Qinnasrin (Arabic : قنسرين; Syriac : ܩܢܫܪܝܢ, romanized: Qinnašrīn, lit. 'Nest of Eagles'), also known by numerous other romanizations and originally known as Chalcis-on-Belus (Latin : Chalcis ad Belum; Greek : Χαλκὶς, Khalkìs), was a historical town in northern Syria. The town was situated 25 km (16 mi) south west of Aleppo on the west bank of the Queiq River (historically, the Belus) and was connected to Aleppo with a major road during Roman times.
Some scholars propose that the ruins of Qinnasrin are located at Al-Hadher to the east of the Queiq River, while Chalcis' location[ dubious ] was at the modern Syrian village of Al-Iss, Aleppo Governorate to the west of the river. Others think that Qinnasrin has always been located at al-Iss from the Hellenistic to the Ayyubid period.
According to Appian, Chalcis was founded by Seleucus I Nicator (reigned 305-281 BC), and named after Chalcis in Euboea. Chalcis was distinguished from Chalcis sub Libanum by its river, the ancient Belus.The river—but not the city —was named for the Semitic god Bel or Baʿal. In 92 AD, Chalcis received the title "Flavia", in honor of Emperor Domitian, to be known as "Flavia of the Chalcidonese".
The city was a Christian bishopric from an early stage, at first a suffragan of Seleucia Pieria, but later raised to the dignity of autocephalous archdiocese.The names of several of its bishops are known, from that of 3rd-century Tranquillus to that of Probus, who lived at the end of the 6th century and whom Emperor Mauritius Tiberius sent as his envoy to the Persian king Chosroes I.
In Late Antiquity, it belonged to the province of Syria Prima. Its importance was due to its strategic location, both as a caravan stop and as part of the frontier zone ( limes ) with the desert.In 540, the Sassanid shah Khosrau I appeared before the city and extracted 200 pounds of gold as ransom in return for sparing the city. This prompted the Emperor Justinian I to order its fortifications rebuilt, a work undertaken by Isidore the Younger (a nephew of Isidore of Miletus) in ca. 550.
The Sassanids occupied the city in 608/9, during the Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628, and kept it until the war's end.
Barely ten years later, in 636/7, it fell to the Arabs after a brief resistance. r. 680–683) ordered its walls to be demolished. He or his father and predecessor Mu'awiya I (r. 661–680) made Qinnasrin the center of its own jund (military district), called Jund Qinnasrin, within the greater administrative region of Islamic Syria. They utilized the city as an important army headquarters, though until the mid-10th century there were no recorded events of significance relating to Qinnasrin.The Arab general Khalid ibn al-Walid took up residence in the city thereafter. The Umayyad caliph Yazid I (
By 943, during Hamdanid rule, Qinnasrin was noted as one of northern Syria's most well-built cities, though it lost its paramountcy in Jund Qinnasrin to nearby Aleppo.The Hamdanid emir of Aleppo Sayf al-Dawla was defeated at Qinnasrin by the Ikhshidids of Egypt in 945. During the second half of the 10th century, the city became a frequent conflict zone between the Byzantines and Hamdanids during the latter stages of the Arab–Byzantine wars. Upon news of an impending Byzantine assault, the inhabitants evacuated in 963 though they returned afterward. Three years later, Sayf al-Dawla made a stand against the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas at Qinnasrin, but ultimately retreated and evacuated its residents, after which the Byzantines set fire to its mosques. The inhabitants then made their abode partly in areas east of the Euphrates and partly in Aleppo. Within several years, Qinnasrin was repopulated but destroyed again by the Byzantines in 998. It was rebuilt, but once more sacked by the Byzantines in 1030.
The Persian geographer Nasir Khusraw passed through in 1047 and mentioned Qinnasrin was an impoverished village. r. 1078–1092). It remained as a barely populated, but strategic town during the Crusader period. In 1119, the Artuqid emir Ilghazi made it into an arms depot from which he raided the surrounding areas of Ruj, Jabal Summaq and Harim.Toward the end of the 11th century, Qinnasrin was rebuilt by the Seljuq ruler of Anatolia Sulayman ibn Qutulmish. However, the city was destroyed by his Seljuq rival from Damascus, Tutush I (
The region was known as Eski Haleb, 'Old Aleppo' during the Ottoman era.
Bilad al-Sham, often referred to as Islamic Syria or Syria in English-language sources, was a super-province of the Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, and Fatimid caliphates. It roughly corresponded with the Byzantine Diocese of the East, conquered by the Muslims in 634–647. Under the Umayyads (661–750) Bilad al-Sham was the metropolitan province of the Caliphate and different localities throughout the province served as the seats of the Umayyad caliphs and princes.
Roman Syria was an early Roman province annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BC by Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War following the defeat of King of Armenia Tigranes the Great.
Seleucia, distinguished as Seleucia-near-Belus and later known as Seleucobelus or Seleucopolis, was an ancient Greek and Roman city on the Orontes River. Its location remains uncertain.
The Muslim conquest of the Levant, also known as the Arab conquest of the Levant, occurred in the first half of the 7th century. This was the conquest of the region known as the Levant or Shaam, later to become the Islamic Province of Bilad al-Sham, as part of the Islamic conquests. Arab Muslim forces had appeared on the southern borders even before the death of prophet Muhammad in 632, resulting in the Battle of Mu'tah in 629, but the real conquest began in 634 under his successors, the Rashidun Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab, with Khalid ibn al-Walid as their most important military leader.
The Citadel of Aleppo is a large medieval fortified palace in the centre of the old city of Aleppo, northern Syria. It is considered to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. Occupied by many civilizations over time – including the Armenians, Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids, Mamluks and Ottomans – the majority of the construction as it stands today is thought to originate from the Ayyubid period. An extensive conservation work took place in the 2000s by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, in collaboration with Aleppo Archeological Society. Dominating the city, the Citadel is part of the Ancient City of Aleppo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. During the 2010s, the Citadel received significant damage during the lengthy Battle of Aleppo. It was reopened to the public in early 2017 with repairs to damaged parts underway.
Bab Qinnasrin, meaning the Gate of Qinnasrin is one of the gates of the medieval Old City of Aleppo in northern Syria. In its present form, it dates to 1256.
ʿAlī ibn ʾAbū l-Hayjāʾ ʿAbdallāh ibn Ḥamdān ibn al-Ḥārith al-Taghlibī, more commonly known simply by his laqab of Sayf al-Dawla, was the founder of the Emirate of Aleppo, encompassing most of northern Syria and parts of western Jazira, and the brother of al-Hasan ibn Abdallah ibn Hamdan.
Al-ʿAwāṣim was the Arabic term used to refer to the Muslim side of the frontier zone between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates in Cilicia, northern Syria and Upper Mesopotamia. It was established in the early 8th century, once the first wave of the Muslim conquests ebbed, and lasted until the mid-10th century, when it was overrun by the Byzantine advance. It comprised the forward marches, comprising a chain of fortified strongholds, known as al-thughūr, and the rear or inner regions of the frontier zone, which was known as al-ʿawāṣim proper. On the Byzantine side, the Muslim marches were mirrored by the institution of the kleisourai districts and the akritai border guards.
The Queiq, with many variant spellings, anciently known as the Belus and Chalos, and also known in English as the Aleppo River, is a river and valley of the Aleppo Governorate, Syria and Turkey. It is a 129 kilometres (80 mi)-long river that flows through the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. It arises from the southern Aintab plateau in southeastern Turkey. The Akpınar River in the Kilis plain is one of the headwaters of the Queiq. The former town of Qinnasrin lay on its banks. It partly flows along the western rim of the Matah Depression. The valley has been occupied for thousands of years and in ancient times the Queiq valley was noted for its flint industries and pottery.
The Ancient City of Aleppo is the historic city centre of Aleppo, Syria. Before the Syrian Civil War, many districts of the ancient city remained essentially unchanged since its construction during the 12th to the 16th century. Being subjected to constant invasions and political instability, the inhabitants of the city were forced to build cell-like quarters and districts that were socially and economically independent. Each district was characterized by the religious and ethnic characteristics of its inhabitants.
The Battle of Marash was fought in 953 near Marash between the forces of the Byzantine Empire under the Domestic of the Schools Bardas Phokas the Elder, and of the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla, the Byzantines' most intrepid enemy during the mid-10th century. Despite being outnumbered, the Arabs defeated the Byzantines who broke and fled. Bardas Phokas himself barely escaped through the intervention of his attendants, and suffered a serious wound on his face, while his youngest son and governor of Seleucia, Constantine Phokas, was captured and held a prisoner in Aleppo until his death of an illness some time later. This debacle, coupled with defeats in 954 and again in 955, led to Bardas Phokas' dismissal as Domestic of the Schools, and his replacement by his eldest son, Nikephoros Phokas.
The Battle of Raban was an engagement fought in autumn 958 near the fortress of Raban between the Byzantine army, led by John Tzimiskes, and the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo under the famed emir Sayf al-Dawla. The battle was a major victory for the Byzantines, and contributed to the demise of Hamdanid military power, which in the early 950s had proven a great challenge to Byzantium.
The Battle of Andrassos or Adrassos was an engagement fought on 8 November 960 in an unidentified mountain pass on the Taurus Mountains, between the Byzantines, led by Leo Phokas the Younger, and the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo under the emir Sayf al-Dawla.
Sawran, also spelled Suran, Souran or Sawwaran, is a town in northern Aleppo Governorate, northwestern Syria. Located 22 kilometres (14 mi) north of the city of Aleppo, it is the administrative centre of Nahiya Sawran in Azaz District. Nearby localities include A'zaz and Kafra to the west, Ihtaimlat and Dabiq to the east and Mare' to the south. In the 2004 census, Sawran had a population of 6,988.
Bakjur was a Circassian military slave who served the Hamdanids of Aleppo and later the Fatimids of Egypt. He seized control of Aleppo in 975 and governed it until 977, when the rightful Hamdanid ruler, Sa'd al-Dawla, regained it. Given the governorship of Homs, in 983 he went over to the Fatimids and launched an attack on Aleppo, which was defeated through the intervention of Byzantine troops. Bakjur then became governor of Damascus for the Fatimids until 988. He made a last attempt to capture Aleppo in 991, which again was defeated thanks to Byzantine assistance. Bakjur was captured by Sa'd al-Dawla and executed.
The Byzantine reconquest of Cilicia was a series of conflicts and engagements between the forces of the Byzantine Empire under Nikephoros II Phokas and the Hamdanid ruler of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla, over control of the region of Cilicia in southeastern Anatolia. Since the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, Cilicia had been a frontier province of the Muslim world and a base for regular raids against the Byzantine provinces in Anatolia. By the middle of the 10th century, the fragmentation of the Abbasid Caliphate and the strengthening of Byzantium under the Macedonian dynasty allowed the Byzantines to gradually take the offensive. Under the soldier-emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, with the help of the general and future emperor John I Tzimiskes, the Byzantines overcame the resistance of Sayf al-Dawla, who had taken control of the former Abbasid borderlands in northern Syria, and launched a series of aggressive campaigns that in 964–965 recaptured Cilicia. The successful conquest opened the way for the recovery of Cyprus and Antioch over the next few years, and the eclipse of the Hamdanids as an independent power in the region.
The Treaty of Safar put a formal end to the extended collapse of the Hamdanid Dynasty. It was signed in December 969/January 970 between the Byzantine stratopedarches Petros and the former minister of the Hamdanids and rebel, Qarquya. Following the death of the Hamdanid emir Sayf al-Dawla in 967, rebellion quickly enveloped the Hamdanids and the dynasty disintegrated into chaos and disorder. The Byzantines saw this as an opportunity to finally take control of Aleppo. Petros soon approached Aleppo, probably without orders from Constantinople, and took the city in January 970.
Al-Hadher is a village in northern Syria, administratively part of the Mount Simeon District of the Aleppo Governorate. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), al-Hadher had a population of 8,550 in the 2004 census.
Asad al-Dawla Abū Dhūʿaba ʿAṭiyya ibn Ṣāliḥ was the Mirdasid emir of Aleppo in 1062–1065. Prior to his assumption of the emirate in Aleppo, he had been the Mirdasid emir of al-Rahba from 1060. He continued as the emir of al-Rahba and the eastern portion of the Mirdasid realm after losing Aleppo to his nephew Mahmud ibn Nasr. He lost al-Rahba in 1070. He entered Byzantine protection afterward and launched a failed assault against Mahmud's territories before his death in Constantinople.
The Sack of Aleppo in December 962 was carried out by the Byzantine Empire under Nikephoros Phokas. Aleppo was the capital of the Hamdanid emir Sayf al-Dawla, the Byzantines' chief antagonist at the time.