Byzantine tower at Barbalissos
|Location||Near Maskanah, Aleppo Governorate, Syria|
|Region||Lake Assad shoreline|
|Abandoned||14th century AD|
|Cultures||Roman, Byzantine, Islamic|
|Events||Battle of Barbalissos (253)|
It was a city in the province of Syria Euphratensis, where the Equites Dalmatae Illyriciani (a cavalry unit recruited in the Balkans) kept garrison (Notitia Dignitatum Orientis, ed. Boecking, 88, 389).
The bishop of Barbalissos was at the First Council of Nicaea and it had active Catholic bishops until the sixth century. It was a diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church between the eighth and eleventh centuries. It is currently a Roman Catholic titular see.
Its site is marked by the ruins at Qala'at Balis, which partly retains the old name, south of Maskanah (the ancient Emar), in modern Syria, on the road from Aleppo to the site of Sura, where the Euphrates turns suddenly to the east. The spellings Barbarissos and Barbairissos in later Notitiae are wrong; so is Barbaricus campus in Procopius's De bello Persico (II, 99). Michel Le Quien (I, 407) wrongly gives Barbalissus as synonymous with Balbisse, another bishopric in Cappadocia, known only in 1143.
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