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Empires to Nation-States

Late Antiquity

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Qalaat Siman, Syria

Qalaat Siman, Syria

Qalaat Siman (near Aleppo, Syria) is the site of the fifth-sixth-century Christian complex that honors the column on which St. Symeon (“the pillar-sitting” or “Styite” saint) resided. Vast crowds gathered to venerate him. Pillar or column-sitting was an ascetic devotional practice unique to late antique Christian Syria. The practice ceased after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century. St. Symeon the Elder was the most famous, but there were other notable Syrian pillar-sitting saints (Daniel the Stylite, St. Symeon the Younger, among others).

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