History and Archaeology of Buṣrā al-Shām



By the Editors of the Madain Project

Bosra (بصرى‎), Buṣrā, also spelled Bostra, Busrana, Bozrah, Bozra and officially known Busra al-Sham (بصرى الشام), is a town in southern Syria, administratively belonging to the Daraa District of the Daraa Governorate and geographically being part of the Hauran region. Bosra has an ancient history and during the Roman era it was a prosperous provincial capital and Metropolitan Archbishopric, under the jurisdiction of Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. It continued to be administratively important during the Islamic era, but became gradually less prominent during the Ottoman era.

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Brief History of Bosra

The origins of Bosra can be traced back to at least the Bronze Age, with evidence of settlement in the area dating back to the second millennium BCE. It was an important crossroads for trade and culture in the region.

Roman and Byzantine Periods:
Bosra gained prominence during the Roman Empire and became the capital of the Roman province of Arabia. During this time, it was known as Bostra. The city flourished with the construction of monumental structures, including the Roman Theatre, which is still remarkably well-preserved.

Early Islamic Period:
In the seventh century (circa 634 CE), Bosra came under the control of the early Islamic Caliphate after the Islamic conquests. It played a significant role in early Islamic history and served as an important center for learning and culture under the Muslims.

Crusader Rule:
During the Crusader period, Bosra was briefly under the control of the Crusaders in the 12th century. The town changed hands several times during the Crusades.

Mamluk and Ottoman Periods:
In the later medieval period, Bosra came under the rule of various Islamic dynasties, including the Mamluks and the Ottomans, and it continued to thrive as a regional center.

Modern History:
In the early 20th century, Bosra was part of the Ottoman Empire, but it came under French control during World War I when Syria was under French mandate. It later became part of independent Syria.

Explore the History of Ancient Bosra

Archaeology of Ancient Bosra

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