Seleucia at the Zeugma

Seleucia at the Zeugma

Seleucia epi tou Zeugmatos (Seleucia at the Zeugma) – Greek: Σελεύκεια επί του Ζεύγματος, also transliterated "Seleukeia epi tou Zeugmatos", – was a Hellenistic city - or rather, fortified town - in the present Republic of Turkey, on the left, or south, bank of the Euphrates, across from ancient Samosata and not far from it.

It is mentioned in isolated incidents: Antiochus III the Great married a Pontic princess there in 221 BC; the "Oxford Classical Dictionary" ascribed this to Zeugma. Tigranes let Cleopatra Selene, the widow of Antiochus X Eusebes, be killed there. Pompey gave the city and its surroundings to Antiochus I Theos of Commagene; Pliny the Elder nonetheless ascribes it to Coele Syria. The bishop Eusebius of Samosata ruled a day's journey from his see, even to Zeugma. The name of the city is confirmed by an inscription from Rhodes, which refers to a man "of Seleucia, of those on the Euphrates".

Its location is uncertain. It had a bridge of boats, like the the well-known (and now submerged) city of Zeugma, in Osrohene further downstream; which is too far downstream, and on the wrong side of the river to be the boundary of Eusebius' see. By the same reasoning, it cannot be either of the places called "el Qantara" ("bridge") which were just above, and 2 km below, modern Samsat, Turkey, before its old site was also flooded, by the Ataturk Dam. The Barrington Atlas conjectures that it was at Killik, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey coord|37|26|N|38|14|E|), on the basis of T.A. Sinclair's "Eastern Turkey : an architectural and archaeological survey", which is some 40 km downstream from Samosata, and below the dam.

The reasoning here is unclear. Sinclair shows this Killik (which means "Claypit" in Turkish), on his map at IV 172, but all four of his references to the name in his text are to a Killik at coord|39|23|N|37|42|E|, at the headwaters of the Euphrates, near Divriği.


*Pauly-Wissowa, "Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft: neue Bearbeitung" "Seleukia" 4, Vol 2.1 of 24, p. 1205, 1921.
* Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 978-0-691-03169-9), Map 67 and commentary.

Further reading

:"From Pauly-Wissowa
*Polybius, 5.43.1
*Strabo, XVI 749
*Appian, "Mithradates" 114
*Pliny the Elder, 5,82
*Theodoret 4.14
*CIG II 2548

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