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Title: Circesium  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Diocletian, Julian (emperor), 287, Philip the Arab, Osroene, Battle of Callinicum, Carchemish, List of castra, Al-Busayrah
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Coordinates: 35°09′24″N 40°25′33″E / 35.156758°N 40.425739°E / 35.156758; 40.425739 Circesium ( qerqesīn) was an ancient city in Osrhoene, corresponding to the modern city of Buseira, in the region of Deir ez-Zor in Syria, at the confluence of the Khabur River with the Euphrates.[1]


Circesium was founded under the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the confluence of the Khabur River with the Euphrates, where the river was commonly crossed. Circesium replaced a still older city, called Sirhi in Assyrian texts.

Circesium passed temporarily into the hands of the Persians by the treaty made by the Emperor Jovian (363).[2]

According to the Notitia Dignitatum, at the beginning of the 5th century it was the see of the Praefect of the Legio IIII Parthica.

The city was restored by Justinian I.

Benjamin of Tudela and many after him identified it wrongly with Kharkamis (Carchamish) (known to the Greeks as Europos or Oropos), one of the capitals of the Hittites, located at Jirbas or Jerablus.

Titular see

Circesium is also the name of a Catholic titular see.

Circesium was a bishopric in Osrhoene, suffragan of Edessa, it figures only in Parthey's Notitiae episcopatuum (c. 840). Lequien[3] mentions five bishops:

  • Jonas, who was present at Nicaea, and had suffered mutilation during the preceding persecution;
  • Abramius, present at Chalcedon;
  • Nonnus, a Severian (518 and 532);
  • Davides, present at Constantinople (536);
  • Thomas (553).

There are also records of fourteen Jacobite bishops, from 793 to 1042.



  • public domain:  The entry cites:
    • RAWLINSON, The Five Great Monarchies (4th ed., London, 1879), II, 67;
    • MASPERO, De Charchemis oppidi situ et historiâ antiquissimâ, 14 sq.;
    • NÖLDEKE, Götting. Nachricht. (Jan., 1876), nn. 11, 13, 15;
    • CHABOT in Revue de l'Orient chrétien, VI, 194.
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