Note: Village in southeastern Turkey, on the upper Euphrates River. The ancient fortified city guarded an important crossing point of the river on the east-west trade route; as such it was commercially and strategically important. Probably of Hittite origin, the city was incorporated into the Assyrian Empire in 708 BCE. Later it came under the Hellenistic kingdom of Commagene; it was its capital until it was surrendered to Rome in 72 CE. It was captured by the Sasanian king of Persia and fell to the invading Arabs ca. 640. Samsat briefly served as an administrative military district of the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century but was already in a state of decline when it came under the Seljuq Turks two centuries later. Samsat was the birthplace of the writer Lucian (2nd century CE) and St. Lucian (died 312).