Hama Syria

pictures of the World: Syria: Hama

Hama, Hamath, Khamat, Amat, Hamata

Hama Syria



Hama (Biblical: Hamath = "fortress") is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in central Syria north of Damascus. Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria - behind Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs.

The ancient settlement of Hamath was occupied from the early Neolithic to the Iron Age.

The Amorite people colonized the area during the third millennium B.C. The Amorites came from Mari on the River Euphrates.

The name appears to stem from Phoenician khamat = fort.

At 1000 BC Hama was the capital of a prosperous Aramaean Kingdom known from the Bible as Hamath which traded extensively, particularly with what is now Israel. The Aramaean lived comparatively peacefully, co-existing with other states in the region. Gradually Aramaic became the most widely used language of the Near East.

When the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (AD 858-824) conquered the north of Syria he reached Hamath (Assyrian: Amat or Hamata) in 835 BC.

After the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 738 BC, Hamath's king Ilu-Bi'di (Jau-Bi'di) led a failed revolt of the newly organized Assyrian provinces. It was this revolt which led to the deportation of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

Few Biblical reports state that Hamath was the capital of a Canaanite Kingdom, whose king congratulated King David on his victory over Hadadezer, king of Soba. Solomon took possession of Hamath and its territory and built store cities. Assyria's defeat of Hamath made a profound impression on Isaiah. The prophet Amos called the town "Hamath the Great."

Alexander the Great's campaign from 334 to 323 BC brought Syria under Hellenic influence. The Aramaeans were allowed to return to the city, which was renamed Epiphania, after the Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes

In Byzantine days (330 AD) Hama was known as Emath.


Noria in Hama Syria

Noria in Hama, Syria

all pictures on this page from unknown source

created 28 April 2011

on Google site since 16 December 2012

updated 16 December 2012