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The Roman amphitheatre
The Roman amphitheatre
As-Suwayda is located in Syrie
Location in Sirie
Coordinates: 32°42′N 36°34′E / 32.700°N 36.567°E / 32.700; 36.567
Kintra Sirie
GovernorateAs-Suwayda Govrenorate
DestrictAs-Suwayda Destrict
 (2008 est.)
 • Total63,324
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)+3
Area code(s)16

As Suwayda (Arabic: السويداءAs Suwaidā), an aw spelt Sweida, is a mainly Druze ceety locatit in soothwastren Sirie, close tae the border wi Jordan.

It is the caipital o the As-Suwayda Govrenorate, ane o Sirie's 14 govrenorates, borderin Jordan in the sooth an the govrenorates o Daraa in the wast an Rif Dimashq in the northeast.

Sweida's toun square

Demographics an Population[eedit | eedit soorce]

The inhabitants o the ceety are mainly Druze wi a prominent Greek orthodox minority, The population o the ceety is estimatit at 63,324 (2008).

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

The ceety wis foondit bi the Nabataeans as Suada. It became kent as Dionysias in the Hellenistic an Roman times, for Dionysus the god o wine - the ceety is situatit in a famous auncient wine-producin region.

The name Dionysias replacit the umwhile Nabatean name o Suada in 149 AD efter the Nabataean influence decreased an then concentrated towards the sooth, as a result o the acceleratin Hellenization o Coele-Sirie at that time.

Dionysias wis a pairt o the Roman province o Arabia Petraea, an receivit the richts o civitas unner the reign o Commodus atween 180–185.

Dionysus wis worshipped in the same Nabatean temple dedicatit for Dushara. This practice o associatin the wirship o local an Hellenic gods wis common in Hellenistic Sirie.

This name remained in uise durin the Byzantine period, when the toun wis unner the influence o Ghassanids, Dionysias then wis a Diocese as a suffragan o Bosra. It wis mentioned in the Synecdemus o Hierocles. Efter the Muslim conquests it became a titular see.[1]

In recent times Dionysias wis firstly identifeed as Sweida bi William Henry Waddington.

Airchaeology[eedit | eedit soorce]

The airch of the lesser kirk

Mony aircheological remains can be foond in the auld pairt o Sweida includin:

  • Temple o Dionysus-Dushara: aicht well-decoratit columns are still staundin frae the temple.
  • Saint Sergius Basilica: wis built in the fift century A.D. It haes Byzantine airchitectur elements, wi an abbey surroondin it. The basilica wis dedicatit tae Saunt Sergius.
  • The airch o the lesser kirk: the kirk itsel is ruined. An airch is still staundin there kent locally as Al Mashnaqa wi grape motif decorations.
  • The amphitheatre: wis recently discovered, sooth o the Agora.

The ceety haes an aw mony Roman time auld hooses that are still inhabitit bi locals, auncient reservoirs, an watch touers.

Mony pairts o the auld ceety are still tae be excavatit like the Roman aqueduct, a conical reservoir, an a lairger Roman amphitheatre.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05009a.htm Dionysias in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Template:Ceeties o Sirie