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BIREJIK (Arab. Bir; classical, Apamea...

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 979 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BIREJIK (Arab. Bir; classical,
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Apamea-Zeugma)
  , a
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town of North-West Mesopotamia, in the Aleppo vilayet, altitude 1170 ft., built on a
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limestone cliff 400 ft. high on the
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left
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bank of the Euphrates . Pop. about 1o,000, three-quarters Moslem . It is situated at one of the most important crossings of the Euphrates, where there was, in ancient times, a
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bridge of boats, and is now a ferry on the road from Aleppo to Urfa, Diarbekr and
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Mosul . Birejik corresponds actually to
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Apamea, which
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lay opposite Zeugma, and commanded the bridge with its strong castle (Kala Beda) now much ruined . The place seems to have had a pre-Seleucid existence as Birtha, a name which revived under
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Roman
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rule (we hear of the emperor Julian resting there on his march into Mesopotamia, A.D . 363), and is preserved to this day . The ferry over an unusually deep and narrow
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part of the Euphrates has been used from time immemorial in the passage from North
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Syria to Haran (Charrae), Edessa and North Mesopotamia, and was second in importance only to that at
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Thapsacus, by which crossed the route to Babylon and South Mesopotamia . Birejik was the scene of an unusually cruel
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massacre and persecution of Armenians in 1895 .

End of Article: BIREJIK (Arab. Bir; classical, Apamea-Zeugma)
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