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Raphanea is located in Syria
Shown within Syria
Location Syria
Region Hama Governorate
Coordinates 34°55′58″N 36°22′36″E / 34.93278°N 36.37667°E / 34.93278; 36.37667Coordinates: 34°55′58″N 36°22′36″E / 34.93278°N 36.37667°E / 34.93278; 36.37667

Raphanea or Raphaneae (present-day Rafniye) was a city of the late Roman province of Syria Secunda. Its bishopric was a suffragan of Apamea.


Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh days (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way northward from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.[1]

Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which was launched the successful bid of 14-year-old Elagabalus to become Roman Emperor in 218.[2]

Raphanea issued coins under Elagabalus,[3] and many of its coins are extant.[4][5][6]

Hierocles[7] and Georgius Cyprius[8] mention Raphanea among the towns of Syria Secunda. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli.[9] It was then known as Rafania.[10]

Episcopal see[edit]

The only bishops of Raphanea known are:[10][11]

  • Bassianus, present at the Nicaea, 325;
  • Gerontius at Philippopolis, 344;
  • Basil at Constantinople, 381;
  • Lampadius at Chalcedon, 451;
  • Zoilus about 518;
  • Nonnus, 536.

The see is mentioned as late as the 10th century in the Notitia episcopatuum of Antioch.[10][12]


External links[edit]