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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


Circesium (Classical Syriac: ܩܪܩܣܝܢ 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.[2]

Circesium passed temporarily into the hands of the Persians by the treaty made by the Emperor Jovian (363).[3]

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

The city was restored by Justinian I.[2]

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.[2]


The bishopric of Circesium was a suffragan of Edessa, the capital of the Roman province of Osrhoene.

A Nestorian writer says that a Bishop Jonas of this see was one of the participants at the First Council of Nicaea (325) who had suffered mutilation during the preceding persecution. However, his name does not appear in the authentic list. Abrahamius, took part in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and was a signatory of the joint letter that the bishops of the province of Osrhoene sent to Byzantine Emperor Leo I the Thracian in 458 regarding the murder of Patriarch Proterius of Alexandria. Nonnus was a supporter of Severus of Antioch and was expelled by Emperor Justin I in 518. He also acted as a representative of the Monophysites at a conference held in Constantinople in 532. Davithas (David) was a member of the council called by Patriarch Menas of Constantinople in 536, and Thomas was at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553. Michael the Syrian lists fourteen Jacobite bishops of the see, apart from Nonnus, the last being of the 11th century.[4][5][6]

No longer a residential bishopric, Circesium is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[7]


  1. ^ Maps, Weather, and Airports for Al Busayrah, Syria
  2. ^ a b c Sophrone Pétridès, "Circesium" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1908)
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam. Nw Ed. IV: Karkisiya. p.654.
  4. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 977-980
  5. ^ Raymond Janin, v. Circesium, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Paris 1953, coll. 836-837
  6. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 437
  7. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 870
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