Information about the place LATAKIA (Town) SYRIA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


  Paneas, Panias, or Paneias (Paneas, Panias, Paneias, Hierocl. p. 716), more usually called either Caesareia Paneas (Kaisareia Paneas or Panias, Joseph. Ant. xviii. 2. § 3, B. Jud. ii. 9. §1; Ptol. v. 15. § 21; Plin. v. 15. s. 15; Sozom. v. 21; on coins, K. hupo Paneioi and pros Paneioi; in Steph. B. incorrectly pros pei Paneadi) or Caesareia Philippi (K. he Philippou, Matth. xvi. 13; Mark, viii. 27; Joseph. Ant. xx. 8. § 4, B. J. iii. 8. § 7, 2. § 1; Euseb. H. E. vii. 17), a city in the north of Palestine, called by Ptolemy and Hierocles (ll. cc.) a city of Phoenicia, situated upon one of the sources of the Jordan, at the foot of Mt. Panium, one of the branches of Lebanon. Mt Panium contained a cave sacred to Pan, whence it derived its name. (Philostorg. vii. 7.) At this spot Herod erected a temple in honour of Augustus. (Joseph. Ant. xv. 10. § 3, B. J. i. 21. § 3.) Paneas was supposed by many to have been the town of Laish, afterwards called Dan; but Eusebius and Jerome state that they were separate cities, distant 4 miles from each other. (Reland, Palaestina, p. 918, seq.) Paneas was rebuilt by Philip the Tetrarch, who called it Caesareia in honour of the Roman emperor, and gave it the surname of Philippi to distinguish it from the other Caesareia in Palestine. (Joseph. Ant. xviii. 2. § 3, B. J. ii. 9. § 1.) It was subsequently called Neronias by Herod Agrippa in honour of the emperor Nero. (Joseph. Ant. xx. 8. § 4; Coins.) According to ecclesiastical tradition it was the residence of the women diseased with an issue of blood. (Matth. ix. 20; Euseb. H. E. vii. 18; Sozom. v. 21; Theoph. Chronogr. 41 ; Phot. cod. 271.) Under the Christians Paneas became a bishopric. It is still called Banias, and contains now only 150 houses. On the NE. side of the village the river, supposed to be the principal source of the Jordan, issues from a spacious cavern under a wall of rock. Around this source are many hewn stones. In the face of the perpendicular rock, directly over the cavern and in other parts, several niches have been cut, apparently to receive statues. Each of these niches had once an inscription; and one of them, copied by Burckhardt, appears to have been a dedication by a priest of Pan. There can be no doubt that this cavern is the cave of Pan mentioned above; and the hewn stones around the spring may have belonged perhaps to the temple of Augustus. This spring was considered by Josephus to be the outlet of a small lake called Phiala, situated 120 stadia from Paneas towards Trachonitis or the NE. Respecting this lake see Vol. II. p. 519, b.
(Reland, Palaestina, p. 918, seq.; Eckhel, vol. iii. p. 339, seq.; Burckhardt, Syria, p. 37, seq.; Robinson, Bibl. Res. vol. iii. p. 347, seq.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


LAODIKIA (Ancient city) SYRIA
  The modern city is named Ladikiyeh, and still exhibits faint traces of its former importance, notwithstanding the frequent earthquakes with which it has been visited. Irby and Mangles noticed that the Marina is built upon foundations of ancient columns, and there are in the town, an old gateway and other antiquities, as also sarcophagi and sepulchral caves in the neighbourhood. (Travels, p. 223.) This gateway has been more fully described by Shaw and Pococke, as a remarkable triumphal arch, at the SE. corner of the town, almost entire: it is built with four entrances, like the Forum Jani at Rome. It is conjectured that this arch was built in honour of Lucius Verus, or of Septimius Severus. (Description of the East, vol. ii. p. 197.) Shaw noticed several fragments of Greek and Latin inscriptions, dispersed all over the ruins, but entirely defaced. Pococke states that it was a very inconsiderable place till within fifty years of his visit, when it opened a tobacco trade with Damietta, and it has now an enormous traffic in that article, for which it is far more celebrated than ever it was for its wine. The port is half an hour distant from the town, very small, but better sheltered than any on the coast. Shaw noticed, a furlong to the west of the town, the ruins of a beautiful cothon, in figure like an amphitheatre, and capacious enough to receive the whole British navy. The mouth of it opens to the westward, and is about 40 feet wide.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The Catholic Encyclopedia

Caesarea Philippi


The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Tell Sukas

  An ancient town mound on the coast between two natural harbors 37 km S of Latakia, identified as Bronze Age Shuksu on the S frontier of the kingdom of Ugarit. The modern village lies 600 m E of the mound.
  Excavation has shown that the first occupation of the site was in the Neolithic period (7th millennium B.C.), that in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age the town was touched by Mycenaean trade, and that in the NE quarter there were remains of a sanctuary. At the end of the Early Iron Age Greek pottery of the 8th c. B.C. appeared, a sign of the settling of Greek traders. The following period saw the establishing of a Greek sanctuary, together with a renewal of the old cult place. Apparently the town was destroyed at the beginning of the 5th c. B.C. (perhaps in 498) and lay in ruins until ca. 380, when it was refounded as a Neo-Phoenician town. The earthquake of 69 B.C. probably put an end to it; the few Roman finds date from the 3d and 4th c. A.D.
  The town mound became a fortress, constructed by the Byzantines, enlarged by the Crusaders, occupied by the Muslims, and deserted in the 14th c. Ancient cemeteries have been identified N and S of the harbors; at the S harbor there was also a Neo-Phoenician sanctuary. Most of the finds are in the National Museum, Damascus.

P. J. Riis, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


GABALA (Ancient city) SYRIA
  A small coastal town 20 km S of Laodicea ad Mare. Gabala was a Phoenician city of the confederation of Arados and became independent in the 1st c. B.C. Pausanias mentions one of its sanctuaries, dedicated to a Nereid, and in the 5th c. A.D. Theodoretos of Cyrrhos declared it to be a charming little town.
  The town was built on a grid plan, probably dating from the Seleucid period. Its main monument is a theater, erected in the center of the town during Roman times. It was still well preserved in the 19th c. and has now been partially cleared. It was built on flat ground and oriented N-NE. The hemicycle has a diameter of 90 m, and its three tiers of seats are entirely supported by vaults. There are no vomitoria, but a series of outside entryways under the arcades of the facade and two interior corridors leading to the parodoi guaranteed easy circulation. The elegant profile of the tiers of seats, the delicacy of the sculptured decoration of the scaenae frons, the polychromy of the imported marbles and granites, all indicate Hellenistic influence. The ramparts are of Roman date. The port is of a type frequent in Phoenicia: a beach behind an opening in the sandstone barrier which forms the coast, with an outer harbor.

J. P. Rey-Coquais, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

Paneas or Caesarea Philippi or Neronias

  City on the NW slope of Mt. Hermon on one of the tributaries of the Jordan. Its great god was Pan, who was identified with Zeus and associated with the Nymphs. The city was refounded under the name Caesarea by Philip the Tetrarch, son of King Herod the Great, in 2-1 B.C., and renamed Neronias under Agrippa II.
  The site has not been excavated. Remains of ramparts with towers were visible some time ago, as well as numbers of column shafts scattered in the orchards or incorporated in the mediaeval fortifications, and Doric frieze fragments reused in the parapet of the bridge on the Nahr es-Saari.
  The Sanctuary of Pan and the Nymphs was a grotto from which the river emerged under an arched opening; it was set among plane trees and poplars. Niches with shells, framed by fluted pilasters to form little chapels, were carved in the rock face. Dedicatory inscriptions in Greek indicate that two of the niches held statues of Hermes and the nymph Echo. Two columns in front of the grotto may have supported a canopy. Gratings or openwork metal gates protected these rustic sanctuaries, which date from the Roman period.

J. P. Rey-Coquais, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

Laodicea ad mare

LAODIKIA (Ancient city) SYRIA
  With Seleucia, Antioch, and Apamea, one of the four great towns which Seleucus I Nicator (301-281 B.C.) founded in N Syria. Conquered by Pompey and declared by Caesar to be a free town, it suffered badly during the Roman civil wars. It was sacked by Pescennius Niger at the end of the 2d c. A.D., restored by Septimius Severus, and continued to be an active city during Byzantine times and after the Moslem conquest.
  There are few remains of what was a rich and well-built town (Strab. 16.2.9): colonnades, a monumental arch, sarcophagi, all within the modern town. The sanctuaries, public baths, amphitheater, hippodrome, mentioned by ancient authors or by Greek inscriptions, and the rampart gates depicted on coins, have all disappeared.
  The town occupies a rocky promontory, bounded to W and S by the sea and to the E by two hills. Earthquakes and sieges have left no trace of the ramparts, but the confines of the ancient town can be determined by topography and by the two large necropoleis to the E and N. Including the port, its area was ca. 220 ha, and the plan of the Seleucid town can be recognized under the modern streets. Those running E-W were spaced 100 or 120 m apart, those running N-S ca. 60 m apart. A wide avenue, bordered with porticos in Roman times, ran N-S across the town, from the tip of the peninsula to the gate where the road to Antioch started; perpendicular to this, three colonnaded streets ran from E to W. The one to the N was centered on the entry to the citadel on the high hill to the NE. The central one came from the E gate, where the Apamea road reached the city. The street today is occupied by the great souk, where there is still an alignment of 13 monolithic granite columns. A tetrapylon marked the crossing of this thoroughfare with the N-S avenue. The S street began at the port and ended to the E at the long steep hill to the SE, where a monumental four-way arch, erroneously called a tetrapylon, closed off the view. This arch consists of four semicircular arches, one on each side, supporting a stone cupola. Columns engaged in pilasters serve as buttresses at the corners of the four masonry moles. Not far away, inside a mosque, is the corner of a Corinthian peristyle, with capitals and entablature. Virtually nothing remains of the theater, which was built against the SE hill and whose cavea had a diameter of ca. 100 m.
  The port was a basin, now silted up, E of the modern port, and not long ago the huge marble blocks used to pave the wharfs could be seen there. Coins of the Imperial period depict the lighthouse: it stood on the basin's N breakwater, where the small modern lighthouse is located. It was a round or polygonal tower with two stories, the upper one set back; it stood on a base with two steps and was topped by a statue.
  Several large marble statues of Hellenistic style have been found in Laodicea or its vicinity (now in the Damascus museum).

J. P. Rey-Coquais, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

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