a province and kingdom of Western Asia, the name, extent, and boundaries of which have been subjects of no little difficulty to both sacred and classical geographers. As including Palestine, it is of intense interest in Bible geography.
I. Name. —
1. The word Syria does not occur in Hebrew; but in the A. V. it is the usual, though not the uniform, rendering of the word Aram (אֲרָם). Thus in Ge 10:22, Aram, the youngest son of Shem, is mentioned as the founder of the Aramsean nation, from whom the whole country colonized by his descendants took its name. The country is therefore rightly calledu "Aram" in Nu 23:7; but the very same Hebrew word is rendered Mesopotamia in Jg 3:10, and Syria in 10:6.
Aram was a wide region. It extended from the Mediterranean to the Tigris, and from Canaan to Mount Taurus. It was subdivided into five principalities:
1. Aram-Dammesek (called in the A.V. "Syria of Damascus"); 2. Aram-Maachah;
3. Aram-Beth-Recaob; 4. Aram-Zobah; and 5. Aram-Naharaim (Mesopotamia in the A. V.).
These have already been described. SEE ARAM. When the kingdom of Damascus attained to great power under the warlike line of Hadad, it was called by way of distinction Anram, which unfortunately is rendered "Syria" in the A. V. (2Sa 8:5,12; 1Ki 10:29; 1Ki 15:18; 2Ki 5; 2Ki 1; 2Ki 24:2, etc.). This lax method of translation was borrowed from the Sept. and Vulg. versions. The Targums retain Aram; and it would tend much to geographical accuracy and distinctness were the Hebrew proper names uniformly retained in the A.V.
The region comprehended by the Hebrews under the name Aram was not identical with that which the Greek writers and the authors of the iNew Test. included under Syria. It embraced all Mesopotamia and Assyria, while it excluded Phoenicia and the whole territory colonized by the Canaanites. SEE CANAAN.
In the New Test. the name Syria (Συρία) is not employed with great definiteness. In fact, it is doubtful if ever the Greek geographers were agreed as to the exact boundaries of the country so called. Matthew, after mentioning the mighty works and wondrous teachings of our Lord in Galilee, says: "His fame went throughout all Syria," alluding apparently to' the country adjoining Galilee on the north (Mt 4:24). Luke applies the name to the Roman province of which Cyrenius was governor, and which did not include Palestine (Mt 2:2). In the same restricted sense the word is used in Ac 15:23. The apostles in Jerusalem wrote 4unto the brethren of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia;" and afterwards it is said that Paul, setting out from Antioch, "went through Syria and Cilicia" (ver. 41; comp. Ga 1:21). A wider signification seems to be attached to the name in other passages. It is said of Paul, when going to Jerusalem, "that he sailed thence (from Greece) into Syria" giving this general name to Palestine as well as the country north of it (Ac 18:18; Ac 20:3). In one passage taken from the Sept. the name is employed as an equivalent of the Hebrew Aram (Lu 4:27; comp. 2Ki 5:20).
2. The origin of the word is not quite certain. Some make it a contraction or corruption of Assyria (Scylax, Peripl. p. 80; Dionys. Perieg. 970-975;
Eustath. Comment. ad loc., etc.). Herodotus says, "The people whom the Greeks call Syrians are called Assyrians by the barbarians" (7, 63); and these names were frequently confounded by the later Greek writers (Xenoph. Cyyr. 6:2, 19; 8:3, 24); and apparently also by some of the Latins (Pliny, H. N. 5, 13). A much more probable etymology is that which derives Syria from Tsur (צוּר), the Hebrew name of the ancient city of "Tyre. The distinction between Syria and Assyria is very great in Hebrew. The Greek form of the name derived from Tsur would be Tsuria; but as this could not be expressed by Greek letters, it was softened down to Συρία, Assyria is in Hebrew אִשּׁוּר, and in Greek Α᾿σσυρία, and sometimes Α᾿τουρία. "A still greater distinction between the names is found in the Assyrian inscriptions, where Assyria is called As-sur, while the Tyrians are the Tsur-ra-ya, the characters used being entirely different" (Rawlinson, Herod. 1, 63, note). Tyre was the most important city along the Mediterranean coast. With it and its enterprising merchants the Greeks soon became familiar; and they gave to the country around it the general name Syria — that is, "region of Tyre." It is interesting to observe that the connection between Syria and Aram is noticed by Strabo when commenting on a stanza of Pindar: "Others understand Syrians by the Arimi, who are now called Aramcei" (13, 626, and 16:785); and again, "Those whom we call Syrians (Σύρους) are by the Syrians themselves called Armenians and Arammaeans" (Α᾿ραμμαίους, 2, 34).
The name Syria was thus of foreign origin. It was never adopted or acknowledged by the people themselves; nor was it ever employed by native authors except when writing in Greek for Greeks. At the present day it is unknown in the country. It has been seen that in ancient times the name Aram was specially applied to Damascus and its kingdom. There is something analogous to this in modern usage. Esh-Sham is the name now commonly given to both city and country, though in more correct language the former is styled Dimishk esh-Sham.
II. Extent and Boundaries. —
1. Ancient geographers do not agree as to the extent of Syria. Herodotus makes it reach to the Black Sea on the north (1, 6); to Paphlagonia and the Mediterranean on the west (1, 72; 2, 12, 116); to Egypt on the south (2, 158,159); and to Media and Persia on the east (7, 63). He confounded Syria and Assyria, and hence arose the error into which he fell regarding the extent of the former. The same view is taken by Xenophon (Anab. 1, 4,11-19). Even Strabo states in one place that "the name Syria seems to extend from Babylonia as far as the bay of Issus, and anciently from this bay to the Euxine. Both tribes of the Cappadocians-those near the Taurus, and those near the Pontus are called to this day Leuco-Syrians." It is clear, however, from a subsequent sentence, that he in this place fell into the error of Herodotus; for he thus remarks, "When the historians of the Syrian empire say that the Medes were conquered by the Persians, and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean no other Syrians than those who built the royal palaces of Babylon and Nineveh; and Ninus who built Nineveh in Aturia was one of these Syrians" (16, 737). It is evident that for Syrians the name Assyrians should here be substituted. The great similarity of the names, no doubt, tended to create this confusion.
When writing directly of the country of Syria, Strabo is more accurate. He describes its extent, boundaries, and divisions with great minuteness. "Syria is bounded on the north by Cilicia [comp. Ac 15:23] and Mount Amanus; on the east by the Euphrates and the Arabian Scenitee, who live on this side [west] of the Euphrates; on the south by Arabia Felix and Egypt; on the west by the Egyptian and Syrian seas, as far as Issus" (16, 749). Pliny gives substantially the same boundaries. He says, however, that some geographers divide the country into four provinces: Idumaea, Judaea, Phoenicia, and Syria (H. N. 5, 13; comp. Josephus, Ant. 10:6, 1).
Ptolemy confines Syria within the same limits on the north, west, and east; but he marks its southern boundary by a line running from Dor, at the base of Carmel, by Scythopolis and Philadelphia, to Alsadamus Mons (Jebel Hauran). He thus includes Phoenicia, Galilee, and a portion of Persea, but excludes Judaea and Idumaea (5, 15).
2. In this article the name Syria is confined to what appears to be its more strict New Test. signification. Its boundaries may be given as follows: Palestine on the south; the Mediterranean on the west; Cilicia and Mount Amanus on the north; and the Euphrates and desert of Palmyra on the east. Its length, from the mouth of the Litany on the south to the bay of Iskanderun on the north, is 250 miles, and its breadth averages about 130 miles. Its area may thus be estimated at 32,500 square miles. It lies between lat. 330 13' and 36° 42' N., and long. 350 45' and 380 E.
3. Physical Geography. —Syria, like Palestine, is divided into a series of belts, extending in parallel lines from north to south.
(1.) A narrow belted plain along the seaboard. It embraces the plains of Issus, now Iskanderun, on the north, extending as far as the bold promontory of Ras el-Khanztr. South of the promontory is the fertile plain of Seleucia, now Suweidlyeh, at the mouth of the Orontes. Then follows the peak of Casius, which dips into the sea; and from its southern base down to the mouth of the Litany stretches the plain of Phoenicia, varying in breadth from ten miles at Ladiklyeh to half a mile at Sidon. It is nearly all fertile; and some portions of it at Sidon, Beirut, and Tripoli are among the richest and most beautiful in Syria.
(2.) A belt of mountains, the backbone of the country. It commences with the ridge of Amanus on the north; then follows Bargylus in the center, and Lebanon on the south.
(3.) The great valley of Caele-Syria, and its northern extension the valley of the Orontes, form the next belt, and constitute one of the most remarkable features of the country.
(4.) The mountain chain of Antilebanon, though broken by the plain of Hamath, finds a natural prolongation in the ridge which rises in the parallel 'of the city of Hamath and runs northward beyond Aleppo.
(5.) Along the whole eastern border from north to south extends an arid plateau, bleak and desolate, the home of the roving Bedawin.
1. Plains. — The plains of Phoenicia have already been noticed under that head.
By far the most important part of Syria, and, on the whole, its most striking feature, is the great valley which reaches from the plain of Umk, near Antioch, to the narrow gorge on which the Litany enters in about lat. 33° 30'. This valley, which runs nearly parallel with the Syrian coast, extends the length of 230 miles, and has a width varying from 6 or 8 to 15 or 20 miles. The more southern portion of it was known to the ancients as Coele-Syria, or "the Hollow Syria," and has already been described. SEE COELE-SYRIA. In length this portion is rather more than 100 miles, terminating with a screen of hills a little south of Hums, at which point the north-eastern direction of the valley also ceases, and it begins to bend to the north-west.
The plain of Hamath is very extensive. It joins Coele-Syria on the south, and extends northward on both sides of the Orontes as far as Apamea, about seventy miles; while its breadth from the base of Lebanon to the desert is nearly thirty. Its surface is almost perfectly flat, its soil generally a rich black mould; water is abundant. Upon it once stood the largeῥ cities of Riblab, Laodicea ad Libanum, Emesa, Arethusa, Larissa, Hamath, and Apamea; all of which, with the exception of Hamath and Emesa (now Hums), are either in ruins or have dwindled down to poor villages.
The plain of Damascus and its continuation towards Haurn on the south are exceedingly fertile. SEE DAMASCUS.
The little plain of Issus between the mountains and the bay is now a pestilential marsh, on the borders of which stands the miserable village of Iskanderun, the only seaport of Antioch and Aleppo.
The plain of Suweidlyeh, at the mouth of the Orontes, is still a lovely spot, in part covered with orchards and mulberry plantations. On its northern border lie the ruins of Seleucia, the port from.which Paul embarked on his first missionary journey (Ac 13:2-4), and once so celebrated for its docks and fortifications (Polybius, bk. 5).
2. Mountains. —
(1.) The parallel ranges of Lebanon and Antilebanon have already been noticed under their own titles. At the southern end of the former is the pass called in Scripture "the entrance of Hamath" (q.v.).
(2.) Beyond this, in a line with Lebanon, rises the range of Bargylus, which extends to Antioch. It is a rugged limestone ridge, rent and torn by wild ravines, thinly peopled, and sparsely covered with oaks. Its elevation is much inferior to Lebanon, and does not average more than 4000 feet.' In the parallel of Antioch the chain meets the Orontes, and there sweeps round in a sharp angle to the south-west, and terminates in the lofty peak of Casius (now Jebel Akra), which rises abruptly from the sea to a height of 5700 feet, forming one of the most conspicuous landmarks along the coast of Syria. The Bargylus range has received the name Jebel en- Nusairlyeh, from the mysterious and warlike tribe of Nusairlyeh, who form the great bulk of its inhabitants.
At the northern extremity of the range, on the green bank of the rapid Orontes, stand the crumbling walls and towers of Syria's ancient capital, Antioch (q.v.), now dwindled down to a poor town of some 6000 inhabitants. A few miles west of it, in a secluded: mountain glen, are the fountains and ruins of Beit el-Ma, which mark the site of the once celebrated Daphne (Murray, Handbook for Syr. and Pal. p. 602)
(3.) Beyond the valley through which the Orontes breaks narrow and wild, rises steeply another mountain range, which runs northward till it joins the Taurus, and has an average elevation of nearly 6000 feet. The scenery of this range is very grand-deep ravines shut in by cliffs of naked rock, conical peaks clothed with the dark foliage of the prickly oak, and foaming torrents fringed with dense copses of myrtle and oleander. On the west it sends out the lofty promontory of Ras el-Khanzir, which shuts in the plain of Suweidiyeh; and farther north the curve of the bay of Iskanderun sweeps so close to the rocky base of the range as to leave a pass only a few feet broad between the cliff and the sea. Here are the ruins of an ancient arch marking the site of the celebrated Syrian Gates; to the north of it is the battle-field of Issus. The southern section of. this range was anciently called Pieria, and gave its distinguishing name to the city (Seleucia Pieria) at its base; the northern sectioi as called Amanus. The whole ridge is now usually called Jawar Dagh, though the southern portion is perhaps more commonly known as Ras el-Khanzir.
(4.) On the eastern bank of the Orontes, near the ruins of Apamea, rises another but much lower range of hills, which runs northward, not in a regularly formed ridge, but rather in detached clumps, to the parallel of Aleppo. The hills are mainly calcareous, well wooded in places, and intersected at intervals by fertile plains and vales. They are interesting to the traveler and antiquarian as containing some of the most remarkable ruins in Syria (Murray, Handbook, p. 615 sq.). The southern section is called Jebel Riha, the central Jebel el-Ala, and the northern Jebel Siman, from its having been the home of St. Simeon Stylites.
3. The Northern Highlands. — Northern Syria, especially the district called Commagene, between Taurus and the Euphrates, is still very insufficiently explored. It seems to be altogether an elevated tract, consisting of twisted spurs from Taurus and Amanus, with narrow valleys between them, which open out into bare and sterile plains The valleys themselves are not very fertile. They are watered by small streams, producing often abundant fish, and, for the most part, flowing into the Orontes or the Euphrates. A certain number of the more central ones, however, unite and constitute the river of Aleppo," which, unable to reach either of the oceanic streams, forms (as we have seen) a lake or marsh, wherein its waters evaporate. Along the course of the Euphrates there are rich land and abundant vegetation; but the character of the country thence to the valley of the Orontes is bare and woodless, except in the vicinity of the towns, where, fruit-trees are cultivated, and orchards and gardens make an agreeable appearance. Most of this region is a mere sheep-walk, which grows more and more harsh and repulsive as we approach the south, where it gradually mingles with the desert. The highest elevation of the plateau between the two rivers is 1500 feet; and this height is reached soon after leaving the Euphrates, while towards the west the decline is gradual..
4. The Eastern Desert. — East of the inner mountain chain, and south of the cultivable ground about Aleppo, is the great Syrian, desert, an "elevated dry upland, for the most part of gypsum and marls, producing nothing but a few spare bushes of wormwood, and the usual aromatic plants of the wilderness," Here and there bare and stony ridges of no great height cross this arid region, but fail to draw water from the sky, and have, consequently, no streams flowing from them. A few wells supply the nomad population with a brackish fluid. The region is traversed with difficulty, and has never been accurately surveyed. The most remarkable oasis is at Palmyra, where there are several small streams and abundant palm-trees. SEE TADMOR. Towards the more western part of the region along the foot of the mountain-range which there bounds it, is likewise a good deal of tolerably fertile country, watered by the stream§ which flow eastward from the range, and after a longer or a shorter course are lost in the desert. The best-known and the most productive of these tracts, which seem stolen from the desert, is the famous plain of Damascus-the el- Ghuitah and el-Merj of the Arabs already described in the account given of that city. SEE DAMASCUS. No rival to this "earthly paradise" is to be found along the rest of the chain, since no other stream flows down from it at all comparable to the Barada; but wherever the eastern side of the chain has been visited, a certain amount of cultivable territory has been found at its foot; corn is grown in places, and olive-trees are abundant (Burckhardt, Travels in Syria, p. 124-129; Pococke, Description of the East, 2, 146). Farther from the hills, all is bare and repulsive; a dry, hard, desert-like, that of the Sinaitic peninsulua, with a soil of marl and gravel, only rarely diversified with sand.
5. Rivers. —
(1.) The Orontes is the largest river in Syria. It is now called el-'Asy ("The Rebellious"), and also el-Makllb ("The Inverted"), from the fact of its running, as is thought, in a wrong direction. Its highest source: is in the plain of Buka'a (Caele-Syria), at the base of Antilebanon, beside the ruins of the ancient city of Lybo. It runs north-west across the plain to the foot of Lebanon, where its volume is more than trebled by the great fountain of Ain el-Asy. Hence it winds along the plain of Hamath, passing Riblah, Hums, Hamath, and Apamea. At Antioch it sweeps round to the west through a magnificent pass, and falls into the Mediterranean at Seleucia. Its scenery is in general tame and uninteresting. Its volume above Hamath is less than that of the Jordan, but lower down it receives several tributaries which greatly increase it. Its total length is about 154 miles.
(2.) The Litany is the next river in magnitude. Its principal sources are in the valley of Buka'a, at Baalbek, Zahleh, and Anjar (the ancient Chalcis). After winding down the Buka'a to its southern end, it, forces its way through a: sublime glen, which completely intersects Lebanon, and falls into the sea a few miles north of Tyre.
(4.) The rivers Eleutherus, Lycus and Adonis have been noticed in the article LEBANON, and the Abana and Pharpar under DAMASCUS.
(5.) A small stream called Nahr Koweik rises near the village of Aintab, flows southward through a narrow glen to Aleppo, waters the town and its gardens, and empties itself in winter into a marsh some twenty miles farther south. It seems to be the Chalus of Xenophon (Anab. 1, 4, 9).
(6.) The Sajur risesa little farther to the north, in the mountains north of Aintab. Its course for the first twenty-five miles is south-east, after which it runs east for fifteen or twenty miles, finally resuming its first direction, and flowing by the town of Sajur into the Euphrates. It is a larger river than the Koweik, though its course is scarcely so long.
6. Lakes. — There are only two lakes of any importance in Syria.
(1.) One lies some miles north of Antinch, and is called Bahr el-Abiad, "White Lake." It is about twenty-five miles in circuit, but has a broad margin of marsh, which is flooded after heavy rains.
(2.) The other lake is on the Orontes, west of Hums, and is called Bahr Kades. It is about six miles long by from two to three broad, and is in a great measure, if not entirely, artificial. It is formed by a dam built across the valley. The water is thus raised to an elevati0n sufficient to supply the town and irrigate the surrounding plain (Porter, Damascus, 2, 344).
(3.) The Sabakhah is a salt lake, into which only insignificant streams flow, and which has no outlet. It lies midway between Balls and Aleppo, the route between these places passing along its northern shore. It is longer than the Lake of Antioch, but narrower, being about thirteen miles from east to west, and four miles only from north to south, even where it is widest.
(4.) The Bahr el-Merj, like the piece of water in which the Koweik, or river-of Aleppo, ends, scarcely deserves to be called a lake, since it is little better than a large marsh. The length, according to colonel Chesney, is nine miles, and the breadth two miles (Euphrat. Exp. 1, 503); but the size seems to vary with the sea sops, and with the extent to which irrigation is used along the course of the Barada. A recent traveler, who traced the Barada to its termination, found it divide a few miles below Damascus, and observed that each branch terminated in a marsh of its own; while a neighboring stream, the Awaj, commonly regarded as a tributary of the Barada, also lost itself in a third marsh separate from the other two (Porter, in Geograph. Journ. 26:43-46).
7. Cities. — The principal cities and towns of Syria are the following: Damascus, pop. 150,000; Aleppo, pop. 70,000; Beirut, pop. 80,000; Hamath,ῥpop. 30,000; Hums, pop., 20,000; Tripoli, pop. 13,000; Antioch, Sidon, and Ladiklyeh. Besides these, which occupy ancient sites, there were in former times Palmyra, in the eastern desert; Abila, on the river Abana; Chalcis, Heliopolis, and Lybo, in the valley of Caele-Syria; Laodicea ad Libanum, Arethusa, and Apamea, in the valley of the Orontes; Seleucia, Aradus, and Byblos, SEE GEBAL, on the seacoast, and many others of less importance.
IV. Political Geography. — Syria has passed through many changes. Its ancient divisions were numerous, and constantly varying. The provinces of the Biblical Aram have already been noticed. SEE ARAM. Phoenicia was generally regarded as a distinct principality, SEE PHOENICIA, and the warlike tribes of Lebanon appear to have remained almost in a state of independence from the earliest ages. SEE LEBANON. The political divisions, as enumerated by Greek and Roman geographers, are indefinite and almost unintelligible. Strabo mentions five great provinces:
1. Commagene, a small territory in the extreme north, with Samosata: for capital, situated on the Euphrates.
2. Seleucia, lying south of the former, was subdivided into four districts according to the number of its chief cities:
(1) Antioch Epidaphne; (2) Seleucia, in Pieria; (3) Apamea; and (4) Laodicea.
In the district of Antioch was another subdivision, situated near the Euphrates, and called Cyrrhestice, from the town Cyrrhestis, which contained a celebrated temple of Diana. Southward were two subdivisions (apparently) of Apamea, called Parapotamia and Chalcidice, bordering on the Euphrates, and inhabited by Scenitme. The territory of Laodicea extended south to the river Eleutherus, where it bordered on Phoenicia and Coele-Syria.
3. Cale-Syria, comprising Laodicea ad Libanum, Chalcis, Abilelie, Damascis, Itursea, and others-farther south, included in Palestine.
5. Itursea (Geogr. 16:748, sq.).
Pliny's divisions are still more numerous than those of Strabo. It appears that each city on rising to importance gave its name to a surrounding territory, larger or smaller, and this in time assumed the rank of a province (Pliny, If. Nouv, 14-21).
Ptolemy mentions thirteen provinces: Commagene, Pieria, Cyrrhestica, Seleucis, Casiotis, Chalibonitis, Chalcis, Apamene, Laodicene, Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, Palmyrene, and Batanea, and he gives a long list of the cities contained in them. He excludes Palestine altogether (Geogr. 5, 15).
Under the Romans Syria became a province of the empire. Some portions of it were permitted to remain for a time under the rule of petty princes, dependent on the imperial government. Gradually, however, all these were incorporated, and Antioch was the capital. Under Hadrian the province was divided into two parts: Syria Malor on the north, and Syria-Phanice on the south. Towards the close of the 4th century another partition of Syria was made, and formed the, basis of its ecclesiastical government: 1.
Syria Prima, with Antioch as capital; 2. S. Secunda, with Apamea as capital;: 3. Phaenicia Prina, including the greater part of ancient Phoenicia-Tyre was its capital; 4. Phenicia Secunada, also called Phoenicia ad Libanum, with Damascus for capital ("Cara St. Paul," Geog. Sac. p. 287).
At the present time Syria forms a portion of three pashalics-Aleppo, Damascus, and Sidon.
V. Climate, Inhabitants, etc. —
1. The temperature of Syria greatly resembles that of Palestine. The summits of Hermon and Lebanon are crowned with perpetual snow, and the high altitudes along these ranges are as cool as the south of England; but, on the other hand, the low marshy plains of the interior are very hot. The seaboard, being much exposed to the sun's rays, and sheltered by the mountains behind, is generally sultry and subject to fevers; but there are a few places such as Sidon, Beiruit, and Suweidveh — where the soil is dry and the air pure. Rain is more abundant than in Palestine, and even during summer light showers occasionally fall in the mountains.
2. The present population of Syria is estimated at 1,880,000. Arabic is their vernacular. They consist of Mohammedans, Yezidees, Druses, Romanists, Jews, and Greek Christians. The Mohammedans, who probably comprise three fourths of the whole, are seldom associated with the progress of arts or industry, and, though possessing the influence, which belongs to the ruling authorities, are rarely instrumental in the creation of capital or the diffusion of civilization. Most of the commercial establishments are either in the hands of the Christian or Jewish population. The agricultural produce of Syria is far less than might be expected from the extensive tracts of fertile lands and the favorable state of the climate. Regions of the highest fertility remain fallow, and the want of population for the purposes of cultivation is most deplorable. The commerce of Syria is in an equally low state. Volney but faithfully depicted Syria when he described it as "a land of almost unparalleled natural resources, comprising within its limits every estimable variety of climate and of soil." Yet Syria, under the execrable Mussulman rule is almost the lowest in the scale of nations; but even in the present state of things she produces silk, cotton, and wool- three staple articles of demand. A change has been brought about during the last few years in the external features of Oriental dress, and in Syria more especially, which, with the decline of their own manufactures, has tended to introduce the cheaper fabrics of Europe. The issue of the recent Turko-Russian war has-been to place Syria under the nominal protectorate of Great Britain, with promises of social-reform, which, however, the Turks are slow in bringing about. SEE TURKEY.
VI. History. —
1. The first occupants of Syria appear to have been of Hamitic descent. The Canaanitish races, the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, etc., are connected in Scripture with Egypt and Ethiopia, Cush and Mizraim (Ge 10:6,15-18); and, even independently of the evidence, there seems to be sufficient reason for believing-that the races in question stood in close ethnic connection with the Cushitic stock (Rawlinson, Herod. 4:243-245). These tribes occupied not Palestine only, but also Lower Syria, in very early times, as we may gather from the fact that Hamath is assigned to them in Genesis (Ge 10:18). Afterwards they seem to have become possessed of Upper Syria also, for when the Assyrians first push their conquests beyond the Euphrates, they find the Hittites (Khatti) established in strength on the right bank of the great river. After a while the first comers, who were still to a great extent nomads, received a Shemitic infusion, which most probably came to them from the south-east. The family of Abraham, whose original domicile was in Lower Babylonia, may, perhaps be best regarded as furnishing us with a specimen of the migratory movements of the period. Another example is that of Chedorlaomer with his confederate kings, of whom one at least-Amraphelrmulist have been a Shemite. The movement may have begun before the time of Abraham, and hence, perhaps, the Shemitic names of many of the inhabitants when Abraham first comes into the country, as Abimelech, Melchizedek, Eliezer, etc. The only Syrian town whose existence we find distinctly marked at this time isῥ Damascus (Ge 14:15; Ge 15:2), which appears to have been already a place of some importance. Indeed, in one tradition Abraham is said to have been king of Damascus for a time (Nic. Dam. Fragm. 30); but this is quite unworthy of credit. Next to Damascus must be placed Hamath which is mentioned by Moses as a well known place (Nu 13:21; Nu 34:8), and appears in Egyptian papyri of the time of the eighteenth dynasty (Cambridge Essays, 1858, p. 268). Syria at this time, and for many centuries afterwards, seems to have been broken up among a number of petty kingdoms. Several of these are mentioned in Scripture, as Damascus, Rehob, Maachah, Zobah, Geshur, etc. We also hear occasionally of "the kings of Syria and of the Hittites" (1Ki 10:29; 2Ki 7:6) — an expression indicative of that extensive subdivision of the tract among numerous petty chiefs which is exhibited to us very clearly in the early Assyrian inscriptions. At various times different states had the pre- eminence, but none was ever strong enough to establish an authority over the others.
2. The Jews first come into hostile contact with the Syrians, under that name, in the time of David. The wars of-Joshua, however, must have often been with Syrian chiefs, with whom he disputed the possession of the tract about Lebanon and Hermon (Jos 11:2-18). After his time the Syrians were apparently undisturbed, until David began his aggressive wars upon them. Claiming the frontier of the Euphrates, which God had promised to Abraham (Ge 15:18), David made war on Hadadezer, king of Zobah whom he defeated in a great battle, killing 18,000 of his men, and taking from him 1000 chariots, 700 horsemen, and 20,000 footmen (2Sa 8:3-4,13). The Damascene Syrians, having endeavored to succor their kinsmen, were likewise defeated with great loss (ver. 5); and the blow so weakened them that they shortly afterwards submitted and became David's subjects (ver. 6). Zobah, however, was far from being, subdued: as yet. When, a- few years later, the Amnonites determined on engaging in a war with David, and applied-to the Syrians for aid, Zobah, together with Beth-Rehob, sent them 20,000 footmen, and two other Syrian kingdoms furnished 13,000 (Ge 10:6). This army, being completely defeated by Joab, Hadadezer obtained aid from Mesopotamia (ver. 16), and tried the chance of a third battle, which likewise went against him, and produced the general submission of Syria to the Jewish monarch. The submission thus begun continued under the reign of Solomon, who "reigned over all the kingdoms from the river [Euphrates] unto the land of the Philistines and unto the border of Egypt; they brought presents and served Solomon all the days of his life" (1Ki 4:21). The only part of Syriam which Solomon lost seems to have been Damascus, where an independent kingdom was set up by Rezon, a native of Zobah (11, 23-25). On the separation of the two kingdoms, soon after the accession of Rehoboam, the remainder of Syria no doubt shook off the yoke. Damascus now became decidedly the leading state, Hamath being second to it, and the northern Hittites, whose capital was Carchemish, near Barnbuk, third. SEE CARCHEIMISH. The wars of this period fall most properly into the history of Damascus, and have already been described in the account given of that city. SEE DAMASCUS. Their result was to attach Syria to the great Assyrian empire, from which it passed to the Babylonians, after a short attempt on the part of Egypt to hold possession of it, which was frustrated by Nebuchadnezzar. From the Babylonians Syria passed to the Persians, under whom it formed a satrapy in conjunction with Judaea, Phoenicia, and Cyprus (Herod. in, 91). Its resources were still great, and probably it was his confidence in them that encouraged the Syrian satrap Megabazus to raise the standard of revolt against Artaxerxes Longimanus (B.Q. 447). After this we hear little of Syria till the; year of the battle of Issus (B.C. g33), when it submitted to Alexander without a struggle.
3. Upon the death of Alexander, Syria became, for the first time, the head of a great kingdom. On the division of the provinces among his generals (B.C. 321), Soeucus Nicator received Mesopotamia and Syria, and though, in the twenty years of struggle which followed, this country was lost and won repeatedly, it remained finally, with the exception of Caele-Syria, in the hands of the prince to whom it was originally assigned. That prince, whose dominions reached from the Mediterranean to the Indus, and from the Oxus to the Southern Ocean, having, as he believed, been exposed-to great dangers on account of the distance from Greece of his original capital, Babylon, resolved, immediately upon his victory of Ipsus (B.C. 301), to fix his metropolis in the West, and settled upon Syria as the fittest place for it. Antioch was begun in B.C. 300, and, being finished in a few years, was made the capital of Seleucus's kingdom. The whole realm was thenceforth ruled from this center, and Syria, which had long been the prey of stronger countries, and had been exhausted by their exactions, grew rich with the wealth, which now flowed into it on all sides. The luxury and magnificence of Antioch were extraordinary. Broad straight streets, with colonnades from end to end, temples, statues, arches, bridges, a royal palace, and various other public buildings dispersed throughout it made the Syrian capital by far the most splendid of all the cities of the East. At the same time, in the provinces, other towns of large size were growing up. Seleucia in Pieria, Apamea, and both Laodiceast were foundations of the Seleucidae, as their names sufficiently indicate. Weak and indolent as were many of these monarchs, it would seem that they had a hereditary taste for building; and so each aimed at outdoing his predecessors in the number, beauty, and magnificence of his constructions. As the history of Syria under the Seleucid princes has been already given in detail in the articles treating of each monarch, SEE ANTIOCHUS; SEE DEMETRIUS; SEE SELEUCUS, etc.], it will be unnecessary here to do more than sum it up generally. The most flourishing period was the reign of the founder, Nicator. The empire was then almost as large as that of the Achaemenian Persians, for it at one time included Asia Minor, and thus reached from the Egean to India. It was organized into satrapies, of which the number was seventy-two. Trade flourished greatly, old lines of traffic being restored and new ones opened. The reign of Nicator's son, Antiochtus I, called Soter, was the beginning of the decline, which was progressive from his date with only one or two slight interruptions. Soter lost territory to the kingdom of Pergamus, and failed in an attempt to subject Bithynia. He was also unsuccessful against Egypt. Under his son. Antiochus II, called Θεός, or "the God," who ascended the throne in B.C. 261, the disintegration of the empire proceeded more rapidly. The revolt of Parthia in B.C. 256, followed by that of Bactria in B.C. 254, deprived the Syrian kingdom of some of its best provinces, and gave it a new enemy which shortly became a rival and finally a superior. At the same time, the war with Egypt was prosecuted without either advantage or glory. Fresh losses were suffered in the reign of Seleucus II (Callinicus), Antiochus II's successor. While Callinicus was engaged in Egypt against Ptolemy Euergetes, Eumenes of Pergamus obtained possession of a great part of Asia Minor (B.C. 242); and about the same time Arsaces II, king of Parthia, conquered Hyrcania and annexed it to his dominions. An attempt to recover this latter province cost Callinicus his crown, as he was defeated and made prisoner by the Parthians (B.C. 226). In the next reign, that of Seleucus III (Ceraunus), a slight reaction set in. Most of Asia Minor was recovered for Ceraunus by his wife's nephew, Achseus (B.C. 224), and he was preparing to invade Pergamus when he died poisoned. His successor and brother, Antiochus III, though he gained the surname of Great from the grandeur of his expeditions and the partial success of some of them, can scarcely be said to have really done anything towards raising the empire from its declining condition, since his conquests on the side of Egypt, consisting of Caele- Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, formed no sufficient compensation for the loss of Asia Minor, which he was forced to cede to Rome for the aggrandizement of the rival kingdom of Pergamus (B.C. 190). Even had the territorial balance been kept more even, the ill policy of making Rome an enemy of the Syrian kingdom, with which Antiochus tile Great is taxable, would have necessitated our placing him among the princes to whom its ultimate ruin was mainly owing. Towards the east, indeed, he did something, if not to thrust back the Parthians, at any rate to protect his empire from their aggressions. But the exhaustion consequent upon his constant wars and signal defeats more especially those of Raphia and Magnesia-left Syria far more feeble at his death than she had been at any former period. The almost eventless reign of Seleucus IV (Philopator), his son and successor (B.C. 187175), is sufficient proof of this feebleness. It was not till twenty years of peace had recruited the resources of Syria in men and money that Antioch us IV (Epiphanes), brother of Philopator, ventured on engaging in a great war (B.C. 171) a war for the conquest of Egypt. At first it seemed as if the attempt would succeed. Egypt was on the point of yielding to her foe of so many years, when Rome, following out her traditions of hostility to Syrian power and influence, interposed her mediation, and deprived Epiphanes of all the fruits of his victories (B.C. 168). A greater injury was about the same time (B.C. 167) inflicted on Syria by the folly of Epiphanes himself. Not content with replenishing his treasury by the plunder of the Jewish Temple, he madly ordered the desecration of the Holy of Holies, and thus caused the revolt of the Jews, which proved a permanent loss to the empire and an aggravation of its weakness. After the death of Epiphanes the empire rapidly verged to its fall The regal power fell into the hands of an infant, Antiochtis V (Eupator), son of Epiphanes (B.C. 164); the nobles contended for the regency; a pretender to the crown started up in the person of Demetrius, son of Seleucus IV; Rome put in a claim to administer- the government; and amid the troubles thus caused the Parthians, under Mithridates I, overran the eastern provinces (B.C. 164), conquered Media, Persia, Susiana, Babylonia, etc., and advanced their frontier to the Euphrates. It was in vain that Demetrius II (Nicator) made an attempt (B.C. 142) to recover the lost territory; his boldness cost him his liberty; while a similar attempt on the part of his successor, Antiochus VII (Sidetes), cost that monarch his life (B.C. 128). Meanwhile, in the shorn Syrian kingdom, disorders of every kind were on the increase; Commagene revolted and established her independence; civil wars, murders, mutinies of the troops, rapidly succeeded one another; the despised Jews were called in by both sides in the various struggles; and Syria, in the space of about ninety years, from B.C. 154 to B.C. 64, had no fewer than ten sovereigns. All the wealth of the country had been by this time dissipated-much had flowed Romewards in the shape of bribes; more, probably, had been spent on the wars; and still more had been wasted by: the, kings, in luxury of every kind. Under these circumstances, the Romans showed no eagerness to occupy the exhausted region, which passed under the power of Tigranes, king of Armenia, in B.C. 83, and was not made a province of the Roman Empire till after Pompey's complete defeat of Mithridates and his ally Tigranes in B.C. 64. The chronology of this period has been well worked out by Clinton (Fast. Hell. 3, 308-346), from whom the following table of the kings, with the dates of their accession, is taken:
4. As Syria holds an important place, not only in the Old Test., but in the New, some account of its condition under the Romans must now be given. That condition was somewhat peculiar. While the country generally was formed into a Roman province, under governors who were at first proprietors or questors, then proconsuls, and finally legates, there were exempted from the direct rule of the governor, in the first place, a number of "free cities," which retained the administration of their own affairs, subject to a tribute levied according to the Roman principles of taxation; and, secondly, a number of tracts which were assigned to petty princes, commonly natives; to be ruled at their pleasure, subject to the same obligations with the free cities as to taxation (Appian, Syr. 50). The free cities were Antioch, Seleucia, Apamea, Epiphaneia, Tripolis, Sidon, and Tyre; the principalities, Commagene, Chalcis ad Belum (near Baalbek), Arethusa, Abila or Abilene, Palmyra, and Damascus. The principalities were sometimes called kingdoms, sometimes tetrarchies. They were established where it was thought that the natives were so inveterately wedded to their own customs, and so well disposed for revolt, that it was necessary to consult their feelings, to flatter the national vanity, and to give them the semblance without the substance of freedom.
(a.) Commagene was a kingdom (regnum). It had broken off from Syria during the later troubles, and become a separate state under the government of a branch of the Seleucidae, who affected the names of Antiochus and Mithridates. The Romans allowed this condition of things to continue till A.D. 17, when, upon the death of Antiochus III, they made Commagene into a province; in which condition it continued till A.D. 38, when Caligula gave the crown to Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), the son of Antiochus III. Antiochus IV continued king till A.D. 72, when he was deposed by Vespasian, and Commagene was finally absorbed into the empire. He had a son, called also Antiochus and Epiphanes who was betrothed to Drusilla, the sister of "king Agrippa," and afterwards the wife of Felix, the procurator of Judaea.
(b.) Chalcis "ad Belum" was not the city so called near Aleppo, which gave name to the district of Chalcidice, but a town of less importance near Heliopolis (Baalbek), whence probably the suffix "ad Belum." It is mentioned in this connection by Strabo (16, 2, 10), and Josephus says that it was under Lebanon (Ant. 14:7, 4), so that there cannot be much doubt as to its position. It must have been in the "Hollow Syria" the modern Buka'a, to the south of Baalbek (Josephus, War, 1, 9, 2), and therefore probably at Anjar, where there are large ruins (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 3, 496, 497). This, too, was generally, or perhaps always, a "kingdom." Pompey found it under a certain Ptolemy, "the son of Mennaeus," and allowed him to retain possession of it, together with certain adjacent districts. From him-it passed to his son, Lysanias, who was put to death by Antony at the instigation of Cleopatra (about B.C. 34), after which we find its revenues farmed by Lysanias's steward, Zenodorus, the royalty being in abeyance (Josephus, Ant. 15:10,1). In B.C. 22 Chalcis was added by Augustus to the dominions of Herod the Great, at whose death it probably passed to his son Philip (ibid. 17:11, 4). Philip died A.D. 34; and then we lose sight of Chalcis, until Claudius, in his first year (A.D. 41), bestowed it on a Herod, the brother of; Herod Agrippa I. still as a "kingdom." From this Herod it passed (A.D. 49) to his nephew, Herod Agrippa II, who held it only three or four years, being promoted from it to a better government (ibid. 20:7, 1). Chalcis then fell to Agrippa's cousin, Aristobulus, son of the first Herodian king, under whom it remained till A.D. 73 (Josephus, War. 7:7, 1). About this time, or soon after, it ceased to be a distinct government, being finally absorbed into the Roman province of Syria.
(c.) Arethusa (now Restun) was for a time separated from Syria, and governed by phylarchs. The city lay on the right bank of the Orontes, between Hamah and Hums, rather nearer to the former. In the government were included the Emiseni, or people of Hums (Emesa), so that we may regard it as comprising the Orontes valley from the jebel Erbayn, at least as high as the Bahr el-Kades, or Baheiret-Hums, the lake of Hums. Only two governors are known-Sampsiceramus. and Jamblichus, his son (Strabo, 16:2, 10). Probably this principality was one of the first absorbed.
(d.) Abilene, so called from its capital Abila, was a "tetrarchy." It was situated to the east of Antilibanus, on the route between Baalbek and Damascus (Itin. Anf.). Ruins and inscriptions mark the site of the capital (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 3; 479-482), which was at the village called el-Suk, on the river Barada, just where it breaks forth from the mountains. The limits of the territory are uncertain. We first hear of this tetrarchy in Luke's gospel (Lu 3:1), where it is said to have been in the possession of a certain Lysanias at the commencement of John's ministry, which was probably A.D. 25. Of this Lysanias nothing more is known; he certainly cannot be the Lysanias who once held Chalcis, since that Lysanias died above sixty years previousiy. Thirteen years after the date mentioned by Luke (A.D. 38), the heir of Caligula bestowed "the tetrarchy of Lysanias," by which Abilene is no doubt intended, on the elder Agrippa (Josephus, Ant. 18:6, 10), and four years later Claudius confirmed the same prince in the possession of the "Abila of Lysanias" (ibid. 19:5, 1). Fifially, in A.D. 53, Claudius,.amongother grants, conferred on the younger Agrippa "Abila, which had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias" (ibid. 20:7, 1). Abila was taken by Placidus, one of the generals of Vespasian, in B.C. 69 (Josephus, War, 4:7, 6), and then6eforth was annexed to Syria.
(e.) Palmyra appears to have occupied a different position from the rest of the Syrian principalities. It was in no sense dependent upon Rome (Pliny, H. N. 5, 25), but, relying on its position, claimed and exercised the right of self government from the breaking-up of the Syrian kingdom to the reign of Trajan. Antony made an attempt against it in B.C. 41, but failed. It was not till Trajan's successes against the Parthians, between A.D. 114 and A.D. 116, that Palmyra was added to the empire.
(f.) Damascus is the last of the principalities, which it is necessary to notice here. It appears to have been left by Pompey in the hands of an Arabian prince, Aretas, who, however, was to pay a tribute for it, and to allow the Romans to occupy it at their pleasure with a garrison (Josephus, Ant. 14:4, 5; 5, 1; 11, 7). This state of things continued most likely to the settlement of the empire by Augustus, when Damascus was attached to the province of Syria. During the rest of Augustus's reign, and during the entire reign of Tiberius, this arrangement was in force; but it seems probable that Caligula, on his accession, separated Damascus from Syria and gave it to another Aretas, who was king of Petra, and a relation (son?) of the former. SEE ARETTAS. Hence the fact noted by Paul (2Co 11:32), that at the time of his conversion Damascus was held by an "ethnarch of king Aretas." The semi-independence of Damascus is thought to have continued through the reigns of Caligula and Claudius (from A.D. 37 to A.D. 54), but to have come to an end under Nero, when the district was probably reattached to Syria.
The list of the governors of Syria, from its conquest by the Romans to the destruction of Jerusalem, has been made out with a near approach to accuracy, and is as shown in the adjoining table.
The general history of Syria during this period may be summed up in a few words. Down to the battle of Pharsalia, Syria was fairly tranquil, the only troubles being with the Arabs, who occasionally attacked the eastern frontier. The Roman: governors labored hard to raise the condition of the province, taking great pains to restore the cities, which had gone to decay under the later Seleucidae. Gabinius, proconsul in the years B.C. 56 and 55, made himself particularly conspicuous in works of this kind. After Pharsalia (B.C. 46) the troubles of Syria were renewed. Julius Caesar gave the province to' his relative Sextus in B.C. 47; but Pompey's party was still so strong in the East that in the next year one of his adherents, Cecilius Bassus, put Sextus to death, and established himself in the government so firmly that he was able to resist for three years three proconsuls appointed by the Senate to dispossess him, and only finally yielded upon terms which he himself offered to his antagonists. Many of the petty princes of Syria sided with him, and some of the nomadic Arabs took his pay and fought under his banner (Strabo, 16:2, 10). Bassus had but just made his submission, when, upon the assassination of Caesar, Syria was disputed between Cassius and Dolabella, the friend of Antony, a dispute terminated bys the suicide of Dolabella, B.C. 43, at Laodicea, where he was besieged by Cassius. The next year Cassius left his province and went to Philippi, where, after the first unsuccessful engagement, he, too, committed suicide. Syria then fell to Antony, who appointed as his legate L. Decidius Saxa, in B.C. 41. The troubles of the empire now tempted the Parthians to seek a further extension of their dot minions at the expense of Rome, and Pacorus, the crown prince, son of Arsaces XIV, assisted by the Roman refugee Labienus, overran Syria and Asia Minor, defeating Antony's generals, and threatening Rome with the loss of all her Asiatic possessions (B.C. 40-39). Ventidius, however, in B.C. 38, defeated the Parthians, slew Pacorus, and recovered for Rome her former boundary. A quiet time followed. From B.C. 38 to B.C. 31 Syria was governed peaceably by the legates of Antony, and, after his defeat at Actium and death at Alexandria in that year, by those of Augustus. In B.C. 27 'took place that formal division of the provinces between Augustus and the Senate from which the imperial administrative system dates; and Syria, being from its exposed situation among the prosvinciae principis, contiinued to be ruled by legates, who were of consular rank (consulares), and bore severally the full title of "Legatus Augusti pro praetore." During the whole of this period the province enlarged or contracted its limits according as it pleased the reigning emperor to bestow tracts of land on the native princes, or to resume them and place them under his legate. Judaea, when attached in this way to Syria, occupied a peculiar position. Partly, perhaps, on account of its remoteness from the Syrian capital, Antioch, partly, no doubt, because of the peculiar character of its people, it was thought best to make it, in a, certain sense, a separate government. A special procurator was therefore appointed to rule it, who was subordinate to the governor of Syria, but within his own province had the power of a legatus. SEE JUDAEA. Syria continued without serious disturbance from the expulsion of the Parthians (B.C. 38) to the breaking out of the Jewish war (A.D. 66). In B.C. 19 it was visited by Augustus, and in A.D. 18-19 by Germanicus, who died at Antioch in the last-named year. In A.D. 44-47 it was the scene of a severe famine. SEE AGABUS.
5. A little earlier Christianity had begun to spread into it, partly by means of those who "were scattered" at the time of Stephen's persecution (Ac 11:19), partly by the exertions of Paul (Ga 1:21). The Syrian Church soon grew to be one of the most flourishing (Ac 13:1; Ac 15:23,35,41, etc.). Here the name of "Christian" first arose at the outset no doubt a gibe, but thenceforth a glory and a boast. Antioch, the capital, became, as early probably as A.D. 44, the see of a bishop, and was soon recognized as a patriarchate. The Syrian Church is accused of laxity both in faith and morals (Newman, Arians, p. 10); but, if it must admit the disgrace of having given birth to Lucian and Paul of Samosata, it can claim, on the other hand, the glory of such names as Ignatius, Theophilus, Ephraem, and Babylas. It suffered many grievous persecutions without shrinking; and it helped to make that emphatic protest against worldliness and luxuriousness of living at which monasticism, according to its original conception, must be considered to have aimed. The Syrian monks were among the most earnest and most self-denying; and the names of Hilarion and Simeon Stylites are enough to prove that a most important part was played by Syria in the ascetic movement of the 4th and 5th centuries.
6. The country remained under Roman and Byzantine rule till A.D. 634, when it was overrun by tie Mohammedans under Khaled. Sixteen years later Damascus was made the capital of the Mohammedan empire. In the 11th century the Crusaders entered it, captured its principal cities, with the exception of Damascus, and retained possession of them about a hundred years. For more than two centuries after the expulsion of the Crusaders, Syria was the theatre of fierce contests between the warlike hordes of Tartary and the Mameluke rulers of Egypt. At length, in A.D. 1517, it was captured by the Turks under sultan Selim I, and became a portion of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1798 Bonaparte landed in Egypt with a powerful army, and, having subjected that country to the arms of France, marched into Syria, affecting the utmost respect for the Mohammedan doctrine and worship, and claiming a divine commission as regenerator of the East. He laid siege to Acre; but, the Turkish garrison being animated by the presence of 300 British sailors under sir Sidney Smith, at the expiration of sixty days the French general was compelled to retire, after the sacrifice of a large number of his most gallant soldiers. A powerful army of Turks, who had advanced from Damascus to raise the siege of Acre, were next attacked by Napoleon at the base of Mount Tabor, and routed with great slaughter, thousands being driven into the Jordan. Jaffa (Joppa) fell into his hands, and, contrary to the usages of war, 1200 prisoners were shot or dispatched with the bayonet. But the French campaign in Syria was of short duration. On June 15, 1799, the army under Bonaparte-arrived at Cairo, having traversed the Great Desert; and after the battle of Aboukir, in the following month, when 18,000 Turks perished on the field, the general deputed the command to Kleber, and sailed for France.
Syria remained under the Turks till 1830, when Mohammed Ali, pasha of Egypt, declaring war with his sovereign, the sultan, sent an army into Palestine, under the command of his son Ibrahim, which speedily captured Acre, Tripoli, Aleppo, and Damascus, and, defeating the Turks in various battles, crossed the Taurus, and prepared to march on Constantinople itself. The sultan was obliged to invoke the aid of Russia against the conqueror of Syria; and 20,000 Russians, under count Orloff, hastily landed on the Asiatic territory encamping between Ibrahim and the Bosphorus. The sultan then entered into negotiation with the Egyptian general, and solemnly confirmed to Mohammed Ali the viceroyalty of the whole territory from Adana on the frontiers of Asia Minor, to the Nile. The Syrians soon discovered that their new masters were not a whit less rapacious than the Turks, and several insurrections took place in Mount Lebanon and various districts of Syria in 1834. The presence of Mohammed Ali himself, with large reinforcements, suppressed for a moment the spirit of disaffection, and in the following year the Druses and Christians of Lebanon were disarmed. Ground down, however, by the utmost tyranny, the Syrians again revolted in 1837; they were chastised by Ibrahim, and again reduced to subjection. In 1840, in consequence of a treaty between England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, the seaport towns of Syria were bombarded by a British squadron; and, the Egyptians being compelled to evacuate the whole of Syria, the supremacy of the Turks was once more established over the country which they have ever since held.
VII. Literature. See, in general, Smith, Dict. of Class. Geog. s.v.; M'Cullough, Geog. Dict. s.v. On the geography, see Pococke, Description of the East, 2, 88-209; Burckhardt, Travels in Syria and the Holy ILatnd, p. 1-309; Robinson, Later Biblical Researches, p. 419-625; Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 403-414; Porter, Five Years in Damascus; Ainsworth, Travels in the Track of the Ten Thousand, p. 57-70; Researches, etc., p. 290 sq.; Wortabet, The Syrians (Lond. 1856); Chesney, Euphrates Expedition; Thomson, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 5; Burton and Drake, Unexplored Syria (Lond. 1872).. 0n the history under the Seleucidae, see (besides the original sources) Clinton, Fasti Hellenici, vol. 3, Appendix 3, p. 308-346; Gardner, Seleucid Coins (Lond. 1878); Vaillant, In7periunm Seleucidarum (Par. 1681); Frolich, Annales Rerum et Regunm Syrice (Vien. 1744); and Flathe, Gesch. Macedon. (Leips. 1834). On the history under the Romans, see Norisius, Cenotaphia Pisana, in Opp. 3, 424-531; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, etc. On the modern history and condition, see Castille, La Syrie sous Mehemet Ali; Bowring, Report on Syria; Ritter, Syrien und Palast.; Murray and Badeker, Syria and Palest.