Ancient Assyrian city of Mardin - The city and its surrounds were absorbed into Assyria proper during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365-1020 BC), and then again during the Neo Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC).
The ancient name was rendered as Izalā in Old Persian, and during the Achaemenid Empire (546-332 BCE) according to the Behistun Inscription it was still regarded as an integral part of the geo-political entity of Assyria (Achaemenid Assyria, Athura).
It survived into the Assyrian Christian[disambiguation needed] period as the name of Mt. Izala (Izla), on which in the early 4th century AD stood the monastery of Nisibis, housing seventy monks.
In the Roman period, the city itself was known as Marida (Merida), from a Syriac/Assyrian Neo-Aramaic language name translating to "fortress".
Between c.150 BC and 250 AD (apart from a brief Roman intervention when it became a part of Assyria (Roman province) it was part of the Neo-Assyrian kingdom of Osroene.
In the late 3rd century AD Shapur II conquered Mardin and Osroene into the Sassanid Empire (224-651 AD) after which the region became part of the province of Assuristan.
During the medieval period, the town (which retained significant Assyrian and Armenian populations) became the centre for episcopal sees of Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Assyrian, Syriac Catholic, churches, as well as a stronghold of the Syriac Orthodox Church , whose patriarchal see was headquartered in the nearby Saffron Monastery from 1034 to 1924.
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