Cyrrhus, Cyrrus, or Kyrros (Greek: Κύρρος) was a city in ancient Syria founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals. Other names for the city include Hagioupolis, Nebi Huri نبي حوري, Khoros (Arabic حوروس Ḳūrus). Its ruins are found about 14 km northwest of Kilis, Turkey, near the Syrian border.
Cyrrhus was the capital of the extensive district of Cyrrhestica, between the plain of Antioch and Commagene. A false etymology of the sixth century connects it to Cyrus, King of Persia due to the resemblance of the names.
The site of the city is marked by the ruins at Khoros, 14 km northwest of Kilis, near the village of Afrin. The ruins stand near the river Afrin Marsyas River a tributary of the Orontes, which had been banked up by Bishop Theodoret.
Cyrrhus was founded by Seleucus Nicator shortly after 300 BC, and was named for the Macedonian city of Cyrrhus. It was taken by the Armenian Empire in the 1st century BC, then became Roman when Pompey took Syria in 64 BC. By the 1st century AD, it had become a Roman administrative, military, and commercial center on the trade route between Antioch and the Euphrates River crossing at Zeugma, and minted its own coinage. The Persian Empire took it several times during the 3rd century.
In the 6th century, the city was embellished and fortified by Justinian. It was taken by the Muslims in 637 and by the Crusaders in the 11th century. Nur ud-Din recaptured it in 1150. Muslim travelers of the 13th and 14th century report it both as a large city and as largely in ruins.
Cyrrus became at an early date a suffragan of Hierapolis Bambyce in Provincia Euphratensis. Eight bishops are known before 536 (Lequien, II, 929; E.W. Brooks, The Sixth Book of the Select Letters of Severus, II, 341). The first was present at First Council of Nicaea in 325. The most celebrated is Theodoret (423-58), a prolific writer, well known for his rôle in the history of Nestorianism and Eutychianism. (His works are in Migne, P.G., LXXX-LXXXIV.) He tells us that his small diocese (about forty miles square) contained 800 churches, which supposes a very dense population.
A magnificent basilica held the relics of Saints Cosmas and Damian, who had suffered martyrdom in the vicinity about 283, and whose bodies had been transported to the city, whence it was also called Hagioupolis. Many holy personages, moreover, chiefly hermits, had been or were then living in this territory, among them Saints Acepsimas, Zeumatius, Zebinas, Polychronius, Maron (the patron of the Maronite Church), Eusebius, Thalassius, Maris, James the Wonder-worker, and others. Theodoret devoted an entire work to the illustration of their virtues and miracles. Under Justinian, it became an independent ecclesiastical metropolis, subject directly to Antioch. The patriarch, Michael the Syrian, names thirteen Jacobite bishops of Cyrrhus from the ninth to the eleventh century (Revue de l'Orient chrétien, 1901, p. 194). Only two Latin titulars are quoted by Lequien (III, 1195).
It remains a Roman Catholic titular see of the ecclesiastical province of Syria.
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