Abila Lysaniou

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Abila Lysaniou
Abila Lysaniou is located in Syria
Abila Lysaniou
Shown within Syria
Location Syria
Region Rif Dimashq Governorate
Coordinates 33°37′36″N 36°06′21″E / 33.626667°N 36.105833°E / 33.626667; 36.105833

Abila Lysaniou or Abila Lysaniae or Abila was an ancient city, on the Abana River and capital of ancient Abilene, Coele-Syria. The site is currently that of the village of Suk Wadi Barada (called Abil-es-Suk by early Arab geographers), circa 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Damascus, Syria. It has also been identified as the village of Abil just south of Homs in central Syria. The city's surname is derived from Lysanias, a governor of the region.

The site contains ruins of a temple, aqueducts, and other remains, and inscriptions, on the banks of the river.[1] Though the names Abel and Abila differ in derivation and in meaning, their similarity has given rise to the tradition that this was the place of Abel's burial.[1] The city is mentioned in the New Testament (Luke 3:1). According to Josephus, Abilene was a separate Iturean kingdom till AD 37, when it was granted by Caligula to Agrippa I; in 52 Claudius granted it to Agrippa II.[1]


Abila Lysaniae, which was in the Roman province of Phoenicia Secunda, was also a Christian bishopric. The Coptic version of the acts of the First Council of Nicaea includes a Heliconius of this see among the participants..[2] Iordanus was at the 445 Council of Antioch and at the Council of Chalcedon of 451. John was one of the signatories of a joint letter that the bishops of Phoenicia Secunda sent in 458 to Byzantine Emperor Leo I the Thracian to protest at the killing of Proterius of Alexandria. Alexander was deposed by Emperor Justin I in 518 for his Jacobite tendencies.[3][4]

No longer a residential diocese, it is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[5]

"Abila" in Old French literature[edit]

Abila, also written as "Abilant"[6] or "Abelant", appears as a castle or city, a character from that place (a princess, king, sultan, as in Rouge-Lion d'Abilant) or even a Saracen's formal name, in The Jerusalem Continuations: The London and Turin Redactions of the Old French Crusade cycle, Simon de Puille: Chanson de geste, Karlamagnús saga: The Saga of Charlemagne and His Heroes, and Gloriant.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Abila". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 62. 
  2. ^ Heinrich Gelzer, Patrum Nicaenorum nomina Archived 2013-07-29 at the Wayback Machine., Leipzig 1898, p. 85, nº 77.
  3. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 843-846
  4. ^ Siméon Vailhé, v. 2. Abila, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. I, Paris 1909, coll. 120-122
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 822
  6. ^ Toynbee, Paget Jackson (ed). Specimens of Old French: (IX-XV centuries). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°37′36″N 36°06′21″E / 33.62667°N 36.10583°E / 33.62667; 36.10583