J6 on the Map
Region. Greek name of Hauran ("hollow" or "black land of basaltic rock"). An extinct volcanic plateau E of the Sea of Galilee and S of Damascus and Mt. Hermon. This region has the same boundaries as OT Bashan. The region is extremely fertile and forms a natural granary.
In later Greco-Roman times Auranitis was one of the four provinces that Augustus gave to Herod the Great (c. 23 B.C.). At Herod's death in 4 B.C. , Philip (4 B.C.-A.D. 34), his son, received for a tetrarchy Galaunitis, Batanea, Trachonitis, Auranitis, and a certain part of the domain of Zenodorus, or all of the country from Mount Hermon to the Yarmuk River. Subsequently it formed a part of Philip's tetrarchy. He was the son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra of Jerusalem. He was educated in Rome and administered his territories effectively and peacefully and was perhaps the ablest of the Herod dynasty. He founded the city of Caesarea Philippi near Paneas and and the sources of the Jordan River near Mount Hermon. He built the city of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee and called it Julias in honor of the daughter of Augustus, Julia. Philip was loyal to the Romans throughout his life. He married his neice Salome, granddaughter of Herod and Mariamne II. He died childless and after his death, his territory was incorporated into the province of Syria, but soon after was given to Agrippa by Caligula in A.D 37.
The only account of his kingdom was that of Strabo who makes mention that, "the barbarians used to rob the merchants most generally...but this happenes less frequently since the destruction of robber bands under Zenodorus, by the good government of the Romans, and as a result of the security afforded by the soldiers stationed in Syria."
Though there were still Arab raids, they were less frequent. We hear no mention in the Gospels about these raids, but we do see mention of the Centurion, the Legion, and the superscription of Caesar, who Strabo said were "bulwarks" in keeping them away.
Numerous ghost towns exist in its area, some of them constructed of basalt and called "the giant cities of Bashan."
See (Ezek 47:16-18 and Luke 3:1)
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