Coordinates: 35°N 38°E / 35°N 38°E / 35; 38
Syria (i/ˈsɪ.rɪə/; Arabic: سوريا or سورية, Sūriyā or Sūrīyah), officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia. De jure Syrian territory borders Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest, but the government's control now extends to approximately 30–40% of the de jure state area and less than 60% of the population.
A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians,Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, and Yazidis. Sunni Arabs make up the largest population group in Syria.
In English, the name "Syria" was formerly synonymous with the Levant (known in Arabic as al-Sham), while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Its capital Damascus is among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt.
Syria is a country in the Middle East, incorporating north-eastern Levant and Eastern Mesopotamia. Syria, Siria, and Suryani may also refer to:
The Region of Syria refers to wider historical geographic region. In this sense it can refer to:
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. 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. Later, in 135 AD, in the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba revolt, Syrian province was merged with Judea province, creating the larger province of Syria Palaestina.
During the Principate.
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 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.
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