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The Roman provinces under Trajan (117 AD)
The Provincia Syria enlarged

The Roman province of Syria was founded in 63 BC. Established by the general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and remained part of the Roman Empire or (since 395) the Eastern Roman Empire until the conquest by the Arabs in the 630s . Today's Syria , which includes a little less than the territory of the Roman province, is named after her.

Mostly it is assumed that the name Syria is derived from Assyria ; Some researchers, however, believe in a connection with the city of Tire - the initial sound was apparently spoken in the local ancient dialect as "ts", which is why "(T) Syria" could have been named after one of the most important places in the region for a long time.

Herod Archelaus , who ruled Judea , Samaria and Idumea , was banished in the year 6 by Augustus . Archelaus' territory was now an integral part of the empire and administered by a governor. In years 34 and 37 the rest of Herod's realm also became part of the Roman Empire. These parts were reorganized into the province of Syria Palestine in the time of Hadrian as a result of the great Jewish uprising .

The powerful governor of the province of Syria had his seat in Antioch on the Orontes , one of the largest and most important cities of the empire. In addition, strong troops were stationed in the province to protect the eastern border against the Parthians . In the early Principate time four were legions province.

The province produced, among others, olive oil , wine , cedar wood, purple dyed fabrics, glassware and ivory decorated small furniture. In addition, the province was the end point for the silk trade on the Silk Road from China and the spice trade from India .

In 193/194 Syria was divided into the two provinces Syria Coele and Syria Phoenice , which in turn were divided into even smaller units in late antiquity . The area of ​​the Syrian provinces nevertheless experienced a heyday until the middle of the 6th century and thus represented one of the most important regions of the empire next to Egypt , even though the Persian Sassanids had invaded again and again since the 3rd century .

In the 7th century, the Syrian provinces were conquered by the Islamized Arabs.

See also


  • Edward Dabrowa: The Governors of Roman Syria from Augustus to Septimius Severus (=  Antiquitas 1 . Band 45 ). Habelt, Bonn 1998, ISBN 3-7749-2828-2 .
  • Axel Gebhardt: Imperial politics and provincial development. Studies on the relationship between emperors, armies and cities in Syria in the pre-Severian period (=  Klio . Supplements . Volume 4 ). Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-05-003680-X ( review by sehepunkte ).
  • Julia Hoffmann-Salz: The economic effects of the Roman conquest. Comparative studies of the provinces Hispania Tarraconensis, Africa Proconsularis and Syria (=  Historia . Individual writings . Volume 218 ). Steiner, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-515-09847-2 , pp. 294–440 ( review by H-Soz-Kult ).
  • Marco Vitale: Koinon Syrias. Priests, grammar schoolchildren and metropolis of the eparchies in imperial Syria (=  Klio . Supplements . Volume 20 ). Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-05-006436-9 .

Coordinates: 36 °  N , 36 °  E