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Kingdom of Edessa (Osrone), Mesopotamia
The Kingdom of Osroene (or Edessa) was one of several kingdoms arising from the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire. It was established by Nabataeans or Arabs from North Arabia, occupied an area that is now the border between Syria and Turkey, and lasted nearly four centuries, c. 132 B.C. to 214 A.D., under twenty-eight rulers. Located on the silk route between the two superpowers, the kingdom was alternately dominated by Parthia and Rome. Each invasion by one or the other would change the balance of power and sometimes the government. In 213 A.D., Caracalla summoned the king and his sons to Rome, murdered them and took direct rule for Rome. The Sassanids took Edessa in 242 A.D. but Gordian III quickly recovered the area and returned the throne to the dynasty. The Kingdom of Edessa ceased to exist when it was taken by the Sassanids in 244 A.D. The Syriac document, "The Teaching of Addai" claims that Abgar V, King of Edessa, corresponded with Jesus and asked him to come to Edessa. Tradition also says Christianity became the official religion of Edessa in 206 A.D., 135 years before Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of Rome in 341 A.D.