by President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser. The UAR was a member of the United Arab States, a loose confederation with the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, dissolved in 1961. Established on 1 February 1958, as the first step towards a larger pan-Arab state, the UAR was created when a group of political and military leaders in Syria proposed a merger of the two states to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Pan-Arab sentiment traditionally was strong in Syria, Nasser was a popular hero-figure throughout the Arab world following the Suez War of 1956. There was thus considerable popular support in Syria for union with Nasser's Egypt; the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was the leading advocate of such a union.
In mid-1957 western powers began to worry. This caused the Syrian Crisis of 1957 after which Syrians intensified their efforts to unite with Egypt. Nasser told a Syrian delegation, including President Shukri al-Quwatli and Prime Minister Khaled al-Azem, that they needed to rid their government of Communists, but the delegation countered and warned him that only total union with Egypt would end the "Communist threat". According to Abdel Latif Boghdadi, Nasser resisted a total union with Syria, favoring instead a federal union. However, Nasser was "more afraid of a Communist takeover" and agreed on a total merger; the increasing strength of the Syrian Communist Party, under the leadership of Khalid Bakdash, worried the Syrian Ba'ath Party, suffering from an internal crisis from which prominent members were anxious to find an escape. Syria had had a democratic government since the overthrow of Adib al-Shishakli's military regime in 1954, popular pressure for Arab unity was reflected in the composition of parliament.
When on 11 January 1958 al-Bizri led a Syrian delegation composed of military officers to Cairo, encouraged Syrian-Egyptian unity, Nasser opted for a quick merger. Only Syrian advocates of unity, including Salah al-Din Bitar and Akram El-Hourani had prior knowledge of this delegation. Nasser's final terms for the union were decisive and non-negotiable: "a plebiscite, the dissolution of parties, the withdrawal of the army from politics". While the plebiscite seemed reasonable to most Syrian elites, the latter two conditions were worrisome, they believed. Despite these concerns, the Syrian officials knew; the members of the elite in Syria viewed the merger with Egypt as the lesser of two evils. They believed that Nasser's terms were unfair, but given the intense pressure that their government was undergoing, they believed that they had no other choice. Egyptian and Syrian leaders signed the protocols. Nasser became the republic's president and soon carried out a crackdown against the Syrian Communists and opponents of the union which included dismissing Bizri and Azem from their posts.
Advocates of the union believed. For the Ba'athists, it was never Nasser's intention to share an equal measure of power. Nasser established a new provisional constitution proclaiming a 600-member National Assembly with 400 members from Egypt and 200 from Syria, the disbanding of all political parties, including the Ba'ath. Nasser gave each of the provinces two vice-presidents, assigning Boghdadi and Abdel Hakim Amer to Egypt and Sabri al-Assali and Akram El-Hourani—a leader of the Ba'ath—to Syria; the new constitution of 1958 was adopted. Though Nasser allowed former Ba'ath Party members to hold prominent political positions, they never reached positions as high in the government as did the Egyptian officials. During the winter and the spring of 1959–60, Nasser squeezed prominent Syrians out of positions of influence. In the Syrian Ministry of Industry, for example, seven of the top thirteen positions were filled by Egyptians. In the General Petroleum Authority, four of the top six officials were Egyptian.
In the fall of 1958, Nasser formed a tripartite committee, consisting of Zakaria Mohieddine, al-Hawrani, Bitar to oversee the affairs in Syria. By moving the latter two, both Ba'athists, to Cairo, he neutralized important political figures who had their own ideas about how Syria should be run within the UAR. In Syria, opposition to union with Egypt mounted. Syrian Army officers resented being subordinate to Egyptian officers, Syrian Bedouin tribes received money from Saudi Arabia to prevent them from becoming loyal to Nasser. Egyptian-style land reform was resented for damaging Syrian agriculture, the Communists began to gain influence, the intellectuals of the Ba'ath Party who supported the union rejected the one-party system. Mustafa al-Barudi, the Syrian Minister of Propaganda, stated that'the smallest member of the retinue thought that he had inherited our country. Spread "like octopuses" everywhere.' Nasser was not able to address problems in Syria because they were new to him, instead of appointing Syrians to run Syria, he assigned this position to Amer and
Mari was an ancient Semitic city in modern-day Syria. Its remains constitute a tell located 11 kilometers north-west of Abu Kamal on the Euphrates river western bank, some 120 kilometers southeast of Deir ez-Zor, it flourished as a trade center and hegemonic state between 2900 BC and 1759 BC. As a purposely-built city, the existence of Mari was related to its position in the middle of the Euphrates trade routes. Mari was first abandoned in the middle of the 26th century BC but was rebuilt and became the capital of a hegemonic East Semitic state before 2500 BC; this second Mari engaged in a long war with its rival Ebla and is known for its strong affinity with Sumerian culture. It was destroyed in the 23rd century BC by the Akkadians, who allowed the city to be rebuilt and appointed a military governor bearing the title of Shakkanakku; the governors became independent with the rapid disintegration of the Akkadian Empire and rebuilt the city as a regional center in the middle Euphrates valley. The Shakkanakkus ruled Mari until the second half of the 19th century BC, when the dynasty collapsed for unknown reasons.
A short time after the Shakkanakku collapse, Mari became the capital of the Amorite Lim dynasty. The Amorite Mari was short-lived as it was annexed by Babylonia in c. 1761 BC, but the city survived as a small settlement under the rule of the Babylonians and the Assyrians before being abandoned and forgotten during the Hellenistic period. The Mariotes worshiped both Semitic and Sumerian deities and established their city as a center of old trade. However, although the pre-Amorite periods were characterized by heavy Sumerian cultural influence, Mari was not a city of Sumerian immigrants but rather a Semitic-speaking nation that used a dialect similar to Eblaite; the Amorites were West Semites who began to settle the area before the 21st century BC. Mari's discovery in 1933 provided an important insight into the geopolitical map of ancient Mesopotamia and Syria, due to the discovery of more than 25,000 tablets that contained important information about the administration of state during the 2nd millennium BC and the nature of diplomatic relations between the political entities in the region.
They revealed the wide trading networks of the 18th century BC, which connected areas as far as Afghanistan in Southern Asia and Crete in the Mediterranean region. The name of the city can be traced to Mer, an ancient storm deity of northern Mesopotamia and Syria, considered the patron deity of the city, Georges Dossin noted that the name of the city was spelled identically to that of the storm god and concluded that Mari was named after him. Mari is not considered a small settlement that grew, but rather a new city, purposely founded during the Mesopotamian Early Dynastic period I c. 2900 BC, to control the waterways of the Euphrates trade routes that connect the Levant with the Sumerian south. The city was built about 1 to 2 kilometers away from the Euphrates river to protect it from floods, was connected to the river by an artificial canal, between 7 and 10 kilometers long, depending on which meander it used for transport, hard to identify today; the city is difficult to excavate as it is buried deep under layers of habitation.
A defensive system against floods composed of a circular embankment was unearthed, in addition to a circular 6.7 m thick internal rampart to protect the city from enemies. An area 300 meters in length filled with gardens and craftsmen quarters separated the outer embankment from the inner rampart, which had a height of 8 to 10 meters and was strengthened by defensive towers. Other findings include one of the city gates, a street beginning at the center and ending at the gate, residential houses. Mari had a central mound. A large building seems to have had an administrative function, it had stone rooms up to 12 meters long and 6 meters wide. The city was abandoned at the end of the Early Dynastic period II c. 2550 BC for unknown reasons. Around the beginning of Early Dynastic period III Mari was populated again; the new city kept many of the first city's exterior features, including the internal rampart and gate. Kept was the outer circular embankment measuring 1.9 km in diameter, topped by a wall two meters thick capable of protecting archers.
However, the internal urban structure was changed and the new city was planned. First to be built were the streets that descended from the elevated center into the gates, ensuring the drainage of rain water. At the heart of the city, a royal palace was built that served as a temple. Four successive architectural levels from the second kingdom's palace have been unearthed; the last two levels are dated to the Akkadian period. The first two levels were excavated. Unearthed were a pillared throne room and a hall with three double wood pillars leading to the temple. Six more temples were discovered in the city, including the temple called the Massif Rouge, temples dedicated to Ninni-Zaza, Ishtar and Shamash. All the temples were located in the center of the city except for the Ishtar temple.
Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
The Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire concerning Syria and Lebanon. The mandate system was supposed to differ from colonialism, with the governing country acting as a trustee until the inhabitants would be able to stand on their own. At that point, the mandate would terminate and an independent state would be born. During the two years that followed the end of the war in 1918—and in accordance with the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed by Britain and France during the war—the British held control of most of Ottoman Mesopotamia and the southern part of Ottoman Syria, while the French controlled the rest of Ottoman Syria, Lebanon and other portions of southeastern Turkey. In the early 1920s, British and French control of these territories became formalized by the League of Nations' mandate system, on 29 September 1923 France was assigned the League of Nations mandate of Syria, which included the territory of present-day Lebanon and Alexandretta in addition to Syria proper.
The administration of the region under the French was carried out through a number of different governments and territories, including the Syrian Federation, the State of Syria and the Syrian Republic, as well as smaller states: the State of Greater Lebanon, the Alawite State and Jabal Druze State. Hatay was annexed by Turkey in 1939; the French mandate lasted until 1943, when two independent countries emerged and Lebanon. French troops left Syria and Lebanon in 1946. With the defeat of the Ottomans in Syria, British troops, under General Sir Edmund Allenby, entered Damascus in 1918 accompanied by troops of the Arab Revolt led by Faisal, son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca. Faisal established the first new postwar Arab government in Damascus in October 1918, named Ali Rida Pasha ar-Rikabi a military governor; the new Arab administration formed local governments in the major Syrian cities, the pan-Arab flag was raised all over Syria. The Arabs hoped, with faith in earlier British promises, that the new Arab state would include all the Arab lands stretching from Aleppo in northern Syria to Aden in southern Yemen.
However, in accordance with the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement between Britain and France, General Allenby assigned to the Arab administration only the interior regions of Syria. Palestine was reserved for the British. On 8 October, French troops disembarked in Beirut and occupied the Lebanese coastal region south to Naqoura, replacing British troops there; the French dissolved the local Arab governments in the region. France demanded full implementation of the Sykes–Picot Agreement, with Syria under its control. On 26 November 1919, British forces withdrew from Damascus to avoid confrontation with the French, leaving the Arab government to face France. Faisal had travelled several times to Europe, since November 1918, trying to convince France and Britain to change their positions, but without success. France's determination to intervene in Syria was shown by the naming of General Henri Gouraud as high commissioner in Syria and Cilicia. At the Paris Peace Conference, Faisal found himself in an weaker position when the European powers decided to ignore the Arab demands.
In May 1919, elections were held for the Syrian National Congress. 80% of seats went to conservatives. However, the minority included dynamic Arab nationalist figures such as Jamil Mardam Bey, Shukri al-Kuwatli, Ahmad al-Qadri, Ibrahim Hanano, Riyad as-Solh; the head was moderate nationalist Hashim al-Atassi. In June 1919, the American King–Crane Commission arrived in Syria to inquire into local public opinion about the future of the country; the commission's remit extended from Aleppo to Beersheba. They visited 36 major cities, met with more than 2,000 delegations from more than 300 villages, received more than 3,000 petitions, their conclusions confirmed the opposition of Syrians to the mandate in their country as well as to the Balfour Declaration, their demand for a unified Greater Syria encompassing Palestine. The conclusions of the commission were ignored by Britain. Unrest erupted in Syria when Faisal accepted a compromise with French Prime Minister Clemenceau and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann over the issue of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Anti-Hashemite demonstrations broke out, Muslim inhabitants in and around Mount Lebanon revolted in fear of being incorporated into a new Christian, state of Greater Lebanon. A part of France's claim to these territories in the Levant was that France was a protector of the minority Christian communities. In March 1920, the Congress in Damascus adopted a resolution rejecting the Faisal-Clemenceau accords; the congress declared the independence of Syria in her natural borders, proclaimed Faisal the king of all Arabs. Faisal invited Ali Rida al-Rikabi to form a government; the congress proclaimed political and economic union with neighboring Iraq and demanded its independence as well. On 25 April, the supreme inter-Allied council, formulating the Treaty of Sèvres, granted France the mandate of Syria, granted Britain the Mandate of Palestine, Iraq. Syrians reacted with violent demonstrations, a new government headed by Hashim al-Atassi was formed on 7 May 1920; the new government began forming an army.
These decisions provoked adverse reactions by Franc