Anbar (town)

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Anbar is located in Iraq
Anbar's location inside Iraq
Coordinates: 33°25′11″N 43°18′45″E / 33.41972°N 43.31250°E / 33.41972; 43.31250
Country Iraq
Governorate Al Anbar

Anbar (الأنبار) was a town in Iraq, at lat. 33 deg. 22' N., long. 43 deg. 49' E, on the east bank of the Euphrates, just south of the Nahr 'Isa, or Sakhlawieh canal, the northernmost of the canals connecting that river with the Tigris.


Anbar was originally called Pērōz-Šāpūr or Pērōz-Šābuhr (from Middle Persian: 𐭯𐭥𐭩𐭥𐭦𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩, meaning "Victorious Shapur"; in Parthian: 𐭐𐭓𐭂𐭅𐭆𐭔𐭇𐭐𐭅𐭇𐭓 prgwzšhypwhr; in Aramaic: פירוז שבור‎), and became known as Perisapora to the Greeks and Romans. The city was founded ca. 350 by Shapur II, Sassanid king of Persia, and located in the Sassanid province of Asōristān. Perisapora was sacked and burned by Emperor Julian in April 363, during his invasion of the Sassanid Empire.[1] The town became a refuge for the Arab, Christian, and Jewish colonies of that region.[2] According to medieval Arabic sources, most of the inhabitants of the town migrated north to find the city of Hdatta south of Mosul.[3]

Anbar was adjacent or identical to the Babylonian Jewish center of Nehardea (Aramaic: נהרדעא‎), and lies a short distance from the present-day town of Fallujah, formerly the Babylonian Jewish center of Pumbeditha (Aramaic: פומבדיתא‎).

The name of the town was then changed to Anbar ("granaries"). Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah, the founder of the Abbasid caliphate, made it his capital, and such it remained until the founding of Baghdad in 762. It continued to be a place of much importance throughout the Abbasid period.[2]

Anbar used to host an Assyrian community from the fifth century: the town was the seat of a bishopric of the Church of the East. The names of 14 of its bishops of the period 486–1074 are known, three of whom became patriarchs.[4] No longer a residential bishopric, Anbar is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see of the Chaldean Catholic Church.[5]


It is now entirely deserted, occupied only by mounds of ruins, whose great number indicate the city's former importance.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ G. W. Bowersock, Julian the Apostate, (Harvard University Press, 1978), 112.
  2. ^ a b c Peters 1911.
  3. ^ Lewis, Bernard (1986). "Ḥadīt̲a". In Hertzfeld, E. Encyclopaedia of Islam 3 (Second ed.). BRILL. p. 29. ISBN 9789004081185. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 1171-1174
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 832

Coordinates: 33°22′43″N 43°42′57″E / 33.37861°N 43.71583°E / 33.37861; 43.71583