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Qumis, Iran

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Title: Qumis, Iran  
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Subject: History of Semnan Province, Geography of Semnan Province, Battle of Nahāvand, Mohammad Khan Qajar, Antiochus III the Great
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Qumis, Iran

Šahr-e Qumis
Qumis, Iran is located in Iran
Qumis, Iran
Shown within Iran
Alternate name Saddarvazeh
Location Semnan Province, Iran
Region Greater Khorasan
Type Settlement

Saddarvazeh (New Persian: صددروازه) or Hecatompylos (Ancient Greek: Ἑκατόμπυλος) was an ancient city in west Khurasan, Iran, which was the capital of the Parthian Arsacid dynasty by 200 BCE. The Greek name Hekatompylos means "one hundred gates" and the Persian term has the same meaning. But the title was commonly used for cities which had more than the traditional four gates. It may be understood better as the "Many Gated".

Alexander the Great stopped here in the summer of 330 BCE and it became part of the Seleucid Empire after Alexander's death. The Parni tribe took the city around 238 BCE and made it one of the first capitals of their Parthian Empire. It was mentioned as the royal city of the Parthians by a number of classical writers including Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, although the Parthians seemed to have used a number of cities as their "capital" at different periods.

It is estimated to have had an area of 28 km2 (11 sq mi) at its peak, which would indicate a population in the tens of thousands.

The site of this ancient city is now called Šahr-e Qumis, between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province.

Modern development

In 2011 plans for a "International Project of Tourism & Recreational City" were published, using the name of Hecatompylos. The project envisions to use an area of 250 hectares (620 acres) close to the city of Damghan, which would place the resort at about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of the historic site. Source


  • De Quincey, Thomas (1821). Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Penguin Books. 1979.
  • Frye, Richard N. (1962). The Heritage of Persia. Toronto. Mentor Books. 1966.
  • Hansman, J. (1968). "The Problems of Qūmis". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1968), pp. 111–139.
  • Hansman, John and Stronach, David (1974). "Excavations at Shahr-i Qūmis, 1971". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1974), pp. 8–22.
  • Hirth, Friedrich (1875). China and the Roman Orient. Shanghai and Hong Kong. Unchanged reprint. Chicago, Ares Publishers, 1975.
  • Tarn, William Woodthorpe (1984). The Greeks in Bactria and India. First published in 1938; 2nd Updated Edition, 1951. 3rd Edition, updated with a Preface and a new bibliography by Frank Lee Holt. Ares Publishers, Inc., Chicago. 1984.

External links

  •, a magazine named Qumis (Persian)
  •, a good brief history plus some stunning photos.
  •, resort project homepage
  • [1], project,render
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