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Persia / Parthian Dynasty | Sassanid Dynasty
Ctesiphon





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Ctesiphon

Ctesiphon, now Iraq.
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Ctesiphon, now Iraq.

Ctesiphon, now Iraq.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Ctesihon, now Iraq.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Ruined city of the Parthian Empire, now in central Iraq, on the northeast bank of the Tigris river, 30 km south of Baghdad.
Ctesiphon was the winter capital of the Parthian Empire and Sassanid Empire.
Ctesiphon's fame is due to the grand vaulted hall, the Taq Kisra, dating back to around 600 CE. With a span of 25.5 metres, a height of 37 metres and a depth of 48 metres, it represents the largest single-span brick arch in the world. According to tradition, it was the main hall of the palace of the Sassanian king, Khosrow 1.

History
4th century BCE: The earliest reports on Ctesiphon from Greek sources.
129: The Parthians annex Babylonia, and found Ctesiphon as a royal residence. Next to Ctesiphon was the city of Seleucia, and the twin cities became the capital of the Parthian empire.
116 CE: The Romans put Ctesiphon under siege. This would continue off and on for almost 300 years.
165: The Romans manage to take control over Ctesiphon. They destroy the palaces, and force the population of Seleucia to move. This makes Ctesiphon the leading city in Mesopotamia.
224: The Sassanids repopulate Ctesiphon.
637: The Arabs conquer Ctesiphon. It becomes an important city in the Muslim empire.
763: With the establishment of Baghdad, Ctesiphon is abandoned. Its ruins are used as a quarry for building materials.




By Tore Kjeilen