Skip to main content


Hawran or Hauran (hourän´) [Heb.,=hollow or cavernous land], district, SW Syria. It is a largely treeless region marked by conical volcanic peaks, barren lava fields, and rich lava soil. In the northeast are the Druze Mts., many of whose numerous caverns were once inhabited. Major towns are Dara, Busra ash-Sham, and Izra, which date back to Hellenistic times. Grains and fruits (including grapes) are grown in Hawran. Most of the inhabitants are Druze, who migrated from Lebanon in the 18th and 19th cent. The Hawran district belonged, at least in part, to the biblical kingdom of Bashan, which the Israelites conquered. Designated the northeast boundary of the Promised Land, Hawran later became the Roman province of Auranitis. The region was converted to Christianity by the late 2d cent. and prospered until the Arab invasion of the 7th cent. During the Crusades, Muslims who were driven out of Palestine moved to Hawran to make a stand against the Christians. The district has many ancient towns whose buildings and furniture are made entirely of lava; about 300 of these "giant cities of Bashan" have been located. Inscriptions in Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Sabaean (southern Arabic) abound.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hawran." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Hawran." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (February 20, 2019).

"Hawran." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.