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Encyclopedia > Ar Raqqah
Cooling down the bread, in the background the Museum of ar-Raqqah
Cooling down the bread, in the background the Museum of ar-Raqqah

Ar-Raqqah (الرقة, also spelled Rakka), is a city in north central Syria located on the north bank of the Euphrates River, about 160 km east of Aleppo. It is the capital of the Ar Raqqah Governorate and one of the main cities of the historical Diyar Mudar, the western part of the Jazira. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (840x1260, 81 KB) A typical morning activity, letting the bread cool down. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (840x1260, 81 KB) A typical morning activity, letting the bread cool down. ... The Euphrates (the traditional Greek name for the river, which is in Old Persian Ufrat, Aramaic Prâth/Frot, in Arabic الفرات, in Turkish Fırat and in ancient Assyrian language Pu-rat-tu) is the westernmost of the two great rivers that define... Old Town viewed from Aleppo Citadel Aleppo (or Halab Arabic: ‎ meaning he milked, ) is a city in northern Syria, capital of the Aleppo Governorate. ... Ar Raqqah Governorate is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. ... Al-Jazira (Arabic, الجزيرة) is the traditional Arabic name for the region of northeastern modern-day Syria and northwestern modern-day Iraq. ...

Contents

Hellenistic and Byzantine Kallinikos

The Seleucid king Seleucos II Kallinikos (reigned 246-225 BC) founded ar-Raqqah as the eponymous city of Callinicum or Kallinikos. In the Byzantine period, the city was briefly named Leontupolis by the emperor Leo I (reigned 457-474 AD), but the name Kallinikos prevailed. In 542, the city was destroyed by the invasion of the Persian Sasanid Shah Khusrau I Anushirvan (reigned 531-579), but was subsequently rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (reigned 527-565). The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Greats dominion. ... Coin of Seleucus II. Reverse shows Apollo leaning on a tripod. ... What Up. ... Leo I coin. ... The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Empire (Persian: Sasanian) is the name used for the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian Empire (226 - 651). ... A coin of Khosrau I Khosrau I, (Most commonly known as Anooshiravan also spelled Anushirvan, Persian: انوشيروان meaning the immortal soul), also known as Anooshiravan the Just (انوشیروان عادل, Anooshiravan-e-ādel) (ruled 531–579), was the favourite son and successor of Kavadh I of Persia (488–531), and the most famous and... Justinian I depicted on one of the famous mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale. ...


In the 6th century, Kallinikos became a center of Syriac monasticism. Deir Mār Zakkā, or the Saint Zacchaeus Monastery, sited on the tell just north of the city, today's Tall al-Bi'a, became renowned. A mosaic inscription there is dated to the year 509, presumably from the period of the foundation of the monastery. Deir Mār Zakkā is mentioned by various sources up to the 10th century. The second important monastery in the area was the Bīzūnā monastery or 'Dairā d-Esţunā', the 'monastery of the column'. In the 9th century, when ar-Raqqah served as capital of the western half of the Abbasid empire, this monastery became the seat of the Syriac Patriarch of Antioch. Syriac Christianity is a culturally and linguistically distinctive community within Eastern Christianity. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... Tell Mar Elias, North Jordan in 2005 Tell or tall (Arabic: ‎, tall, and Hebrew: , tel), meaning hill or mound, is an archaeological site in the form of an earthen mound that results from the accumulation and subsequent erosion of material deposited by human occupation over long periods of time. ... Abbasid provinces during the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid Abbasid (Arabic: العبّاسيّون, AbbāsÄ«yÅ«n) is the dynastic name generally given to the caliph of Baghdad, the second of the two great Sunni dynasties of the Arab Empire, that overthrew the Umayyad caliphs from all but Spain. ... The Patriarch of Antioch is the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church. ...


Ar-Raqqah in the Early Islamic Period

In the year 18/639, the Muslim conqueror 'Iyād ibn Ghanm took the Christian city Kallinikos by contract. Since then, it figured in Arabic sources as ar-Raqqah, but still in Syriac sources the name of Kallinikos remained. The strategic importance of ar-Raqqah grew during the wars at the end of the Umayyad period and the beginning of the 'Abbasid regime. Ar-Raqqa lay on the crossroads between Syria and Iraq and the road between Damascus, Tadmur (Palmyra), the temporary caliphal residence ar-Rusafa, ar-Ruha' (present day Urfa in Turkey) and the Byzantine and Caucasian theaters of raids and wars.


In 771-2 the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur built a garrison city about 200 metres to the west of ar-Raqqah for a detachment of his Khorasanian Persian army. It was named ar-Rāfiqah, "the companion". The strength of the Abbasid imperial military is still visible in the impressive city wall of ar-Rāfiqah. Abbasid provinces during the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid Abbasid (Arabic: العبّاسيّون, AbbāsÄ«yÅ«n) is the dynastic name generally given to the caliph of Baghdad, the second of the two great Sunni dynasties of the Arab Empire, that overthrew the Umayyad caliphs from all but Spain. ... Caliph is the title for the Islamic leader of the Ummah, or community of Islam. ... This article is about the Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur of Baghdad. ...


Ar-Raqqah and ar-Rāfiqah merged into one urban complex, larger than the former Umayyad capital Damascus. In 796, the caliph Harun al-Rashid decided for ar-Raqqah/ar-Rafiqah as his imperial residence. For about thirteen years ar-Raqqah/ar-Rāfiqah was the capital of the Abbasid empire stretching from Northern Africa to Central Asia, while the main administrative body remained in Baghdad. The palace area of ar-Raqqah covered an area of about 10 square kilometres north of the twin cities. One of the founding fathers of the Hanafi law school, Muhammad ash-Shaibani, was chief qadi (judge) in ar-Raqqah. The splendour of the court in ar-Raqqah is documented in several poems, collected by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahāni in his "Book of Songs" (Kitāb al-Aghāni). Only the small, restored so called Eastern Palace at the fringes of the palace district gives an impression of Abbasid architecture. 8 km west of ar-Raqqah lay the unfinished victory monument called Herakla from the period of Harun al-Rashid. It is said to commemmorize the temporary conquest of the Byzantine city Herakleia in Asia Minor. It is a substructure of a square building in the centre of a circular walled enclosure 500 m in diameter. The Courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the grandest architectural legacies of the Umayyads. ... Damascus at sunset Damascus ( translit: Also commonly: الشام ash-Shām) is the largest city of Syria and is also the capital. ... Persian miniature depicting HārÅ«n ar-RashÄ«d. ... Baghdad ( translit: ) is the capital of Iraq and of Baghdad Governorate. ... Hanafi (Arabic: حنفي ) is one of the four schools of thought (Madhabs) or jurisprudence (Fiqh) within Sunni Islam. ... Qadi (قاضى) is an Arabic term meaning judge. ... Abulfaraj, also known as Abu-l-Faraj or `Ali ibn al-Husayn ul-Isbahani, (897-967) was an Arab scholar, a member of the tribe of the Quraysh and a direct descendant of the last of the Umayyad caliphs, Marwan II. He was thus connected with the Umayyad rulers in...


After the return of the court to Baghdad in 809, ar-Raqqa/ar-Rāfiqah remained the capital of the western part of the empire including Egypt. During the period of the Hamdānids in the 940s the city declined rapidly.


The Second Blossom of ar-Raqqah

Ar-Raqqah lived a second blossom, based on agriculture and industrial production, during the Zangid and Ayyubid period in the 12th and first half of the 13th century. Most famous is the blue-glazed so called Raqqa-ware, which can be seen in many Museums in the world. The still visible Bāb Baghdād (Baghdad Gate) and the so called Qasr al-Banāt (Castle of the Ladies) are splendid witnesses for this period. Ar-Raqqah was destroyed during the Mongol wars in the 1260s. There is a report about the killing of the last inhabitants of the urban ruin in 1288. Honorary guard of Mongolia. ...

Remains of the Bab Baghdad
Remains of the Bab Baghdad
Sunset over the rooftops in one of the recent quarters
Sunset over the rooftops in one of the recent quarters

Download high resolution version (1260x840, 91 KB)Bad Baghdad! File links The following pages link to this file: Ar Raqqah User:Zeledi ... Download high resolution version (1260x840, 91 KB)Bad Baghdad! File links The following pages link to this file: Ar Raqqah User:Zeledi ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1260x840, 64 KB) Sunset over the Rooftops Many more images of Syria are available on my web site. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1260x840, 64 KB) Sunset over the Rooftops Many more images of Syria are available on my web site. ...

The Ottoman and Modern Period

In the 16th century, ar-Raqqah again entered the historical record as an Ottoman customs post on the Euphrates. The eyalet (province) ar-Raqqah (Ottoman form sometimes spelled as Rakka) was created, however the capital of this eyalet and seat of the vali was ar-Ruhā' (Edessa, present day Urfa in Turkey) about 200 km north of ar-Raqqah. In the 17th century the famous Ottoman traveller and author Evliyâ Çelebi only noticed Arab and Turkoman nomad tents in the vicinity of the ruins. The citadel was partially restored in 1683 and again housed a janissary detachment; over the next decades the province of Raqqah became the centre of the Ottoman Empire's tribal settlement (iskân) policy. Vilâyet (also eyalet or pashaluk) was the Turkish name for the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. ...


The city of ar-Raqqah was resettled from 1864 onwards, first as a military outpost, then as a settlement for former Bedouin Arabs and for Chechens, who came as refugees from the Caucasian war theaters in the middle of the 19th century. An administration-building was erected during the French Mandate. It houses nowadays the Museum of ar-Raqqah (ill. 1). In the fifties of the twentieth century, in the wake of the Corean war, the world wide cotton boom stimulated an unpreceded growth of the city, and the recultivation of this part of the middle Euphrates area. Cotton is still the main agricultural product of the region. The growth of the city meant on the other hand a removal of the archaeological remains of the cities great past. The palace area is now almost covered with settlements, as well as the former area of the ancient ar-Raqqa (today Mishlab) and the former Abbasid industrial district (today al-Mukhtalţa). Only parts were archaeologically explored. The 12th-century citadel was removed in the 1950s (today Dawwār as-Sā'a, the clock-tower circle). In the 1980s rescue ecavations in the palace area began as well as the conservation of the Abbasid city walls with the Bāb Baghdād and the two main monuments intra muros, the Abbasid mosque and the Qasr al-Banat. A Bedouin man resting on a hillside at Mount Sinai Bedouin, derived from the Arabic (‎), a generic name for a desert-dweller, is a term generally applied to Arab nomadic pastoralist groups, who are found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via... This article covers the Chechen people as an ethnic group, not Chechen meaning citizens of Chechnya. ...


Modern population is about 190,000 (2000 estimate).


References

Michael Meinecke, Raqqa on the Euphrates. Recent Excavations at the Residence of Harun er-Rashid, in: Susanne Kerner (ed.), The Near East in Antiquity. German Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt II, Amman 1991, pp. 17–32.


Michael Meinecke, Early Abbasid Stucco Decoration in Bilad al-Sham. In: Muhammad Adnan al-Bakhit – Robert Schick (edd.): Bilad al-Sham During the 'Abbasid Period (132 A.H./750A.D.–451 A.H./1059A.D.). Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference for the History of the Bilad al-Sham 7–11 Sha'ban 1410 A.H./4–8 March, 1990, English and French Section, Amman 1412/1991, pp. 226–237.


Michael Meinecke, Forced Labor in Early Islamic Architecture: The Case of ar-Raqqa/ar-Rafiqa on the Euphrates. In: Ders.: Patterns and Stylistic Changes in Islamic Architecture. Local Traditions Versus Migrating Artists, New York, London 1996, pp. 5–30.


Michael Meinecke, Ar-Raqqa am Euphrat: Imperiale und religiöse Strukturen der islamischen Stadt, in: Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 128 (1996), pp. 157–172.


Stefan Heidemann, Die Renaissance der Städte in Nordsyrien und Nordmesopotamien. Städtische Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Bedingungen in ar-Raqqa und Harran von der Zeit der beduinischen Vorherrschaft bis zu den Seldschuken (Islamic History and Civilization. Studies and Texts 40), Leiden u. a. (Brill) 2002.


Myriam Ababsa, Les mausolées invisibles: Raqqa, ville de pèlerinage ou pôle étatique en Jazîra syrienne? In: Annales de Géographie 622 (2002), pp. 647-664.


Stefan Heidemann - Andrea Becker (edd.), Raqqa II – Die islamische Stadt, Mainz (Philipp von Zabern) 2003.


Verena Daiber - Andrea Becker (edd.), Raqqa III - Baudenkmäler und Paläste I, Mainz (Philipp von Zabern) 2004.


Stefan Heidemann, The Citadel of al-Raqqa and Fortifications in the Middle Euphrates Area, in: Hugh Kennedy (ed.): Muslim Military Architecture in Greater Syria. From the Coming of Islam to the Ottoman Period (History of Warfare 35), Leiden 2005, pp. 122-150.


Stefan Heidemann, The History of the Industrial and Commercial Area of 'Abbasid al-Raqqa Called al-Raqqa al-Muhtariqa, in: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 69/1 (2006), pp. 32-52.


External links

Historical & Archeological

  • The Citadel of ar-Raqqah - article in German
  • An Ancient Cityscape Revealed
  • Raqqa II - Archaeological Publication on ar-Raqqah

Additional Pictures

Coordinates: 35°57′N 39°01′E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
AllRefer.com - Ar Raqqah, Syria (Syrian Political Geography) - Encyclopedia (195 words)
Ar Raqqah[Ar rAk´kA] Pronunciation Key or El Rashid[el rAshEd´] Pronunciation Key, town (1995 est.
The ancient Nicephorium, Ar Raqqah was prominent during the early Abbasid caliphate.
Ar Raqqah was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th cent.; some ruins remain.
Ar Raqqah - Encyclopedia, History, Geography and Biography (1425 words)
It is the capital of the Ar Raqqah Governorate and one of the main cities of the historical Diyar Mudar, the western part of the Jazira.
The city of ar-Raqqah was resettled from 1864 onwards, first as a military outpost, then as a settlement for former Bedouin Arabs and for Chechens, who came as refugees from the Caucasian war theaters in the middle of the 19th century.
Ar Raqqah, Hellenistic and Byzantine Kallinikos, Ar-Raqqah in the Early Islamic Period, The Second Blossom of ar-Raqqah, The Ottoman and Modern Period, References, External links, Historical & Archeological, Additional Pictures and Cities in Syria.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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