(fortress ), the principal city of upper Syria, was situated in the valley of the Orontes, which it commanded from the low screen of hills which forms the water-shed between the source of the Orontes and Antioch. The Hamathites were a Hamitic race, and are included among the descendants of Canaan. (Genesis 10:18) Nothing appears of the power of Hamath until the time of David. (2 Samuel 8:9) Hamath seems clearly to have been included in the dominions of Solomon. (1 Kings 4:21-24) The "store-cities" which Solomon "built in Hamath," (2 Chronicles 8:4) were perhaps staples for trade. In the Assyrian inscriptions of the time of Ahab (B.C. 900) Hamath appears as a separate power, in alliance with the Syrians of Damascus, the Hittites and the Phoenicians. About three-quarters of a century later Jeroboam the Second "recovered Hamath." (2 Kings 14:28) Soon afterwards the Assyrians took it, (2 Kings 18:34; 19:13) etc., and from this time it ceased to be a place of much importance. Antiochus Epiphanes changed its name to Epiphaneia. The natives, however, called it Hamath even in St. Jerome’s time, and its present name, Hamah , is but slightly altered from the ancient form.