Sites & cities that bear the name of Zénobia-Halabiyé


Today in : Syrian Arab Republic
First trace of activity : ca. 24th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 7th century C.E
Recorded names : Zalabiye, Šalbatu, Halabit, Birtu?, Birtha?, Zenobia, Halabiye, حلبيّة‎

Description : Halabiye (Arabic: حلبيّة‎, Latin/Greek: Zenobia, Birtha) is an archaeological site on the right bank of the Euphrates River in Deir ez-Zor Governorate, Syria. It was an ancient city and former bishopric known as Zenobia and a Latin Catholic titular see. Halabiye was fortified in the 3rd century CE by Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, after whom the site was named in Antiquity. After her revolt against the Roman Empire in 273, Halabiye was captured by the Romans and subsequently refortified as part of the Limes Arabicus, a defensive frontier of Roman Syria to protect the region mainly from Persia. The site occupies an area of 12 hectares (30 acres), protected by massive city walls and a citadel on top of a hill. Remains of two churches, a public bath complex and two streets have been excavated. These all date to the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, who refortified the city in the 6th century AD. Halabiye site was already mentioned in the 24th century BCE archives found at Ebla. At that time, the site was known as Halabit. Zalabiye, on the oppose bank of the Euphrates, may have been known as Šalbatu. Halabit appeared on a list of cities that delivered tribute to Ebla. Given that it was the most southern city on this list, it has been suggested that the fortress may have been on Ebla's territorial boundary with its primary rival, Mari. In Neo-Assyrian sources, the toponym Birtu appears, which may be synonymous to the Birtha of the classical period, suggesting that the site was also occupied during the Neo-Assyrian period (934–608 BCE).

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