GERMANIKEIA (Germanicia; Mid. Pers. Germanyōs), city in the ancient country of Commagene in the Roman province of Syria, present-day Maraş in southeast Turkey. According to the inscription of Šāpūr I, the city was captured in 252 or probably in 253 (about the date see DICHŌR) in the course of Šāpūr’s second campaign against the Romans (ŠKZ, Mid. Pers., l. 10: glmnwsy, Parth., l. 8: grmnyws; Greek, l. 17: Germanikia; on the form of the name in both Iranian versions, cf. Huyse, I, p. 32).

Germanikeia was the northernmost city in the second campaign of Šāpūr, but numbers 24 to 30 of the first list of cities in his inscription at Kaʿba-ye Zardošt (ŠKZ) form almost insurmountable obstacles towards reconstructing the course of military events. Germanikeia could have been conquered by a single raiding squad together with the above-mentioned Dichōr and Dolichē (qq.v.); the retreat of this squad would then have proceeded via the subsequently mentioned cities of Batna and Chanar, if we identify these two with Batnai and Ichnai in the country of Osrhoene. However, this reconstruction by the present author is mainly hypothetical (cf. Kettenhofen, p. 76 and map 2).



M. Back, Die sassanidischen Staatsinschriften, Acta Iranica 18, Tehran and Liège, 1978, p. 303.

H. R. Baldus, Uranius Antoninus: Münzprägung und Geschichte, Antiquitas 3/11, Bonn, 1971.

M. H. Dodgeon and S. N. C. Lieu, eds., The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (AD 226-363), London, 1991.

W. Ensslin, Zu den Kriegen des Sassaniden Schapur I, Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse 1947/5, Munich, 1949.

Ph. Gignoux, Glossaire des inscriptions pehlevies et parthes, pp. 22, 51.

E. Honigmann, “Historische Topographie von Nordsyrien im Altertum,” Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 46, 1923, pp. 189-90 (numerous references to the name of the city in ancient documents).

Idem, “Germanikeia,” in Pauly-Wissowa, Supplement 4, 1924, cols. 686-89.

Ph. Huyse, Die dreisprachige Inschrift Šabuhrs I. an der Kaʿba-i Zardušt, Royal Inscriptions with Their Parthian and Greek Versions, Corpus Inscr. Iran., part 3/1, 2 vols., London, 1999, II, pp. 124-25.

E. Kettenhofen, Die römisch- persischen Kriege des 3. Jahrhunderts n. Chr.nach der Inschrift Šāhpuhrs I. an der Kaʿbe-ye Zartošt, Wiesbaden, 1982.

A. Maricq, “Res Gestae Divi Saporis,” Syria 35, 1958, p. 311; repr. in Classica et Orientalia, Paris 1965, p. 53.

F. Millar, The Roman Near East 31 B.C.-A.D. 337, Cambridge and London, 1993, pp. 228-29.

M. I. Rostovtzeff, “Res Gestae Divi Saporis and Dura,” Berytus 8, 1943.

M. Sprengling, Third Century Iran: Šapor and Kartir, Chicago, 1953.

H. Treidler, “Germanicia,” in Pauly-Wissowa, Supplement 9, 1962, cols. 70-72.

J. Wagner, “Germanikeia,” in Der Neue Pauly IV, 1998, p. 966.

(Erich Kettenhofen)

Originally Published: December 15, 2001

Last Updated: February 7, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. X, Fasc. 5, pp. 505-506