Together with the Tigris, the most important river that defined the borders of Mesopotamia. The Euphrates has its source in the mountains of Anatolia, which receive substantial amounts of snowfall in the winter. The river was called purattu in Akkadian, a name that survives in the Arabic form Firat. Its main tributaries are the Balikh and the Habur. Farther south, as the alluvial plains begin and the gradient of the land becomes very low, the Euphrates carved out a number of subsidiary beds and side arms. It was an important means of communication by boat and less turbulent than the Tigris. While the upper reaches of the Euphrates were situated in the Fertile Crescent, where rain-fed agriculture was possible, south of present-day Baghdad began the dry zone. The Euphrates was one of the main sources of water that was channeled into numerous manmade canals. While most Mesopotamian cities were situated on side arms of canals, some, including Nippur and Babylon, lay directly along the main course of the river. Because of the low gradient of the plains and the soft soil, the river was liable to change course, sometimes drastically, and nowadays neither city lies in the vicinity of the stream.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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  • EUPHRATES — (Heb. פְּרָת; Dead Sea Scrolls Pwrt; from Akk. Purattu and Sumerian Buranun), the longest river (c. 1,700 mi., 2,700 km.) in Western Asia. In texts from the third millennium B.C.E. from Mari the river occurs as a deity. From its sources in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Euphrates — prop. n. an Asia river flowing into the Persian Gulf. Syn: Euphrates River. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Euphrates — Euphrates, der zweite bekannte Bischof von Köln, stammte wohl aus dem Osten. Er war Nachfolger des Maternus und dürfte zwischen dem Ende der 320er Jahre und der Mitte der 340er Jahre in Köln Bischof gewesen sein. Er nahm am Konzil von Serdica… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Euphrates — O.E. Eufrate, from Gk. Euphrates, from O.Pers. Ufratu, perhaps from Avestan huperethuua good to cross over, from hu good + peretu ford. But Kent says probably a popular etymologizing in O.P. of a local non Iranian name [ Old Persian, p.176]. In… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Euphrates — Euphrates, Fluß, s. Euphrat …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Euphrātes — Euphrātes, 1) E., aus Alexandria, Stoiker, Verehrer des Apollonios von Tyana, bald aber dessen bitterer Feind; lebte theils in Syrien, theils am Hofe des Kaisers Hadrian. 2) E., angeblicher Stifter der Ophiten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Euphrates — [yo͞o frāt′ēz] river flowing from EC Turkey generally southward through Syria & Iraq, joining the Tigris to form the Shatt al Arab: c. 1,700 mi (2,736 km) …   English World dictionary

  • Euphrates — For the song River Euphrates by the Pixies, see Surfer Rosa. Coordinates: 31°0′18″N 47°26′31″E / 31.005°N 47.44194°E / 31 …   Wikipedia

  • EUPHRATES — I. EUPHRATES Mesopotamiae fluv. celeberrimus, et maximus. Magnitudinem eius innuit Callimach. Hymn. 2. Α῀ςςυρίου ποταμοῖο μέγας ῥόος. Itemque Dionys. Φαίνετ᾿ ἀπειρεσίου ποταυμοῦ ῥόος Ε᾿υφρήταο. Maior siquidem est Tigride, sicut resert Strab. l. 2 …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Euphrates —    Hebrew, Perath; Assyrian, Purat; Persian cuneiform, Ufratush, whence Greek Euphrates, meaning sweet water. The Assyrian name means the stream, or the great stream. It is generally called in the Bible simply the river (Ex. 23:31), or the great… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

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