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Homs is the third most important city in Syria. It lies 160 km to the north of Damascus. Like Petra and Palmyra, Homs was an Arab emirate in the 2nd century B.C. It was also the third station on the "Silk road" after Doura Europos and Palmyra.

It still retains this position of importance today, as the oil pipelines pass through the city.
Unfortunately, many buildings and citadels in Homs were destroyed by ancient earthquakes. There remains only one citadel in the south of the city with its Damascus and Palmyra gates.

The historical city produced many impressive personalities. Bassianos (an emir of Homs), through his daughter's marriage to the Roman emperor, Septimium Severus, who ruled Rome from 193 to 211, sired three rulers, Caracalla. Heliogabalus and Alexander Severus. The city was the birthplace of the famous Syrian philosopher, Longenius, counselor to Queen Zenobia, and of the famous physician, Marlian