Amida (Syria) 41 Diyarbakir - Άμιδα

Ἄμιδα - Amida, fortress city of Syria, now Diyarbakir, Turkey
Hits: 41
Works: 6
Latitude: 37.915500
Longitude: 40.240800
Confidence: High

Greek name: Ἄμιδα
Place ID: 379402UAmi
Time period: RL
Region: Syria
Country: Turkey
Department: Diyarbakir
Mod: Diyarbakir

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Search for inscriptions mentioning Amida (Αμιδα...) in the PHI Epigraphy database.

Modern Description: Now known as Diyarbakır. Situated on the upper Tigris close to a bend in the river, surrounded by good agricultural land and not far from Egil, a small town some 40kms to the north that had been the seat of the Armenian dynasty of Ingilene/Sophene. Its original importance was probably linked to its position on the road from Nisıbis to the Euphrates crossıng near Malatya. This route may in fact be the same as that used by the Assyrian merchants trading with the Hittites and with the later Persian Royal Road from Susa to Sardis. The medieval bridge SE of the city had a Roman predecessor. First strongly fortified by emperor Constantius II in 354 but captured by Shapur in 359 when its population was still small, following a siege. Ammianus Marcellinus states that there were then only 20 000 people in the town, including soldiers and refugees. But after this siege, which he graphically describes, the town soon recovered and was greatly expanded to cope with new refugees coming from Nisibis in 363. According to the ND two units of cavalry were based here - the Equites scutarii Illyriciani and the Equites ducatores Illyriciani. It was captured again by the Persians in 502; after his experience of the city baths, Kavad decided to build baths in all the cities of his kingdom. Diyarbakır is famous today for its ring of dark basalt walls, originally constructed by Constantius but many times repaired. The ring is currently 5½ kilometres long and stretches 1.1 km from north to south, 1.5km from east to west; it had to be substantially enlarged after AD 363 to encompass the new quarter settled by refugees from Nisibis. One ancient church remains within these walls as well as a citadel in the north-east corner currently being opened to visitors. There are still small numbers of three different groups of Christians resident. An amphitheatre must have existed in the sixth century because in AD 504 during a siege by the Romans when the city was temporarily in the hands of the Persians, ten thousand of the inhabitants (according to Zacharias) were herded by the Persian garrison into the amphitheatre without food. The Persian garrison withdrew in the winter of 504/5 after payment of a large amount of gold and in the following year the fortress of Dara was constructed and other city fortifications were strengthened. Gabriel published a study of the city and in particular of its walls in 1940. A monograph on Amida was also published in 1910. In the period concerned here, Amida became a crucial fortified settlement which, because of its strategic position on international trade routes, came to dominate the region between Taurus and Anti-Taurus. It has remained the principal city of this region ever since. (A. Comfort, https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10036/68213)

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(JBK)


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