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Apamea

Located 55 km to the northwest of Hama, Apamea is one of the four cities founded by Seleucus I Nicator in Syria at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. It enjoyed the advantage of rich pasture to provide a breeding centre for the army horses. In 64 BC, the Romans under Pompeii took Apamea and its citadel was razed. Under Roman rule, Apamea was further developed as a military base. Theatre, baths, temples and villas were built during the city's peak prosperity on 2nd century AD. The colonnaded main street was completed in its present form during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Apamea remained a centre of considerable importance into the Byzantine period. It was made the capital of "Syria Secunda" province in the early 5th century and was the seat of a bishop. The Persians sacked and burned the city in 573. The Persians held it again from 612 to 628 and the Byzantine "liberation" came just in time to see its fall to the Arabs a decade later. The town was under crusader's control from 1106. The Prince of Aleppo Nur-Al-Din Zangui retook it in 1149. In 1157 a major earthquake destroyed the town. 



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