Sites & cities that bear the name of Shaizar


Today in : Syrian Arab Republic
First trace of activity : ca. 14th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : 1958 C.E
Recorded names : Senzar, Sezar, Sidzara, Larissa in Syria, Λάρισα εν Συρία, Sezer, Caesarea, Shayzar, شيزر‎, Saijar, Qal’at Shayzar

Description : Shaizar or Shayzar (Arabic: شيزر‎; in modern Arabic Saijar; Hellenistic name: Larissa in Syria, Λάρισα εν Συρία in Greek) is a town in northern Syria, administratively part of the Hama Governorate, located northwest of Hama. During the Crusades, the town was a fortress, ruled by the Banu Munqidh family. It played an important part in the Christian and Muslim politics of the crusades. Bronze Age Shaizar is mentioned as Senzar or Sezar in the Amarna letters (14th century BC). Hellenistic period The region was conquered by Alexander the Great in 333–332 BC. Diodorus Siculus (first century BC) records local legends attributing the establishment of the town by one of his cavalry regiments originating from Thessaly. During the Seleucid dynasty the town was renamed Larissa, after the town in Thessaly from which many colonists came. Roman period The Roman armies led by Pompey conquered Syria in 64 BC. Syria was briefly occupied by Republican-Parthian forces under the Parthian prince Pacorus I. Byzantine and Early Arab periods The city remained part of the Christianised empire, known as the Byzantine Empire, under the name of Sezer. Shaizar fell to the Arabs in 638 and frequently passed from Arab to Byzantine control. It was sacked in 968 by Byzantine emperor Nicephorus II, and was captured by Basil II in 999, after which it became the southern border of the Byzantine Empire and was administered by the Bishop of Shaizar. A Fatimid castle was standing at Shaizar by the time the Byzantines recaptured the town. It was lost to the Banu Munqidh in 1081 when Ali ibn Munqidh bought it from the bishop. The Byzantines besieged it numerous times after this but failed to recover it. Crusaders The Franks arrived in Syria in 1098 during the First Crusade. The interaction between the Crusader states and the Banu Munqidh rulers of Shaizar consisted of a series of wars and alliances.

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