Biqa, Al

(redirected from Coele-Syria)
Also found in: Wikipedia.

Biqa, Al

Biqa, Al (äl bēkäˈ), or El Bika (ĕl bēkäˈ), upland valley of Lebanon and Syria, 75 mi (121 km) long and 5 to 9 mi (8–14.5 km) wide, between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges; highest part of the Rift Valley complex. The village of Baalbek, site of one of the Roman Empire's largest temples, is located on the divide between the headwaters of the Orontes and Litani rivers in the northern part of the valley. In the area N of Baalbek, located in the rain shadow of the Lebanon Mts., nomadic pastoralism is dominant. South of Baalbek, the Litani River (90 mi/145 km long) flows south through the most fertile part of the valley before turning west and cutting through the Lebanon Mts. to the Mediterranean Sea. This section of Al Biqa, called the granary of Lebanon, is very flat, and farming is highly mechanized; vegetables, cereals, fruits, grapes, and cotton are the chief crops. A dam and irrigation project on the lower Litani supplies water to the dry, extreme southern part of Al Biqa, where cereals and grazing are important; through a mountain tunnel, the project also irrigates the Lebanese coastal plain. The Biqa valley, once the heart of ancient Coele-Syria, has been the scene of warfare since the dawn of history. Al Biqa was included in a province of the Persian Empire and was later bitterly contested by the Seleucids and the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. The city of Antioch, Turkey, was founded by Seleucus I, king of Syria, to dominate the region. The area has been a strategic base for the Syrian military in the late 20th cent. The name also appears as El Beqa, El Bukaa, and El Bekaa.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
The incursions of Ptolemy Soter into Coele-Syria and Phoenicia after the death of Perdiccas have received scant attention from scholars in recent years, and the little they have received has failed to draw some vital conclusions.(1) The sources are compressed, but unanimous, that very soon after the settlement of Triparadeisus, Ptolemy subverted and overran the region, fortified and garrisoned the cities, and returned to Egypt.(2) He seems to have held this satrapy until it became a major arena in the third Diadoch war, c.
In this paper I will demonstrate that an important chronological conclusion can be reached by determining when the sources say Ptolemy annexed Coele-Syria and by analysing them in conjunction with other material.
Here Appian transmits the crucial information: that Alcetas was in Caria, presumably at some point during this campaign, when Laomedon arrived with the news that Ptolemy was in control of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia.
On this scheme, Ptolemy would have waited until both Antipater and Attalus had departed the Levant before moving on Coele-Syria, therefore, probably not until high summer of 320.
No time scheme can be reconstructed for events in Coele-Syria, nor can it be ascertained either how long or where Laomedon was held captive.(36) Whatever the details, Alcetas was in Caria by the time the fugitive reached him.
Thus everything points to a Ptolemaic annexation of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia in the summer/autumn of 320.
Whether Ptolemy invaded Coele-Syria in 320 or 319, the dating to the archonship of Apollodorus isolates this document from all the other evidence, and is patently erroneous.
If Ptolemy Soter was annexing Coele-Syria and Phoenicia in the late summer of 320, he certainly was not fighting Perdiccas at the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, nor was he negotiating the withdrawal of the royal armies from Egypt.
5.3), and Ptolemy is well in control of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia.