|Cities of Ancient Israel|
J9 on the Map.
Transjordania. The fertile hill country beyond the Jordan eastward (Transjordania) was important in the Gospel accounts because nine Greek cities out of the League of ten that made Decapolis were situated in this area, running from Damascus in the north to Philadelphia in the south. The extensive ruins of the Graeco-Roman city, Gerasa in Transjordania, reveal today the strength of the Greek civilization that built and sustained these influential centers of culture as well as commerce. A huge forum, theatres, temples, a long street where the grooves of the chariot wheels are still visible in the stone, all illustrate the powerful penetration of Hellenism into Palestine.
The rivers Yarmuk and Jabbok, already mentioned, show how richly watered this fertile area was. Even today these hills provide the chief grain-fields of Palestine. Flocks of sheep and goats, and herds of cattle, roam on every hill from the foot of Mount Hermon in the north to the numerous ridges of Moab in the far south.
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