Map of Ancient Israel
Cities of Ancient Israel





Gerasa

I9 on the Map.

(Antioch on the Chrysorhoas): Jerash. A city of Gilead, in fact all of Gilead was at one time called the region of Gerasa. Between the Yarmuk River in the Jabbok River there were huge thick forests on high ridges, upon which Absalom, the son of David, had hung himself with his long hair in one of the trees in these forests. Also When Saul was killed and his body exposed on the wall of Beth Shan, the men of Jabeth Gilead took it down and buried it under a tree in their town (I Sam 31:11-13).


This territory was captured by Alexander Jannaeus, 83 B.C. and later became an independent city of Decapolis and an important city of the Roman empire. Its territory was probably mentioned in Mark 5:1, Luke 8:26, 37 as extending to the Sea of Galilee.


There were features common to most the cities in this area especially the architectural features. There were the usual buildings of a Greek city of the Roman period, the Colonnaded street, arch, forum, temple, theatre, bath and mausoleum, in florid Doric and Corinthian.


It is very difficult to say which cities were part of the Decapolis 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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