Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
Map of the Roman Empire - Samosata
R-6 on the Map
Ancient Samosata Ancient Greek city of Syria situated on the west bank of the Euphrates River. Before the Romans Samosata had been the capital of the ancient Hellenistic kingdom of Commagene.
Samosăta (τὰ Σαμόσατα). Now Samisat, the capital of the province, and afterwards kingdom, of Commagené, in the north of Syria, stood on the right bank of the Euphrates, northwest of Edessa. It is celebrated in literary history as the birthplace of Lucian, and in church history as that of the heretic Paul, bishop of Antioch, in the third century. Nothing remains of it but a heap of ruins. - Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.
Samosata, capital of Commagene, on the Euphrates, bet. Cholmandara and Singa. The birth-place of Lucian. Schemisath. - Classical Gazetteer
Samosata (Ancient Greek: Σαμόσατα, Samósata) was an ancient city on
the right (west) bank of the Euphrates whose ruins existed at the modern city of
Samsat, Adıyaman Province, Turkey until the site was flooded by the
newly-constructed Atatürk Dam. See also|Lucian of Samosata on Jesus The founder
of the city was Sames, was King of Sophene who made it his capital, after whom
the city is named. The city is often confused with Arsamosata. Located in
southeast Turkey on the upper Euphrates River, it was fortified so as to protect
a major crossing point of the river on the east-west trade route. It also served
as a station on another route running from Damascus, Palmyra, and Sura up to
Lesser Armenia and the Euxine (Black) Sea. For a time, the city was called
Antiochia in Commagene (Ancient Greek: Αντιόχεια τῆς Κομμαγηνῆς). As Antiochia
in Commagene, it served as the capital for the Hellenistic kingdom of Commagene
from circa 160 BC until it was surrendered to Rome in 72. A civil metropolis
from the days of Emperor Hadrian, Samosata was the home of the Legio VI Ferrata
and later Legio XVI Flavia Firma, and the terminus of several military roads. -
Maps are essential for any serious study, they help students of Roman history understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in historical sources.
SAMOSATA (Σαμόσατα), a strongly fortified city of Syria, placed by Ptolemy (5.15.11) and Strabo in the district of Commagene. It contained the royal residence, and was a province in the time of Strabo, surrounded by a small but very rich country, and situated at the bridge of the Euphrates, (Strab. 16.2.3, p. 749.) Its distance from the borders of Cappadocia in the vicinity of Tomisa across Mount Taurus was 450 stadia. (Ib. 14.2.29, p. 664.) It was besieged and taken by Mark Antony during his campaign in Syria. (J. AJ 14.15.8.) Its strategic importance is intimated by Caesennius Paetus, prefect of Syria under Vespasian, who, having represented that Antiochus, king of Commagene, was meditating an alliance with the Parthians to enable him to throw off the Roman yoke, warned his imperial master “that Samosata, the largest city of Commagene, was situated on the Euphrates, and would therefore secure the Parthians an easy passage [2.901] of the river and a safe asylum on the western side.” The legate was therefore instructed to seize and hold possession of Samosata. (B. J. 7.7.1.) This town gave birth to Lucian, and became infamous in the third century in connection with the heretical bishop “Paul of Samosata,” who first broached the heresy of the simple humanity of our Lord; and was condemned in a council assembled at Antioch (A.D. 272, Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 7.27, 28). The modern name of the town is Sempsat or Samisat, about 40 miles S. of the cataracts of the Euphrates, where it passes Mount Taurus, but Pococke could hear of no ruins there. (Observations on Syria, vol. ii. pt. l, p. 156.) - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.
Map of the Roman Empire - Places