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Ancient Haran or Harran (Assyrian Harranu) [Roman Carrhae]
City of Mesopotamia Now in SE Asian Turkey
Harran in antiquity was in the middle of a flat dry plain that was described as a barren wasteland nourished only by its many wells. The city of Harran was founded circa 2000 BC as a merchant outpost of Ur situated on the major trade route across northern Mesopotamia. The name comes from the Sumerian and Akkadian Harran-U meaning journey - caravan - crossroad. For centuries it was a prominent Assyrian city known for its Temple of the Babylonia Moon God Sin.
Abraham migrated from his birth place in Ur to Harran (Genesis 11:31). It was the city of Nahor in the Bible (Genesis 24:10) - Nahor being the brother of Abraham - where their father Terah died whereupon Abraham migrated to Canaan. Harran was an important commercial city and is mentioned in Assyrian business documents from Cappadocia. The town - like all the other cities of that region - probably had a large Jewish community up to the Middle Ages. In the Christian and early Moslem Period Harran was one of the last strongholds ofm Babylonian paganism (SEE *) .....
In the 6th century BC after the fall of Nabonidus in Babylon Harran was ruled by the Persians until the coming of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. After him Harran was part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Kingdom until the 2nd century BC when the Parthians conquered the Seleucids. In the 1st century BC the Romans arrived. During this time Harran passed through many hands and was usually at least nominally under foreign authority but in practice independent .....
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