Keywords: Hamat, Hims, Abbasids, imam, da‘wa, Hashimid, Ismaili, Qarmati, Fatimid, Isma‘il b. Muhammad, makam al-imam, Bedouin.

Salamiyya, a town in central Syria in the district of Orontes (Nahr al-‘Asi), about 25 miles south-east of Hamat and 35 miles north-east of Hims (for the town’s exact situation, see Kiepert’s map in M. von Oppenheim, Vom Mittelmeer zum Persischen Golf, Berlin 1899, i, 124 ff., and ii, 401; National Geographic Atlas of the World, 5th ed., Washington D.C. 1981, 178-9).

Salamiyya lies in a fertile plain 1,500 feet above sea level, south of the Jabal al-A‘la and on the margin of the Syrian steppe. The older and more correct pronunciation of the town’s name was Salamya, but the form Salamiyya is also found very early and is now the form almost universally in use (cf. Yakut, Mu‘jam al Buldan, iii, 123; Littmann, Semitic inscriptions, 169 ff.) The nisba from the name is Salami. The town seems to be the ancient Salamias or Salaminias, which flourished in the Christian period, but the references of the classical authors to this place are uncertain. Yakut gives a popular etymology.

The town, he says, was originally called Salam-mi’a, after the hundred surviving inhabitants of the destroyed town of al-Mu’tafika; the survivors then settled in Salamiyya and rebuilt it.


Dr Farhad Daftary

Co-Director and Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications

An authority in Shi'i studies, with special reference to its Ismaili tradition, Dr. Daftary has published and lectured widely in these fields of Islamic studies. In 2011 a Festschrift entitled Fortresses of the Intellect was produced to honour Dr. Daftary by a number of his colleagues and peers.


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