Observing paradise

Damascus. None of the modern cities experienced such a variety of influence of cultures and peoples. For many centuries, he passed through all the historical milestones, starting with Neolithic. In Damascus of our days, you can feel the treachery of new high technologies and feel the significance of the oldest discoveries. For in the east, nothing is forgotten and nothing is rejected.

On the Earth’s Exterpressed Earth, there are not so many places capable of giving life to a small settlement, not to mention a major city. Place chosen by the first settlers The fertile valley of the Barada River looks like a green island, lost the medium of endless Syrian sands and basalt wasteland. The rich Gaut Valley simply attracted here a traveler with the aroma of flowering gardens and cool shady trees. The name of the valley comes from Arabic "Gait" "lowland", "grove", "garden". No wonder in antiquity it was believed that "if not Gaut, Damascus would not be Damascus". For wanderers, exacerbated by the Multimalenoya in Damascus, rest in the shady alpha gardens ("fragrant" so also called this city) seemed hardly to be a rayan bliss. Trading routes, stretching from the west to the East and from north to south, as well as fertile soil contributed to the rapid enrichment of the city through trade and crafts. Here traded with excellent local wine, olive oil, mirroe, incense and wool. The city’s enrichment also occurred at the expense of transit trade of copper and iron, so necessary for the production of agricultural tools and weapons. Solva about this fertile city spread far beyond, giving rise not only to its development, but also attracting those who wage to take possession of such a taller.

The history of Damascus is so long and confusing that the Damascins themselves nor numerous books remember the exact time of the city’s foundation. For the first time, it is mentioned in the Egyptian chronicles of almost four thousand years old as a city conquered by Tathermos III in the XV century to our era. In the XII century, the Arabic scientist Ibn Asacker argued that the first new buildings after the World Flood were the city walls of Damascus. A century, the historian Yakut Al-Humavi insisted that the age of the city should be counted from the time of Adam and Eve, because, in his opinion, after expulsion from Eden (it is believed that the paradise garden was located somewhere nearby, in the messenis) they settled It is in the area of ​​Damascus. Biblical version "confirm" and many landmarks here. On the slopes of Mount Kasyun, in which the city is located, there is a cave, called Magarat hell, that translated from Arabic means "Cave of first blood". According to the convicts of citizens, it was in her Cain killed his brother. Not far there are seventer funeral sarcophagus, as well as the legendary grave of the Biblical Tsar Nerod, who, again, on the local legend, gave Abraham a slave Demashka, who subsequently became the founder of the city. And according to scientists, the age of the first settlements in the area of ​​modern Damascus has from 6 to 8 thousand years. In those distant times, when the first civilizations originated, the city began to grow in the blooming valley, which was destined to become ancient one of the current existing.

Over the centuries, Damascus has been a permanent object of foreign invasions. In the III Millennium BC, Akkad and UR states, located on the territory of the interfluve, tried to conquer the city. In the XVI XIV centuries before our era, three states of Egypt, the Hittt Kingdom and Mitarian. In the XI century BC, the city was captured and established in it Aramey, founded the Damascus kingdom, which became the first strong Syrian state. High Divine Hadad Aramey built a sanctuary that became famous for their greatness in all surrounding countries. In the Old Testament, it is mentioned that his altar copied the ruler of the Jews King Ahaz. True, the same AHAZ in the first half of the 7th century BC was convicted of a union with the ruler of Damascus Recinition, sent by Vladyka Assyria a large bribe with a request to protect him "from the hand of king Syrian". This has become a reason for the Assyrian invasion. Damascus resisted long, but neither powerful defensive fortifications, nor a 5-year-old food supply helped him survive. In 732 BC, after the annual siege of the city, the Assyrian king Tigut-Palacear III went to the attack. Skillfully using taran and special siege tools called "Great Mukhi" (Large wooden frames on which powerful ropes from horse-haired and oak flashed, who worked like catapults were screwed down), Assyrians destroyed urban walls and entered the city. After a week of bloody street fighting, Damascus was taken, his famous bunned gardens burned, the ruler Recine is beheaded, and 20,000 citizens are risen in captivity. According to the new Assyrian territorial division, Syria has become a province, and Damascus, respectively, by a provincial city, continuing, however, remain the center of intersection of caravanways and trade. After conquering Assyria, Midwi and Babylon in 605 BC of our territory were divided. Syria began to be subject to the New-Babylonian (or Chaldean) Power, being under the tribute to Nahipudonosor. Rulers changed, and the city lived his life. In 539 BC, the king of the state of Agemenidov Cyrus II took Damascus and included it in the composition of a huge Agemenid Empire.

For the first time with dramatous changes in his life, Damascus collided during the topics of Alexander Macedon. In 333 to our era, the army, led by one of the war commander Alexander Great Parmenion, entered Damascus. The city became part of the Empire of Alexander Macedon. Greek influence has a beneficial effect on life and on the appearance of the city. The conquerors were actively engaged in construction, laid new roads. Romans came to replace the Greeks. In 64, BC, after a number of victories, the Roman commander of the Gna Pompei, headed by his legions entered Damascus. The Romans in every way supported the dominant position of Damascus as the center of Eastern Trade and Crafts. Defensive fortifications and forts were raised to ensure safety. The sanctuary of the Supreme Aramaic God of Hadada Romans rebuilt into the temple of the Yupiter Damassky.

In the period of Roman dominion, Christianity penetrates in Syria. But a very long time his adherents were persecuted. Interesting the fact that the Apostle Paul adopted Christianity here. And before that, he, named after Savle, was so tary with the pursuer of Christians, which even asked the permission from Jerusalem Sedrin to go to Damascus with a punitive mission. However, as evidenced "Acts of Apostles", On the way to the city, he was Christ, and after this vision he unexpectedly. Rocking somehow to Damascus, Sawl stopped at the House of Christian named Judas and, without taking food and not quenching thirst for three days, waited for what will happen. And on the fourth to him came the follower of Christ by name Anania, heal Sawa laying hands and committed baptism rite. After that, Sawl received the name Paul and became one of the apostles of Christ. After the section in 395, the Roman Empire on Western and Eastern Damascus passed under the power of Christian Byzantium. Emperor Feodosius, struggling with paganism, destroyed the Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, building in his place the Basilica of St. Zechariah, which was a little later called the name of St. John the Baptist.

In 633, the Byzantines gave way to Syria Arabam and in the 661st first Khaliph dynasty of Moaviya Muavia Bin Abu Sufyan made Damascus the capital of his huge caliphate, Stranded by Indus to Nile. New religion Islam contributed to the economic revival of the city. For Muslim pilgrims, sent to Hajj in Mecca, Damascus was the last settlement before the start of the exhaustive, length of almost a month, the transition through the Arabian desert. On the spot where the Basilica of St. John the Baptist stood, a mosque was built. For 10 years of this grand construction, 11 million dinars were spent by the amount accumulated in the Treasury of Caliph for 7 years. 12 thousand workers and the best masters designed from all ends of the Caliphate participated in construction. In 708, during clearing the territory under the foundation was accidentally discovered underground crypt. It turned out that, on the local legend, the head of St. John the Baptist rests in it. Fanatical Muslim Khalif Walid decided to immediately get rid of the Christian shrine, however, hardly his hands touched the skull, the caliph found a stupor he could not even move. Nerre in this sign Over, Vladyka commanded to build a special sarcophagus for the relics and put it inside the new mosque.

Observing paradise

. After the scaffolding were removed, the city was a grand sight like which did not happen. Mosaic made of gold and green smalt shine in the sun, the milean hall hit the imagination, and the light penetrated through the colored stained glass windows, played on the edges of the gems, decorated the ceiling. The surviving columns of the Roman temple of Jupiter harmoniously fit into a new miracle of Damascus. It is believed that it was the dynasty of Omeyadov first introduced such a structure to everyday, as a minaret, serving to call believers on prayer. If this is true, then the bride minaret, erected during the construction of the mosque, can be considered one of the oldest in the world. Over the next centuries, the mosque was repeatedly burning, but the fate was pleased that the work and the skill of people did not go into oblivion.

Dynasty of Omeyad Rules in Syria until 750, until then, until the power in the calipheat seized Abansides. The capital in 762, they transferred to the Baghdad founded by them, and Damascus, although the remaining province center, gradually began to decline. Subsequent centuries did not bring the city either prosperity, nor well-being, he lived in the constant waiting for new invasions, including Christian crusaders, who were striving to win their shrines from Muslims. The stability and waslas of Glory began to return to the city after Iraq’s out suits Kurd Salah Ad-Dean, who lived in Damascus at the court of Sultan Hyp Ad-Dina, began an active struggle with Christians who tried three times (in 1125, 1129 and 1148) Capture Damascus. Saladin (this Europeans called this) From 1164, by order of Sultan, he headed the military campaigns against Egypt, in 1169 he was appointed Vizier of this state, and in 1174 he received the title of Sultan Egypt. After the death of Sultan HYP Ad-Din, followed in the same year, Saladin subjugated all the Syrian sultan possessions and some land of Iraq. Collecting the impressive for those times the army, in 1187, Saladin took Jerusalem, defeating the Crusaders and drive them with most of Syria and Palestine.

But the period of the revival of the ancient city lasted not long. He again, in which already once, was destined to join the lane of wars and decline. In the second half of the XIII century, Damascus was captured by Mamluki, who made the Guard of the Ayubid dynasty. And in 1400 a new trouble was collapsed into Damascus – Hordes of Tamerlan approached Syria. Estimated everything in its path, "Chrome Timur" broke into Damascus and almost destroyed an ancient city. Only after the repurchase of 1 million gold coins troops Tamerlan left the city, or rather what remained from him, taking with them to Samarkand famous Damascus guns and glass powder. The actions of the invaders were so devastating that for another half a century Damascus was practically uninhabited. So the next capture of Damascus of the Ottoman Empire, which occurred in 1516, became more good for him than a disaster. Damascus did not see such a rapid construction of at least 400 years. Ottoman dominion lasted just over 400 years, ending in 1918, after weakening the empire, which was dependent on European capital and has become actually half colonias of imperialist powers. In October 1918, Syria was occupied by English troops, and in the fall of the next year on the basis of the Anglo-French Agreement, the British changed the French. In the summer of 1920, the French troops occupied Damascus and Syria came under the French mandate, the action of which lasted until 1943. Syria’s complete state independence was able to achieve only in 1961.

Modern Damascus This is supern skyscrapers and carefully protected ruins of ancient buildings, the latest models of cars and wooden carts, harvested by small horses, electronic sounds of rhythm’n’blusion and the guidance motives of the Eastern Flute "Nag". Damascus’s heart still keeps the spirit of a long time, it’s easy to get lost here in a maze of narrow medieval streets or freely walking along the geometrically verified squares of Greco-Roman quarters, to go to Via Pecta, the straight street mentioned in the ancient texts. Relax in the area of ​​Greek Agora and relax in the subsidiary of the Luxury Palace Al-Aland Residence of the Turkish Vali Damascus. Muslims completely peacefully get along with Christians, which in Damascus is almost half of all population. There is no confrontation and pressure of one over the other, but there is a desire to comprehend new and save the old on disputes and hostility there is no time, all are busy with their business.

Observing paradise

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