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In the Byzantinian era, Resafa was built as a military camp to defend against the Sassanids. Situated in the midst of the desert, Resafa seems to originate from the void. Already before its function as a fortress, there was a colony mentioned in the Old Testament.

Resafa gained its importance with the spreading worship of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers, who became martyrs in 305 as they converted to Christianity and refused to sacrify to the Roman god Jupiter. 

Byzantinian emperor Anastasius renamed the city in honour of St. Sergius 'Sergiopolis' and made erect a series of buildings which still exist: a huge basilica accommodating a big crowd of pilgrims, walls decorated with friezes, and cisterns as large as cathedrals producing a dreadful echo.

 

 

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