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Near East Kingdoms

Ancient Syria


Bashan (Syria)

This was a small state which was based in the scrub country immediately east of the Golan Heights in modern Syria, to the south of Damascus and quite close to the city state of Geshur. Founded in about the fifteenth century BC by Ammonite and Canaanite settlers, it was subject to Amorite incursions during the fourteenth century, and it was they who turned it into a kingdom. While limited in its power, at times it controlled the Golan Heights themselves, and territory from Hermon to Gilead, north to south, and the River Jordan to Salcah, east to west. Following its conquest by the Israelites the city almost disappeared from historical records.

fl c.1330 BC


1300s BC


fl c.1135 - 1115 BC

Og the Amorite

The 'last Rephaim'.

1100s - 928 BC

Og, king of Bashan, is described in the Old Testament's Book of Deuteronomy as the last of the Rephaim in his land. His bed is four metres long and two metres wide. The Rephaim have been enforcedly sidelined for the previous seven hundred years by established states around them, so their disappearance is not surprising.

Bashan (the Bible's Basha) is conquered by the Israelite tribe of Menasseh when Og's forces are completely routed while attempting to push back the invaders. Og is also connected to the site of Rujm-al-Hiri in Sidon.

Rujm al-Hiri
The site at Rujm al-Hiri dates to 4000 BC, but it was re-used around 3000-2000 BC to house a tomb, legendarily belonging to King Og of Bashan (who actually lived about 1135 BC)

928 - 850 BC

Bashan is part of the kingdom of Samaria.

850 - 732 BC

Damas (Damascus) removes Bashan from Samarian control.

732 - 43 BC

The Assyrians capture and destroy Damas. Bashan is controlled by whomever has Damas until Rome occupies the area.


From around the sixth century BC, Achaemenid-controlled Bashan was divided into four districts: Gaulonitis (Jaulan), the most western of them; Auranitis (the Hauran); Argob or Trachonitis, now the Lejah - Argob had been one of Solomon's Israelite commissariat districts in the tenth century BC; and Batanaea (modern Ard-el-Bathanyeh), to the east of the Lejah.

Although Syria and the Levant were conquered by Rome in 63 BC, some areas were invaded and occupied by Parthians between 40-37 BC. When Roman control returned, a client kingdom was set up at Batanaea, sometimes under the supervision of Judea and answering directly to Rome for the rest of the time.

AD 6? - 34


King of Judea.

39? - 44

Agrippa I

King of Judea.

52 - c.100

Agrippa II

King of Judea. In Chalcis (52-53).


Direct rule by Rome follows.


The city falls under Israeli control once again.

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