Roman Syria

Location of Syria
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 Armenian King Tigranes the Great.[1] Following the partition of the Herodian Kingdom into tetrarchies in 6 AD, it was gradually absorbed into Roman provinces, with Roman Syria annexing Iturea and Trachonitis.

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 Armenian King Tigranes the Great.[1]

During the early empire, the Roman army in Syria accounted for three legions with auxiliaries,[citation needed] they defended the border with Parthia.

Following the partition of the Herodian Kingdom into tetrarchies in 6 AD, it was gradually absorbed into Roman provinces, with Roman Syria initially annexing Iturea and Trachonitis around 34 AD.

Syrian province forces were directly engaged in the Great Jewish Revolt of 66–70 AD. In 66 AD, Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, brought the Syrian army, based on XII Fulminata, reinforced by auxiliary troops, to restore order in Judaea and quell the revolt. The legion, however, was ambushed and destroyed by Jewish rebels at the Battle of Beth Horon, a result that shocked the Roman leadership. The future emperor Vespasian was then put in charge of subduing the Jewish revolt. In the summer of 69, Vespasian, with the Syrian units supporting him, launched his bid to become Roman emperor. He defeated his rival Vitellius and ruled as emperor for ten years when he was succeeded by his son Titus.

Based on an inscription recovered from Dor in 1948, Gargilius Antiquus was known to have been the governor of a province in the eastern part of the Empire, possibly Syria, between his consulate and governing Asia.[2] In November 2016, an inscription in Greek was recovered off the coast of Dor by Haifa University underwater archaeologists, which attests that Antiquus was governor of the province of Judea between 120 and 130, possibly prior to the Bar Kokhba revolt.[3]

Syria Palæstina was established by the merger of Roman Syria and Roman Jud(a)ea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135. The Syria-based legion took part in the quelling of the revolt in 132–136, and in the aftermath, the emperor Hadrian added the greatly depopulated province of Judea to the province of Syria thus forming Syria-Palaestina.

The governor of Syria retained the civil administration of the whole large province undiminished, and held for long alone in all Asia a command of the first rank. It was only in the course of the second century that a diminution of his prerogatives occurred, when Hadrian took one of the four legions from the governor of Syria and handed it over to the governor of Palestine. It was Severus who at length withdrew the first place in the Roman military hierarchy from the Syrian governor. After having subdued the province (which had wished at that time to make Niger emperor, as it had formerly done with its governor Vespasian) amidst resistance from the capital Antioch in particular, he ordained its partition into a northern and a southern half, and gave to the governor of the former, which was called Coele-Syria, two legions, to the governor of the latter, the province of Syro-Phoenicia, one legion.[4]

This page was last edited on 2 June 2018, at 01:12 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria_(Roman_province) under CC BY-SA license.

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