Apamea Travel Blog› entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
Apamea was founded in 300 BC by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals and the first king of the Seleucids in Syria. He named it after his Bactrian wife, Apame. The beautiful new Hellenistic city soon flourished, becoming one of the three main cities of the Seleucid Empire . Its population numbered half a million.
Pompey made Apamea part of the Roman Empire in 64 BC, and it was in the Roman period that much of what remains today was built. As an Eastern crossroads, Apamea received many distinguished visitors, including Cleopetra, Septimus Severus and the Emperor Caracalla.
On the outbreak of the Jewish Revolt in the 1st century AD, the inhabitants of Apamea spared the Jews who lived in their midst, and would not allow them them to be murdered or led into captivity.
Most of the excavated ruins enjoyed by modern visitors to Apamea date from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Apamea is especially distinguished for its high walls and the main thoroughfare surrounded by columns with twisted fluting. The street, known as the Cardo Maximus to the Romans, is 1.85km long and 87 meters wide.
The site is one of those pleasant suprises of somewhere you have never heard of which is wonderful to visit.