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METROPOLIS (Mater Urbium), the mother city. -- The Greeks called a chief city (MhtropoliV, GREEK LETTERS to check), the Latins civitas. Afterwards the term was applied to the larger or more ancient cities (civitates) assembled on provincial affairs.
The more distinguished metropoles of the Roman empire were designated on their respective coins, both Greek and Latin.
Thus on medals of Caesarea, in Palestine, is read COL. PR. FL. AVG. CAES. METRO. P. S. P. Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea Metropolis Provinciae Syriae Palaestinae. -- Also on coins of Damascus, Laodicea, Sidon, and Tyre, the dignity of each of those cities as the METROPolis of Roman colonies is in like manner recorded