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A titular see in Syria Secunda, suffragan of Apamea. Rhaphanæa is mentioned in ancient times only by Josephus (Bel. Jud., VII, 5, 1), who says that in that vicinity there was a river which flowed six days and ceased on the seventh, probably an intermittent spring now called Fououar ed-Deir, near Rafanieh, a village of the vilayet of Alep in the valley of the Oronte. The ancient name was preserved. At the time of Ptolemy (V, 14, 12), the Third Legion (Gallica) was stationed there. Hierocles (Synecdemus, 712, 8) and Georgius Cyprius, 870 (Gelzer, "Georgii Cyprii descriptio orbis romani", 44) mention it among the towns of Syria Secunda. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin and was given to the Count of Tripoli ("Historiens des croisades", passim; Rey in "Bulletin de la Société des antiquaires de France", Paris, 1885, 266). The only bishops of Rhaphanæa known are (Le Quien, "Oriens christianus", II, 921): Bassianus, present at the Council of Nicæa, 325; Gerontius at Philippopolis, 344; Basil at Constantinople, 381; Lampadius at Chalcedon, 451; Zoilus about 518; Nonnus, 536. The see is mentioned as late as the tenth century in the "Notitia episcopatuum" of Antioch (Vailhé "Echos d'Orient", X, 94).
SMITH, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. geogr., s. v.; MÜLLER, notes on Ptolemy, ed. DIDOT, I, 973.