|Cities of Ancient Israel|
H8 on the Map.
Region. Decapolis was Greek name for a league of approximately ten (deka) Hellenistic or Hellenized cities with their territories, in Roman times (with some Jews living there). All of them, except Scythopolis, were on the Transjordan side of the River.
The New Testament (Matt 4:25; Mark 5:20) is the earliest mention of Decapolis revealing it as largely a gentile territory bordering Galilee and Perea: Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31.
It is very difficult to say which cities were part of the league at one time or another.
Pliny (Nat. Hist. 5, 74) mentions Damascus, Philadelphia (Rabbath-Ammon), Raphana, Scythopolis (Beth Shan), Gadara, Hippos (Susita), Dium, Pella (Pehel), Gerasa and Canatha (Kanath), yet he admits that his list is different from that of other writers. Ptolemy (Geography v, 14, 18) lists different cities, omitting Raphana and adding Abila, Lycianae, and Capitolias. Stephan of Byzantium (Gerasa) mentions 14 cities rather than the original 10.
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