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Callinicus

A titular see, of Asia Minor

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Callinicus, a titular see, of Asia Minor. The city was founded by Alexander the Great under the name of Nicephorium, and restored by Seleucus Callinicus, King of Syria (246-225 B.C.), who gave his name to it. In the fifth century of our era it was refortified by Emperor Leo I, after which it was commonly known to Byzantine geographers as Callinicus or Leontopolis, being mentioned by Hierocles and Georgius Cyprius among ‘others. Two famous battles were fought on the broad surrounding plain, one in 531 between Belisarius and the Persians, the other in 583 between the Persians and Emperor Mauritius. Callinicus was a suffragan of Edessa, the metropolis of Os rhoene. Four bishops are mentioned by Lequien (II, 696); Paul, deposed in 519 as a Monophysite, translated into Syriac so many Greek works that he is called by the Jacobites “the interpreter of books”. The patriarch Michael the Syrian mentions twenty Jacobite bishops of Callinicus from the eighth to the thirteenth century (Revue de l’Orient chretien, VI, 1901, 193). Eubel (I, 333, note 2) mentions a Latin titular in 1369. Callinicus is today Raqqah (Rakka), nine miles west of the confluence of the rivers Belik (Bilichus) and Euphrates, the center of a caza in the vilayet of Aleppo, the population consisting chiefly of wandering tribes. It contains about 2600 houses or settled tents. On its rich plain are pastured many camels and Arab thoroughbred horses, but the vicinity is not very safe.

S. VAILHE


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