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Homs(hômz, hôms) or
Hims(hĭms), city (1995 est. pop. 455,000), capital of Homs governorate, W central Syria, on the Orontes River. A commercial center located in a fertile plain where wheat, grapes, fruit, and vegetables are grown, Homs has historically produced such manufactures include refined petroleum, flour, fertilizer, processed foods, handicrafts, and silk, cotton, and woolen textiles, but the Syrian civil war in the 2010s destroyed much of the city's economy. Homs also is a road and rail junction and has an oil refinery. The city has a university.
In ancient times Homs, then called Emesa, was the site of a great temple to Baal (or Helios-Baal), the sungod. Emesa came into startling prominence in the early 3d cent. A.D. when a priest of the temple became Roman emperor as HeliogabalusHeliogabalus
, c.205–222, Roman emperor (218–22). He was a priest of the local sun god, Elagabalus, at Emesa and was named Varius Avitus Bassianus.
..... Click the link for more information. , or Elagabalus. AurelianAurelian
(Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) , c.212–275, Roman emperor (270–75). Rising in the ranks, he became consul under Valerian. He succeeded Claudius II, whose victory over the Goths had begun the territorial rehabilitation of the empire.
..... Click the link for more information. defeated the forces of ZenobiaZenobia
, d. after 272, queen of Palmyra. She was of Arab stock and was the wife of Septimius Odenathus. He was murdered, probably through her contrivance, and she obtained rule of his lands in the name of her son.
..... Click the link for more information. of Palmyra there in 272.
In 636, Muslim Arabs took the town, which became known as Homs. The Arab general KhalidKhalid
(Khalid ibn al-Walid), d. 642, Arab warrior. He assisted the Meccans in attacking (625) Muhammad and the inhabitants of Medina after the battle of Badr. Khalid and the Meccans were victorious in the battle of Ohud but did not follow up their victory.
..... Click the link for more information. died there in 642; a shrine and mosque in his honor were erected in 1908. Homs was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th cent. until after World War I, when it became part of the French League of Nations mandate. In 2011, Homs was a center of protest against President Bashar al-AssadAssad, Bashar al-
, 1965–, Syrian political leader, son of Hafez al-Assad. A medical doctor, he left Syria (1992) for an ophthamology residency in London when his elder brother, Basil, his father's designated heir, was killed (1994) in an automobile accident.
..... Click the link for more information. 's rule, which elicited violent government suppression, and the city, including the mosque erected in Khalid's honor, was devastated by fighting during the subsequent civil war.
(also Hims), a city in western Syria, in the valley of the el-Asi River; administrative center of Hims Province. Population, 215,500 (1970). Horns, a railroad and highway junction, produces oil, mineral fertilizers, cement, textiles, and food products, including canned foods and dairy products. Petroleum pipelines from Iraq and the Karachuk oil fields in Syria pass through Horns on their way to the ports of Tartus and Baniyas. Petroleum products go by pipelines from Horns to Damascus, Aleppo, and Lata-kia. Fruits, grain, and animal products are also traded in Horns.