The Rich History of Amman

Amman has a rich, ancient history with many civilizations going back to ancient times. First on record was during the Neolithic period where evidence of settled life and growth suggests a well-developed civilization. During the Iron Age, the city was named Rabat Amon by the Ammonites. The Assyrians conquered it, followed by the Persians and then the Greeks and Macedonians. The city was again renamed in the 3rd century BC when it became Philadelphia after Ptolemy II Philadelphius. It became part of the Nabatean Kingdom up until 106 AD when it came under Roman control and joined the Decapolis cities around the Middle East. Philadelphia was captured from the Byzantines by the Rashidun Caliphate and renamed Amman. Several churches from the Byzantine era can still be found in Jordan.

The name Amman came during the Ghassanian era. It grew and flourished under the Caliphs of Umayyads (in Damascus) and Abbasids (in Baghdad).

Several earthquakes and natural disasters destroyed the city until the Circassians arrived from the Caucasus region of western Asia in 1878 due to Southward Russian expansion. They started re-building the city and this is when Amman’s “modern” history began.

The Hejaz railway during the Ottoman Sultan period helped as it linked Damascus and Medina; making Amman a major station and putting it back on the commercial map.

Modern Jordan was founded by King Abdullah I after World War I. It was ruled by his grandson, The Late King Hussein, for 46 years until his death in 1999, when his son King Abdullah II assumed the throne. Jordan has grown into a modern nation that has enjoyed a remarkable measure of peace, stability and economic growth in recent decades.

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