Apamea

Apamea

(Α᾿πάμεια, so called from Apame, q.v.), the name of several cities of antiquity (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Geog. s.v.), none of which are mentioned in Scripture, though two of them are of interest in sacred literature.

1. APAMEA OF SYRIA, a large city in the valley of the Orontes, and capital of the province of Apamene (Steph. Byz. s.v.; Ptol. 5, 15, § 19; Festus Avienus, 5, 1083; Anton. Itin.). It was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus Nicator, who named it after his wife Apama (not his mother, see Strabo, 16, p. 752), although it also bore the Greek name Pella. The fortress was placed on a hill, the windings of the Orontes giving it a peninsular form; hence its other name, the Chersonese (Χεῤῥόνησος). Seleucus had a large commissariat there for his cavalry, and the pretender Trypho made it the basis of his operations. Josephus relates (Ant. 14, 3, 2) that Pompey, in marching south from his winter quarters, probably at or near Antioch, razed Apamea. In the revolt of Syria under Bassus it held out for three years, until the arrival of Cassius, B.C. 46 (Dio Cass. 47:26-28; Joseph. War, 1, 10, 10). During the Crusades it was a flourishing and important place under the Arabic name of Famieh, and was occupied by Tancred (Wilken, Gesch. d. Kreuzz. 2, 474; Abulfeda, Tab. Syr. p. 114, 157). Niebuhr heard that the site was now called Kulat ed-Mudik (Reise, 3, 97), and Burckhardt found a castle of this name not far from the lake El-Takah, which he fixes as the location of Apamea (Trav. p. 138). The enormous and highly ornamental ruins still standing are probably remains of the temples of which Sozomen speaks (7, 15); besides the castle on the hill, a part of the town is found in the plain. The adjacent lake is full of the celebrated black fish.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

2. APAMEA CIBOTUS (ἡ Κιβωτός), a town of Phrygfa, built near Celsenae by Antiochus Soter, and named after his mother Apama. Strabo says it lay at the head of the Marsyas, which ran through the town to join the Maeander (Groskurd, Strabo, 2, 531), forming the Catarrhacteg described by Herodotus (7, 26). The site has been fixed at the modern Denair (Arundell, Discoveries, 1, 201), corresponding to the ancient descriptions (Hamilton, Researches, 2, 499), which have been collected by Leake (Asia Minor, p. 156 sq.). Notwithstanding its frequent earthquakes, Apamea continued to flourish during the Roman Empire, and its bishops are recorded in the early Christian councils, the Gospel having probably been introduced there by Paul during his visits through Phrygia (q.v.).

The epithet Cibotus has been conjectured to have been derived from the fact that the city was the emporium of the region (see Pliny, 5,29), κιβωτός signifies a chest or coffer; but, according to others, it is connected with the position of Noah's ark after the Flood, a hypothesis which, however untenable on gereral grounds, is supported by some singular coincidences. The Sibylline verses place the mountains of Ararat, where the ark rested, on the confines of Phrygia, at the sources of the Marsyas. On a medal struck in honor of Hadrian is the figure of a man, representing the river Marsyas, with this inscription, ΑΠΑΜΕΩΝ ΚΙΒΩΤΟΣ ΜΑΡΣΣΙΑ — a medal of the Apameans — the ark and the river Marsyas. That this was one of the commemorative notices of the ark and of the Deluge there is little doubt; but only in the sense that traditionary memorials of the ark were here very ancient. There are several other medals of Apamea extant, on which are represented an ark, with a man in it receiving the dove, which is flying to him; and part of their inscription is the word NOE; but either this should be read NEO, an abridgment of "Neokoron," or it is the end of a word, ΑΠΑΜΕΩΝ, or (some of) the medals are spurious, which has been suspected. Still, as they are from different dies, yet all referring to Apamea, it seems that their authors had a knowledge of the tradition of commemoration respecting the ark preserved in this city. SEE ARK. Many more such commemorations of an event so greatly affecting mankind were no doubt maintained for many ages, though we are now under great difficulties in tracing them. In fact, many cities boasted of these memorials, and referred to them as proofs of their antiquity. SEE ARARAT.

 
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