Sites & cities that bear the name of Samaria


Today in : Palestine, State of
First trace of activity : 876 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : שומרון, Shomron, Σαμάρεια, Samerina, Samareia, السامرة‎, as-Samira, Shomeron, Samarie, Σεβαστη, Sevastee, סבסטיה, Sebasti, Sebaste, Sébaste, Sebastia, Sabastiyah, سبسطية

Description : Samaria (Hebrew: שומרון, Shomron; Ancient Greek: Σαμάρεια, Samareia; Arabic: السامرة‎, as-Samira) was an ancient city in the Land of Israel. It was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The ruins of the city are located in the Samaria mountains of the West Bank, almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus. Israelite Shomron (lit. "watch-tower"; also written "Shomeron") was located in the heart of the mountains of Samaria, a few miles northwest of Shechem. The ruins of the Israelite town, as well the ruins of towns built at this same location later in history, are all adjacent or within the modern Palestinian village of Sebastia. The earliest reference to a settlement at this location may be the town of Shamir, the home of the judge Tola in the 12th century BC (Judges 10:1–2). The "hill of Shomron" is an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat top. According to the Bible , Omri, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel (reigned c. 870s BC), purchased this hill from Shemer its owner for two talents of silver, and built on its broad summit the city to which he gave the name of "Shomron", i.e., Samaria, as the new capital of his kingdom instead of Tirzah (1 Kings 16:24). As such it possessed many advantages. Omri resided here during the last six years of his reign. Omri is thought to have granted the Arameans the right to "make streets in Samaria" as a sign of submission (1 Kings 20:34). This probably meant permission was granted to the Aramean merchants to carry on their trade in the city. This would imply the existence of a considerable Aramean population.

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