Samsat itself represents the ancient Samosata, the capital of the Seleucid kings of Commagene (Kuinukh of the Assyrian inscriptions), and here the Persian Royal Road from Sardis to Susa is supposed to have crossed the river.
Commagene (Kummukh), Cyrrhestica, Phoenicia, Palestine, &c. It is ineffective in history, especially on the south and east.
With the exception of the extreme north (Commagene), which is shut off by a barrier of hills and belongs to foreign hydrographic systems, the whole country is roughly a gable-shaped plateau, falling north and south from a medial ridge, which crosses Syria at about its central point.
Outside the basins of these rivers and their bordering mountain systems there only remain to be considered the following: (I) The Mediterranean littoral strip (the ancient Phoenicia), with a few torrent-like streams. (2) The shut-off district in the extreme north, ancient Commagene, which consists of two basins divided by a low ridge running from south to north.
Commagene, where not rocky, and the district lying along the southward drains from its divide (anc. Cyrrhestica), is in better case, enjoying perennial streams which can be utilized, and the fringe of the Tauric rainfall.