; , Afamia
) was a treasure city and stud-depot of the Seleucid
kings, was capital of Apamene
, on the right bank of the Orontes
River. (Steph. B.
s. v.; Strabo
xvi. p. 752; Ptolemy
v. 15. § 19; Festus Avienus
, v. 1083; Anton. Itin.
). Its site is found about to the northwest of Hama
, overlooking the Ghab valley
. Previously known as Pharmake, it was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator
in 300 BC, who so named it after his Bactrian
– not his mother, as Stephanus asserts (compare Strabo, p. 578). In pursuance of his policy of Hellenizing Syria, it bore the Macedonian
name of Pella. The fortress was placed upon a hill; the windings of the Orontes, with the lake and marshes, gave it a peninsular form, whence its other name of Cherronêsos. Seleucus had his commissariat there, 500 elephants, with 30,000 mares, and 300 stallions. The pretender, Diodotus Tryphon
, made Apamea the basis of his operations. (Strab. l. c.) Located at a strategic crossroads for Eastern commerce, the city flourished to the extent that its population eventually numbered half a million. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis
xiv. 3. § 2) relates, that Pompey
marching south from his winter quarters, probably at or near Antioch
, razed the fortress of Apamea in 64 BC whence the city was annexed to the Roman Republic
. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus
, it held out against Julius......