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The Hellenistic Settlements in Syria, the Red Sea Basin, and North Africa$

Getzel Cohen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241480

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241480.001.0001

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Southern Syria

Southern Syria

(p.223) V Southern Syria (p.224)
The Hellenistic Settlements in Syria, the Red Sea Basin, and North Africa

Getzel M. Cohen

University of California Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the settlements in Aenos, Anthedon, Antioch by Hippos, Antioch in Huleh, Antiochenes in Jerusalem, Apollonia, Apollonia in Coele Syria, Arethousa, Arsinoe, Birta of the Ammanitis, Capitolias, Chalkis under Libanos, Demetrias Damascus, Dion, Dionysias, Gerasa Antioch on the Chrysorhoas, Helenoupolis, Heliopolis Baalbek, Hellas, Jerusalem (the Akra), Larisa, Lysias, Panias, Pella/Berenike, Philadelpheia Rabbat Amman, Philoteria, Samareia, Seleukeia abila, Seleukeia/Antioch Gadara, Seleukeia Gaza, Seleukeia in the Gaulan, Shechem, Skythopolis, Straton's Tower, Sykaminopolis, Boukolopolis, and Krokodeilopolis. Speculation about the site of Arethousa is often tied to the suggestion that it was previously known as Pegai and subsequently renamed Antipatris. Heliopolis was located at the site of the modern Baalbek. Lysias was located in the region east of the Dead Sea. The city name Panias was taken from a cave sacred to Pan. Straton's Tower encompassed the area to the north of the Crusader wall and the harbor area to the south.

Keywords:   Aenos, Anthedon, Apollonia, Chalkis, Dion, Gerasa Antioch, Hellas, Jerusalem, Larisa, Krokodeilopolis

(p.225) Aenos

The Tabula Peutingeriana (IX.2) records an Aenos on the road from Bostra to Damascus; it was 37 miles north of Kanatha (modern Kanawat) and 26 miles south of Damascus. Ain in Arabic means “spring or source”; thus the Greek toponym could reflect the Hellenization of a native word. Alternatively, since Ainos was the name of a number of places in Greece, the toponym could originate there.1 Neither of these hypotheses, however, is very likely. Most probably, as Waddington noted in 1870, “Aenos” in the Tabula Peutingeriana is a corruption of Phaenos/Phaina, which is attested.2 Hence, in the absence of other information, I do not consider Aenos a Hellenistic settlement.


The toponym Anthedon is found both in Boeotia and in southern Syria. It is not clear whether the latter city was named for the Boeotian town or whether the name represented an attempt to Hellenize a local toponym.1 Whatever the origin of its name, we may assume that Anthedon was a Hellenistic foundation. The earliest attestation for the town is Josephus (AJ 13.357, 395; BJ 1.87), who mentions that Alexander Jannaios conquered it. Subsequently it was liberated by Pompey and later restored by Gabinius (Jos. AJ 14.88; BJ 1.164).2 The extant coinage of Anthedon is attested in the early third century A.D.3

Herod renamed the city “Agrippias” (Josephus AJ 13.357; BJ 1.87) or “Agrippeion” in honor of Marcus Agrippa (Josephus BJ 1.416); however, the new name did not persist.

According to Stephanos (s.v. “Anthedon”), the ethnic of the Boeotian city was Southern Syria and of the city in southern Syria, Southern Syria. The exact location of Anthedon is not definitely known. From Stephanos and Theodosius (De Situ Terrae Sanctae 138 = CCL 175: 116) we learn that it was on the Mediterranean (p.226) coast, between Gaza and Askalon. The ruins of Khirbet Teda, 3 kilometers north of Gaza, have been identified with Anthedon.4

Antioch by Hippos

According to Pliny (NH 5.71, 74), Hippos was on the east bank of the Sea of Gennesareth (Sea of Galilee).1 There is little extant information about the history of the city. Tcherikover has reasonably suggested that the toponym Hippos was simply the Greek translation for the Semitic name Susita. Nevertheless, we do not know how or when the town first received its (Greek) name. Synkellos (558–59, ed. Mosshammer) included Hippos among the towns captured by Alexander Jannaios. Hippos was later liberated by Pompey (Josephus AJ 14.75, BJ 1.156). It was one of the cities of the Decapolis (Pliny 5.74; Ptolemy 5.14.18).2 Josephus described it as a “Greek city” (AJ 17.320; see also BJ 2.97).

(p.227) From the numismatic evidence of the mid-first to the early third century A.D. with the (abbreviated) ethnic Southern Syria, we learn that Hippos was renamed Antioch.3 We do not know who was responsible for this or when it happened. Presumably it was one of the Seleucid kings, possibly Antiochos IV; this, however, is speculation. In any event, Synkellos (558–59) considered it a “Macedonian settlement.” Subsequently the new name apparently fell into disuse before being revived in the first century A.D. Thus on a coin of 37 B.C. and on some coins of Nero and Domitian, the ethnic Southern Syria is found.4

From the coinage we also learn (a) of the importance of Tyche in the religious life of the city and (b) that in the Imperial period the city used an era beginning in 64 B.C.5

I have already noted the identification of Hippos with the (Semitic) Susita that is mentioned in the rabbinic sources. This identification is nowhere recorded in the extant Greek and Latin literary sources. Nevertheless, it is almost certainly correct. Both words mean “horse” (Greek, hippos; Hebrew, sus); furthermore, the image of a horse is found on many of the city’s coins. Sussiya, a village east of the lake, preserves the ancient name.6

We have the following information regarding the location of Hippos: it was the name of a mountain (Ptolemy 5.14.6) near which the like-named city was located. I have already noted that, according to Pliny (NH 5.71, 74), the city was on the east bank of the Sea of Gennesareth. In his enumeration Pliny mentions it between SKY THOPOLIS, GADARA, and DION. Ptolemy (5.14.18) records Hippos among the cities of Coele Syria, mentioning it between ABILA and CAPITOLIAS. Eusebius and Hieronymus place it near a village (Eusebius) or castle (Hieronymus) named Apheka (Onomasticon 22, 23, ed. Klostermann); this is undoubtedly identical with the modern village of Fiq, which is located east of the Sea of Galilee. The ancient ruins at Qal’at Husn above En Gev have been identified with Antioch by Hippos.7

(p.228) Antioch in Huleh

The rabbinic sources refer, in a number of citations, to a “Hulat Antiocheia” or “Hulata of Antiocheia.” There are two schools of thought regarding the identification of “Hulat Antiocheia”/“Hulata of Antiocheia”: (a) it was a Hellenistic settlement that was located somewhere in the region of the Huleh Valley in northern Galilee, or (b) it was a suburb of the great ANTIOCH near Daphne where (part of ) the Antiochene Jewish community lived.

Let us first consider the available evidence.

  1. (p.229) i. The rabbinic sources: the Jerusalem Talmud (Horayoth 3.4) recounts Rabbi Akiva’s visit to “Holat Antokhiya.” In addition, the Tosefta (Demai 2.1) and the Jerusalem Talmud (Demai 2.1[22d]) refer to rice grown in the Hulat of Antioch (note, however, that the text is corrupt).

  2. ii. According to Josephus (AJ 15.343–59), a certain Zenodoros leased property in and burglarized Trachonitis. Finally Zenodoros died—in Antioch in Syria (AJ 15.359)—and Augustus gave his territory to Herod. This territory was located between Trachonitis and Galilee and contained Oulatha and Panias and the surrounding area (AJ 15.360).1

  3. iii. Josephus describes how Herod the Great decided to settle a group of Jews in Batanaea.2 Josephus says that a Jew from Babylonia, Zamaris, had crossed the Euphrates with five hundred mounted archers and other kinsmen. By chance they were staying at “Antioch near Daphne in Syria” because the governor of Syria, Saturninus, had given them a place (chorion) named “Oulatha” (AJ 17.23–25, 29). Herod, needing a buffer zone between his territory and that of the Trachonites, invited Zamaris and his followers to settle in Batanaea; the latter region bordered on Trachonitis.

  4. iv. According to Josephus (BJ 4.3) there was a place (chorion) called Daphne that was located near Lake Semechonitis (Lake Huleh) and the sources of the Jordan River. That is, it would have been northeast of Lake Huleh and just south of Dan, probably at or near the modern kibbutz Daphne.

According to Schlatter and Tcherikover, Josephus erred in associating the Antioch mentioned at AJ 15.359 and 17.24 with the great city on the Orontes. In fact, according to Schlatter and Tcherikover, the Antioch Josephus was referring to was near another Daphne (i.e., the one approximately 7 km southwest of Panion) and thus was near Lake Huleh. Furthermore, they claim it was the same city as the “Hulat Antiocheia” or “Hulata of Antiocheia” recorded in the rabbinic sources. The latter they likewise associate with the Huleh region. Furthermore, Tcherikover has suggested that the founder of Antioch in Huleh was Antiochos III and that he established the settlement after his victory at the battle of Panion in 200 B.C. Schlatter thought that the colony was built at one end of the actual battlefield.3

On the other hand, Kraeling and M. Dothan have argued that “Hulat Antiocheia”/“Hulata of Antiocheia” in the rabbinic sources referred to the great city on the Orontes, as do Josephus’s references to “Antioch in Syria” (AJ 15.359) and “Antioch near Daphne in Syria” (AJ 17.24). G. Fuks agreed with this claim, pointing out that if this Oulatha of Antioch had been located near Lake Semechonitis, Saturninus would not have had any authority over it, since it was located in Herod’s territory. In short, according to Kraeling, Dothan, and Fuks, there is no evidence for positing the existence of an “Antioch in Huleh.”4 (p.230)

(p.231) The Antiochenes in Jerusalem

In 175 B.C. Antiochos IV Epiphanes came to power. Shortly after, the high priest Jason in Jerusalem, having bought the high priesthood, paid him an additional 150 talents in order to be allowed “to establish a gymnasium and an ephebia and to enroll the Antiochenes in Jerusalem” (Southern Syria Southern Syria, 2 Macc. 4.9). The precise meaning of the phrase Southern Syria Southern Syria is not fully understood and has been the subject of differing interpretations. For example, Honigmann suggested the phrase referred to a tribe of the city.1 Meyer thought the phrase meant the Jerusalemites were given the same rights as the citizens of ANTIOCH near Daphne.2 Bicker-man suggested that it indicated the existence of a corporate entity, a politeuma, named after Antiochos.3 Cohen speculated that the term referred to foreigners from ANTIOCH PTOLEMAIS (Ake) who were resident in Jeru-salem.4 Tcherikover, following Bevan and Niese, argued that it demonstrated that “Jason received from Antiochus permission to convert Jerusalem into a Greek polis called Antioch.”5 Tcherikover’s suggestion has met with the approval of many scholars.6 Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that there is no unequivocal evidence to substantiate this claim. Tcherikover himself was aware of this. In the course of developing his thesis he remarked: “The sources furnish only a few allusions on this reform by Jason and each one has to be interpreted if we wish to understand the main lines of the project” (italics mine). The only other reference to the Antiochenes in Jerusalem is 2 Macc. 4.19, which records how Jason sent a religious delegation (theoroi ) “[representing/chosen] as being the Antiochenes from Jerusalem” (Southern Syria Southern Syria) to the games being celebrated in Tyre.7 If Jerusalem was refounded as an Antioch, we do not know how long it will have retained its new name. At the latest it presumably would have ceased with the victory of the Hasmonean forces in 164 B.C. (p.232)

(p.233) Apollonia (Arsuf)

According to Pliny (NH 5.69) and Stephanos (s.v. “Apollonia 13”) Apollonia was near Joppe. The Tabula Peutingeriana (IX.1) places it 22 miles from Caesarea. This information points to Arsuf. The Phoenician god Reshef, from whom the toponym was derived, was equated with the Greek god Apollo.1 Apollonia is first mentioned (by Josephus [AJ 13.395], who lived in the latter part of the first century A.D.) as being among the cities held by Alexander Jannaios.2 We do not know the founder.3 In the Byzantine period Apollonia was known as Sozousa, that is, the city of Apollo Soter.4

Apollonia was located 15 kilometers north of Jaffa at the site of Arsuf.5

(p.234) Apollonia in Coele Syria

Stephanos (s.v. “Apollonia 12”) mentions an Apollonia that was Southern Syria Southern Syria. We know nothing else about this town.

(p.235) Arethousa

According to Josephus (AJ 14.75–6, BJ 1.156), among the cities that Pompey “restored to their inhabitants” was Arethousa.1 The citation in Josephus is the only extant reference to Arethousa. We do not know whether the town was (a) named for the like-named place in Macedonia or Syria,2 (b) a native toponym that was Hellenized, or, most probably (c) given this name because it was near a stream or spring of water. We do not know the founder.

The location is also not definitely known. Speculation about its site is often tied to the suggestion that it was previously known as Pegai and subsequently renamed Antipatris. Pegai/Antipatris is usually placed at Rosh ha-Ayin, 5 kilometers east of the modern Petach Tikvah.3 (p.236)

(p.237) Arsinoe

Under “Arsinoe 4” Stephanos says it was Southern Syria. Under “Arsinoe 3” he mentions a Southern Syria. It is not clear whether these are one and the same or two different towns. For further discussion see ARSINOE in Northern Syria.

Birta of the Ammanitis

A papyrus from the Zenon archive (P. Cairo Zen. I 59003) dated to 259 B.C. records the sale at “Birta of the Ammanitis” of a [Sid]onian (?) girl named Sphragis to Zenon. Among the guarantors and witnesses were men who are identified as “klerouchoi … of Tobias” (ll. 6,7; cf. ll. [14], 17, 19). Tobias was a member of a family prominent in Judaea and Transjordan and, as we learn from this papyrus, the head/commander of the klerouchy.1 The members of the klerouchy included cavalrymen, one identified as a Greek from Knidos, a Macedonian, and two “Persians,” one of whom was apparently a Jew. We do not definitely know where Birta of the Ammanitis was located. Two main sites have been proposed, Iraq el-Emir and the acropolis of Rabbat Amman.

  1. i. Birta of the Ammanitis has been identified with the ruins of Qasr el-Abd at Iraq el-Emir; the latter is c. 20 kilometers west of Amman.2 In fact, according to Josephus, the Tobiad Hyrkanos son of Joseph established himself in Transjordan as an (apparently) independent ruler, built a palace (baris) that he called Tyros (not Birta), and lived there from c.187 to c.175 B.C. (AJ 12.229–36).3 This has prompted the identification of Qasr el-Abd with the palace of Hyrkanos that Josephus describes. Note, however, that no archaeological evidence has yet been found for significant occupation at Iraq el-Emir between the eleventh and the second century B.C.4 The argument is ex silentio: since the sale of the slave girl recorded in the Zenon papyrus took place at Birta of the Ammanitis in 259 B.C., and since there is no extant evidence for occupation at Iraq el-Emir in the third century B.C., Birta of the Ammanitis cannot have been located at Iraq el-Emir.

  2. ii. The suggestion has therefore been made that the phrase “Birta of the (p.238) Ammanitis” should be understood as the “Citadel of Amman.” In short, Birta of the Ammanitis will have been the fortress on the acropolis of Rabbat Amman.5 This means, of course, that there will have been a klerouchy there. If that is so, does the deed of sale date to before or after the founding of Philadelpheia? In other words, did the klerouchy at Rabbat Amman precede the founding of Philadelpheia, or did it exist along with the newly founded settlement? We can only speculate about this, but the likelihood would be that the klerouchy preceded the founding of the settlement. Two reasons suggest this was probably the case: (a) in the developmental progression of Hellenistic settlements, a (military) colony often represented the first or very early stage in a foundation’s history;6 (b) the founding of a military colony on the acropolis of the new settlement would have been redundant and undoubtedly would have been seen as a hostile presence—as was the case with the katoikia at the akra of JERUSALEM—to the Philadelpheians.

(p.239) Capitolias

A coin of Capitolias minted under Commodus bears the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria or Southern Syria;1 in the late second/early third century A.D., claims of having been founded by Alexander the Great were made by a number of cities in Transjordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.2 The toponym, of course, reflects Roman influence.3

In the absence of other evidence that would corroborate its claim of Alexander as progenitor I would not consider Capitolias a Hellenistic settlement.

Chalkis under Libanos

Strabo mentions the existence of a Chalkis that was near Heliopolis and that controlled the Massyas Plain (16.2.10, 18).1 The toponym Chalkis recalls the (p.240) name of a number of cities in Greece as well as the Chalcidic peninsula. It is therefore probable that Chalkis under Libanos was named for one of these.2

We know neither the founding date nor the founder. Polybius, in describing Antiochos III’s movements during his campaign against Molon (222–220 B.C.), mentions the fact that the king tried to capture Gerrha.3 If Chalkis is to be equated with Gerrha (see below) and if Polybius is referring to Gerrha by the name it had in the late third century B.C., this would, of course, indicate that at the time Gerrha had probably not been refounded. In fact, Stephanos (s.v. “Chalkis 4”) describes Chalkis as a city in Syria that was founded by Monikos the Arab. It is not clear whether Stephanos was referring to this city or to CHALKIS on Belos. In support of the identification with Chalkis under Libanos is the possible identification of Monikos with Mennaios, the ruler of the Iturean principality (Strabo 16.2.10)—which included Chalkis—in the early first century B.C.4 Tcherikover objected to Stephanos’s reference to Monikos as the founder of Chalkis on the grounds that an Arab would not have founded a city with the Greek name Chalkis. This objection is perhaps too strong. Mennaios was a philhellene: we know, for example, that he named his son Ptolemaios (Strabo 16.2.10 and Jos. BJ 1.185). In short, it is conceivable that an Arab sheik—Monikos = Mennaios?— demonstrated his philhellenism by refounding a city and giving it a Greek name. But this is speculation.5

The location is not definitely known. According to Josephus (AJ 14.40), in the course of his march to Damascus, Pompey passed the cities of Heliopolis and Chalkis [and Abila].6 Chalkis was in the Massyas Plain; furthermore, Strabo (16.2.18) describes it as the “akropolis” of the Massyas. Polybius (5.45) says that Brochoi and Gerrha commanded the defile called the Marsyas (Massyas). Two locations have been suggested: (a) Gerrha (the modern Anjarr), at the southern end of the Massyas Plain, and (b) a site farther north, close to HELIOPOLIS.7 (p.241)

(p.242) Demetrias Damascus

In his commentary on the book of Isaiah, Hieronymus remarks that Damascus “donec sub Macedonibus et Ptolemaeis rursum instauraretur” (In Esaiam 5.17 5.6 [CCL 73: 185 = PL 24: 175]). We know that in the decade c. 330–320 B.C. there was a very active mint at Damascus that produced Alexander coinage. It may be, therefore, that under Alexander and the Diadochoi Damascus experienced some urban revitalization. There is no evidence, however, that Alexander or the Diadochoi actually established a new foundation there.1 In any event, Ptolemy II Philadelphos was in possession of the city in c. 274 B.C. and probably in 259. In between and subsequently in the third century B.C. the city passed to Seleucid control. Tcherikover has suggested that as a result of Philadelphos’s control of Damascus the Egyptian king refounded it as an Arsinoe. The evidence that he brings in support of this is Stephanos, who mentions an ARSINOE (no. 3) in Syria and another (no. 4) in Coele Syria.2 Unfortunately it is not clear (a) whether Stephanos has confused (and conflated?) two cities of the same name or (b) whether Stephanos’s reference to Arsinoe may be taken as evidence for the refounding of Damascus.

It is possible that Damascus was renamed Demetrias for a short time toward the end of the second century/beginning of the first century B.C. The evidence is numismatic, based in part on the similarity of coin types—(1) Tyche of Damascus seated on a rock with right hand extended to the front and holding a cornucopia in left; below, a river god swimming (e.g., LSM 147); (2) Tyche, winged, in the guise of Nike standing holding a wreath in right hand and palm branch in left (e.g., LSM 144); (3) Tyche, wingless, right hand extended and left hand resting on a scepter (e.g., LSM 145)—found on coins with either (a) the head of Demetrios III on the obverse and on the reverse the inscription Southern Syria, (b) the head of Aretas on the obverse and on the reverse Southern Syria, (c) the head of Tigranes on the obverse and on the reverse Southern Syria,3 and, beginning in the latter part of the first century B.C., (d) the head of Cleopatra etc. on the obverse and on the reverse Southern Syria.4 In addition, Newell remarked that the monogram Southern Syria on coins of Demetrios III from the mint at Damascus may represent the initial letters of Southern Syria. Significantly, the same monogram also occurs on coins of Demetrios II, Antiochos VIII, and Tigranes.5

The founder is not definitely known.6 In any event, the new name—if it was adopted—did not gain widespread use or last long. A coin recorded by Mionnet (Supplément, 8: 193, no. 3) and dated to 68 B.C.—if correctly (p.243) described—bears the inscription Southern Syria. And a demotic letter of 103 B.C. refers to “Damascus,” as do the extant literary sources.7

If Damascus was refounded as Demetrias, we may ask if there is any archaeological evidence for this. In fact, various attempts have been made to demonstrate the existence of a Hellenistic, Hippodamian grid system underlying the modern city. Unfortunately, none is convincing, and none can be definitely linked to the possible refounding of Damascus as Demetrias.8 The only building firmly attested for Hellenistic Damascus is the hippodrome (Josephus AJ 13.389).9 Josephus also mentions a gymnasium and theater that Herod built for the Damascenes; this, of course, would have been at the end of the first century B.C. (BJ 1.422). The Arab writer al-Baladuri mentioned the presence of a baris in the area of Damascus called al-Maqsallat (Fatah 122). J. Sauvaget and E. Will have suggested this was a reference to the royal palace there.10 A dedication to Athena records the existence of an Southern Syria (SEG 2: 839).11 (p.244)

(p.245) Dion

According to Stephanos (s.v. “Dion 7”), Dion in Coele Syria and PELLA were founded by Alexander the Great.1 There is no other extant evidence to indicate he was the founder of this settlement.2 In any event, Synkellos (558–59, ed. Mosshammer) included a Lian ( = Dion?) among the Macedonian colonies in southern Syria. Dion was the name of an important Macedonian city as well as a number of cities in northern Greece.3 It is possible, therefore, that the settlement in Coele Syria was named for one of these cities. Stephanos also adds the comment that the water at Dion in Coele Syria was unhealthy. We know little about the history of Dion. According to Josephus it was one of the cities captured by Alexander Jannaios; later it was liberated by Pompey and incorporated into the Decapolis (Josephus AJ 13.393, 14.75; Pliny NH 5.74).

Coins of Dion from the early third century A.D. are extant. On the coinage the ethnic is Southern Syria or, occasionally, Southern Syria. One of the coin types (similar to that found at ABILA) has on the reverse a hexastyle temple within which is a flaming altar and the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria and variants thereof. The coins are dated by an era beginning in 64 B.C.4

The precise location is not known. Pliny (NH 5.74) mentions it between HIPPOS and PELLA. Ptolemy (5.14.18) includes it among the cities of Coele Syria and records it between PELLA and GADARA. Most conjectures place (p.246) it in northern Transjordan at Tell Ash’ari, 24 kilometers northwest of Adraa (biblical Edrei).5

(p.247) Dionysias

It is likely that Dionysias in the ancient Hauran was a Hellenistic settlement. Following a suggestion of Ernest Will, Glen Bowersock called attention to the fact that in the Dionysiaca Nonnos says that Dionysos went to Tyre by way of Byblos and Beirut, crossed the Lebanon Mountains, and descended into Arabia. Thence he went to a forested city on a mountainous site; the city was called Nysa (20.143–48).1 Bowersock noted that the city of Suweida was called Dionysias in the Roman period and that among the cities named Nysa, Stephanos mentioned one (no. 4) that was in Arabia.2 Hence he reasonably suggested that tradition brought Dionysos to Suweida, that Nysa was an early name for the city, and that it was bestowed on the city by the Seleucid kings as a counterbalance to the Nabataean Bostra. He also called attention to excavation at Suweida that has uncovered evidence for a sanctuary and other artifacts dating to the end of the second century/beginning of the first century B.C.3

(p.248) Gerasa Antioch on the Chrysorhoas

Remains from the Bronze and Iron ages have been found at and near the site of Gerasa; however, the extant archaeological evidence does not allow definite conclusions about the site and its importance prior to the Hellenistic period. At a minimum, the toponym Gerasa is probably Semitic and thus suggests pre-Hellenistic habitation at the site.1 Evidence from late antiquity and the Byzantine period associated the founding of Gerasa with Alexander the Great. According to a late tradition recorded in a gloss of Iamblichus’s commentary on the Arithmetica of Nicomachus (L. Holsten et al. in their edition of Stephanos, 3: 543), the toponym was derived from the fact that Alexander settled a group of veterans (Southern Syria) at the site. According to the Etymologicum Magnum (s.v. “Gerasenos”), after Alexander took the city and killed the “young men,” he discharged the “old men” who founded the settlement. Dismissing the fanciful etymology for the toponym, we are left with a (late) association of Alexander with the founding of a settlement at Gerasa. Some coins of Septimius Severus and Caracalla have a bust of Alexander and the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria on the reverse; other coins minted under Elagabalus have a bust of Alexander and the legend Southern Syria. And an inscription, dated palaeographically to the second half of the second century A.D., mentions certain “Macedonians.” On the other hand, a pedestal that bore a statue of Perdikkas, Alexander’s general, had a dedication that is dated palaeographically to the first half of the third century A.D. The claim of both Alexander and Perdikkas as founder is similar to the situation found at SAMAREIA.2 There is, however, no inherent contradiction between the claims of both Alexander and Perdikkas as “founder” of either Gerasa or Samareia. After all, it is possible that Perdikkas founded the colony at Gerasa on orders from the king. It is worth noting that the extant evidence for Alexander as founder of Gerasa is late: the literary evidence is Byzantine, and the numismatic evidence dates to the early third century, as does the epigraphic evidence relating to Perdikkas. Furthermore, the epigraphic evidence for Macedonians at Gerasa dates to the latter part of the second century. This is similar to the situation for various cities in Asia Minor that first laid claim to Alexander as their founder or discovered their “Greek” or “Macedonian” ancestry in the Imperial period.3

A coin of Ptolemy II Philadelphos found at Birketein, north of Gerasa, is the only evidence available that might indicate a Ptolemaic commercial presence in the region.4

During the Seleucid period the city was renamed Antioch on the Chrysorhoas. The name obviously indicates a Seleucid foundation. We do not definitely know, however, who was the founder or when the renaming took place. However, the presence of a temple of Olympian Zeus in the (Roman) (p.249) city and the well-known interest of Antiochos IV in promoting the cult of Zeus during his reign prompted Kraeling to suggest Antiochos IV was the founder.5 In any event, the oldest extant attestation for the ethnic “Antiochenes on the Chrysorhoas” is found on a lead weight dated to 143/2 B.C. The new name—often along with the old—is also attested on coins and inscriptions in the Imperial period: Southern Syria.6 However, the old name, Gerasa, continued to be used.7 It is also found—by itself—on coins, as well as in the literary sources.8 The Chrysorhoas is generally identified as the modern Wadi Jerash.9

Stamped Rhodian amphora handles dated to c. 210–180 B.C. that were found at the site provide evidence for trade with the Aegean world.10 The first extant literary notice of the city relates to its conquest by Theodoros son of Zenon Kotylas, the tyrant of PHILADELPHEIA (Jos. BJ 1.86–87,104). In the last years of his reign Alexander Jannaios conquered the city and seized the treasure that Theodoros had kept there (Josephus BJ 1.104 [“Gerasa”]; cf. the parallel passage in AJ 13.393 [“Essa”]; on this see Schürer, History2, 2: 150 n. 345 for the MSS reading of the city in question). Pompey probably brought it under Roman rule and integrated it in the province of Syria (Jos. AJ 14.74–76, BJ 1.155–57). Gerasa was part of the Decapolis. In the Roman period it used an era beginning in 63 B.C.11

The archaeological remains of the city are quite impressive and indicate that in Roman times Gerasa was a very prosperous city.12 On the other hand, the excavators of the site could not identify a distinctly Hellenistic level. At the very least, it appears that the Hellenistic settlement was located on the southern hill, around the later temple of Zeus. The plan of the Roman city, with the main street intersected at right angles by side streets, reflects the typical Roman adaptation of the Hippodamian town plan found throughout the Near East.

There is extensive epigraphic evidence relating to the civic life of Gerasa under the empire.13 Under the empire, the worship of Artemis, the patron goddess of the city, and Zeus was especially important.14

An inscription found at Gerasa and dated to the first half of the third century A.D. mentions that Marcus Aurelius Maro, apparently a Gerasene, was, among other things, a Phoenicarch. This office is not completely understood, but the parallel with Lyciarch, Asiarch, Cretarch, and so on suggests it was the presidency of a provincial diet. If this is so, and if Maro was a Gerasene, then we may see in this inscription evidence for ties between Gerasa and Phoenicia in the third century A.D.15 The ethnic makeup of Hellenistic Gerasa is not completely known. Nevertheless, the extant evidence for, among others, Macedonians, Greeks, Jews, and Nabataeans in Roman Gerasa may reflect the population of the Hellenistic city as well.16 The Nabataean presence undoubtedly reflects the city’s connection with the trade routes between (p.250) southern Arabia, Damascus, Phoenicia, and Judea. The surviving coinage dates to the Imperial period.17

In the fourth century A.D. Eusebius (Onomasticon 64.3, ed. Klostermann) described Gerasa as a “remarkable” (Southern Syria) polis of Arabia, and Ammianus (14.8.13) mentioned the strength of its walls. Yakubi, writing in 891 A.D., described the town as half Greek, half Arab (Geography 115). Gerasa was located at the modern Jerash, 34 kilometers north of Amman.18 (p.251) (p.252)

(p.253) Helenoupolis

Hierokles (720.8) and George of Cyprus (1038) record the existence of a Helenoupolis in Palestine. Sozomenos (Hist. Eccl. 2.2 [ed. Bidez and Hansen] (p.254) = PG 67: 936) noted that two cities were named in honor of Helena (Con-stantine’s mother), one in Bithynia and one in Palestine.1

Heliopolis Baalbek

Under the Roman Empire Heliopolis was an important religious center. What we do not know is whether it was (re)founded during the Hellenistic period. The earliest literary attestation for Heliopolis is Josephus (AJ 14.40), who says that in 63 B.C. Pompey the Great passed through Heliopolis. Josephus lived in the latter half of the first century A.D. If the town name was Heliopolis in 63 B.C.—that is, if Josephus was referring to the town by the name it actually had in 63 B.C. rather than using the toponym retrospectively—this would suggest the town had previously been renamed. How much earlier, by whom, and under what circumstances we do not know. However, the discovery of two inscriptions of Roman and Byzantine date—one Latin and one Greek—referring to a Macedonian quarter suggests that there had been a Hellenistic settlement at the site.1 It may have been at the time of its establishment that the settlement received the name Heliopolis.2

Heliopolis was located at the site of the modern Baalbek. The latter name, incidentally, may be the old (original) toponym.

(p.255) Hellas

Stephanos (s.v. “Hellas”) mentions a Hellas in Coele Syria. This is all we know about the town. We may, however, speculate further. Presumably it was a Hellenistic settlement. Under the entry “Hellas” Stephanos also mentions a city in Thessaly.1 LARISA Sizara in Syria (the modern Qal’at Sêzâr) was settled, according to Diodorus (33.4a), by colonists from the like-named city in Thessaly. This raises the possibility that the settlers at Hellas were also from Thessaly.

Jerusalem (The Akra)

In 168/7 B.C. Apollonios, the officer of Antiochos IV Epiphanes, captured Jerusalem. We learn about this from 1 Maccabees, Josephus, and the book of Daniel.1 1 Maccabees 1.31–33 relates: “He plundered the city, burned it with fire and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls… . Then theybuilt up the City of David with a great strong wall and strong towers and it became their citadel” (Southern Syria Southern Syria, 1.33).2 According to Josephus (AJ 12.252), Apollonios “burnt the finest parts of the city, and pulling down the walls built the Akra (citadel) in the Lower City; … he fortified it with high walls and towers (Southern Syria Southern Syria Southern Syria, trans. Marcus).

As for the population of the Seleucid Akra, the author of 1 Maccabees 1.34 says: “And they stationed there a sinful people, lawless men” (Southern Syria Southern Syria),3 while Josephus (AJ 12.252) says: (p.256) “He [Apollonios] stationed a Macedonian garrison therein. Nonetheless, there remained in the Akra those of the people who were impious and of bad character” (Southern Syria Southern Syria, trans. Marcus). Daniel 11.39 says: “Into the fortresses of the pious ones he will bring over soldiers of a strange god” (trans. A. A. Di Lella).

While there has been much discussion regarding the precise meaning of various words and phrases in these passages, it will be clear that the population of the Akra consisted of both Jews (e.g., AJ 12.362, 364) and non-Jew-ish settlers (e.g., 1 Macc. 3.45) brought in by the Seleucid authorities.4 The ethnic background of the foreign settlers in the Akra is not fully known, although 2 Maccabees does mention the presence of Cypriots there (4.29) as well as Phrygians (5.22) and Mysians (5.24) among the Seleucid forces in Jerusalem.5 Of course, the “Macedonian” garrison in the Akra did not necessarily consist of ethnic Macedonians.6

Daniel 11.39 adds that the land was divided “for a price” to the “people of a foreign god.” Porphyry, in his comments on this passage (FGrH 260 F50), says that it referred to the distribution of land to the Macedonian garrison. He was undoubtedly correct.7 The result was that the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Southern Syria, 1 Macc. 1.38) fled and the Akra became a settlement Southern Syria, 1.38 ). 1 Maccabees refers to the inhabitants of strangers of the Akra as, for example, Southern Syria (13.49).8 Dan Barag attributed a hoard of 16 bronze coins with the radiate head of Antiochos Epiphanes on the obverse and a female deity on the reverse to a mint he suggested the king maintained in the Akra between 167 and 164 B.C.9

There are a number of important questions regarding the Seleucid Akra: Was it a katoikia, a garrison, or a polis? If it was a polis or katoikia, what was its name (if any), and what was its relation to the presumed polis of Antioch in Jerusalem?10 And, finally, where was the Akra located?11

The Hasmoneans did not get full control of the Akra until 141 B.C. when Simon finally expelled its occupants.12 (p.257) (p.258) (p.259) (p.260) (p.261) (p.262)

(p.263) Larisa

At NH 5.82 Pliny mentions the “Arbethusios, Beroeenses, Epiphanenses ad Orontem, Laodicenos qui ad Libanum cognominantur, Leucadios, Larisaeos.” It is not clear whether Pliny is referring to LARISA Sizara in northern Syria or to another Larisa in (southern) Syria. That the Larisa in Pliny’s narrative follows Laodikeia near Libanos and Leukas certainly raises the possibility that there was a Larisa in southern Syria.1


Strabo (16.2.40) says that in the course of his subjugation of Judaea Pompey destroyed, among other places, Threx, Tauros, Alexandrion, Hyrkanion, Machairos, Lysias, and places around PHILADELPHEIA and SKYTHOPOLIS. Tcherikover has suggested that the toponym Lysias might indicate a Seleucid settlement, possibly founded by Lysias, the general of Antiochos IV Epiphanes.1 We should need further corroborative evidence in order to substantiate this claim.

Hölscher has suggested that Lysias was located in the region east of the Dead Sea.2

(p.264) Panias

The city name Panias, which was also the name of the district, was taken from a cave sacred to Pan.1 Presumably Pan is the Greek equivalent of an earlier Semitic deity.2 We do not know who this was or what the town’s original name was. Tcherikover included Panias in his list of Hellenistic foundations (HS, 69–70). However, in the absence of other information, it is not possible to say whether the Greek toponym Panias simply reflects a Hellenizing tendency by the town’s native population (cf. ANTIOCH by Hippos) or, in fact, the founding of a colony at the site. In any event, archaeological excavation at the site has thus far not produced evidence for a Hellenistic settlement.3 The earliest extant mention of the shrine of Pan is in Polybius 16.18.2 in connection with his account of the battle of Panion (200 B.C.). Under the tetrarch Philip son of Herod it was refounded as Caesarea.4

Panias, the modern Banias, was located at the foot of Mount Hermon close to the source of the Jordan River.

(p.265) Pella/Berenike

According to Stephanos (s.v. “Dion”) Dion was a Southern Syria, Southern Syria.1 As has often been noted, the words Southern Syria are probably a gloss indicating that both Pella and Dion were founded by the Macedonian king.2 Note, however, that there is no other extant evidence referring to Alexander as the founder. As a result, most modern scholars dismiss this attribution.3 Various other ancient and later sources list a “Pella” among the foundations of Seleukos; it is most likely, however, that this refers to the settlement in northern Syria that was subsequently renamed APA-MEIA.4 In any event, we do not definitely know who founded the Pella in Transjordan.

The ancient, Semitic name for the site—predating the arrival of the Mace-donians—was Pahil or Pihil. Yakut (3.853) believed Fahl (the modern toponym) was a foreign name because he knew of no meaning for it in Arabic.5 Pliny (NH 5.74) describes Pella as “rich in its waters” (“Pellam aquis divitem”), and the Jerusalem Talmud (Shev. 6: 1[36c]) refers to the hot springs at Pella. In connection with this we may note that some bronze coins of Pella of the late second/early third century A.D. have on the reverse a Nymphaion. In fact, there are a number of springs in the vicinity of Pella in Transjordan, as there are in the vicinity of Macedonian Pella. As a result, Bernard suggested— reasonably—that this similarity prompted the choice of the toponym by the Macedonian settlers. At the same time, it is quite possible that the original settlers chose the (Macedonian) name Pella because of its similarity to the old, native name.6

Stephanos (s.v. “Berenikai poleis”) is our sole source of information for the fact that Pella was renamed Berenike.7 Ptolemaic rule over southern Syria began after the battle of Ipsos in 301 B.C. As for the person in whose honor the settlement would have been renamed, we may note that Berenike was the name of, among others (a) the wife of Ptolemy I, (b) the daughter of Ptolemy II, and (c) the wife of Ptolemy III.8 In any event, in 218 B.C. Antiochos III captured the city (Polyb. 5.70.12); presumably the city reverted to its earlier name at this time. Subsequently Alexander Jannaios destroyed Pella (AJ 13.397; see also BJ 1.104). Pompey removed it from Jewish rule (AJ 14.75, BJ 1.156). Eusebius says that during the Jewish War the early Christians fled from the city of Jerusalem and went to Pella (Hist. Eccl. 3.5.3–4, ed. Mommsen). Pella was one of the cities of the Decapolis (Pliny NH 5.74).9 The discovery (p.266) of a stamped Rhodian amphora handle of Hellenistic date gives evidence for trade with the Aegean.10 There is evidence for glass production at Pella from the second century B.C. onward.11

Excavators have found both Ptolemaic and Seleucid coins at Pella. There are extant coins of Pella dated (by an era beginning in 64 or 63 B.C.) to the late first–early third century A.D.12 Two forms of the ethnic are found on the coins: Southern Syria and Southern Syria.13 Evidence for religious life at Pella dates mainly from the Roman period.14

Yakubi, writing in 891 A.D. (Geography 115), described the town as half Greek, half Arab. Pella was located on the northern border of Peraea, a little over 4 kilometers east of the Jordan River and 32 kilometers south of the Sea of Galilee, at the site of the modern Tabaqat Fahl.15 (p.267)

(p.268) Philadelpheia Rabbat Amman

According to Stephanos (s.v. “Philadelpheia 3”) Philadelpheia was named for Ptolemy II Philadelphos.1 Stephanos describes it as “famous” and adds that was previously called Ammana, then Astarte. A Zenon papyrus dated to 259/8 B.C. records the existence of a klerouchy under the command of Tobias at “BIRTA of the Ammanitis.”2 It has been suggested that Birta of the Ammanitis referred to the citadel of Amman. If—as appears likely—this suggestion is correct, then we may expect that the klerouchs of Tobias formed part of the initial founding population of Philadelpheia. Furthermore, this would provide a terminus for the founding date of Philadelpheia.

Tcherikover (HCJ, 100) has called attention to the fact that “according to Stephanos the town [i.e., Rabbat Amman] was also called Ashtoret; this ancient goddess was here apparently identified with Asteria and this was the name of the city goddess as we learn from coins. Asteria was the mother goddess of the Tyrian Herakles (Melkart) and both had a special cult in the town. It is clear then that the Hellenistic city of Philadelphia was linked by both religion and cult with Tyre, and as new settlers were accustomed to take their country’s gods with them to their new abode, it may perhaps be conjectured that Ptolemy Philadelphos used Hellenized inhabitants of Tyre to constitute the citizen body of the new polis in Transjordan.” In fact, there is evidence for Phoenicians at Philadelpheia as well a number of other cities in southern Syria. At Philadelpheia information about the worship of the goddess Asteria and her son, the Tyrian Herakles (Melkart), found in the numismatic and epigraphic evidence as well as the literary sources strongly suggests that Tyrian colonists were present. Nevertheless, it is important to bear in mind that we do not have information indicating when these colonists came. Hence we cannot definitely say that the Tyrians at Philadelpheia were settled there by Ptolemy II.3

(p.269) Despite the founding of Philadelpheia, the native name, Rabbat Amman, remained in use. In the mid-third century B.C. a Zenon papyrus (PSI VI 616.27 = Durand, Palestine, no. 28) referred to it that way, as did Polybius (5.71.4), who was writing in the mid-second century B.C. but describing Antiochos III’s capture of the heavily fortified city in 218 B.C.4 On the other hand, Ammianus, writing in the fourth century A.D., referred to the strong walls of Philadelpheia (14.8.13).

The withdrawal of Antiochos from southern Syria after his defeat at the battle of Raphia in 217 B.C. will have returned the city to Ptolemaic rule. Ptolemaic hegemony in the region finally ended in 200 B.C. after Antiochos III defeated the forces of Ptolemy V at the battle of Panion. Presumably Philadelpheia and the surrounding area then came under Seleucid control. That control, however, was apparently neither complete nor permanent. Although specific information is lacking, scattered sources suggest that at various times in the first half of the second century B.C. Philadelpheia and Ammanitis were independent of Seleucid control.5 Later, around 135 B.C., according to Josephus (AJ 13.235, BJ 1.60), the tyrannos of the polis of Philadelpheia was a certain Zenon Kotylas.6 Apparently Philadelpheia did not fall to Alexander Jannaios. The evidence is negative: neither Josephus (AJ 13.395–97) nor Synkellos (558–59, ed. Mosshammer) include it among the cities he held at his death. Philadelpheia was the southernmost city of the Decapolis (Pliny NH 5.74).7 Coinage of Philadelpheia is extant from the late first to the early third century A.D.8 The ethnic on the coins is either Southern Syria, or abbreviations thereof.9 An undated inscription records a decree voted by the boule and demos that honored a certain Martas son of Diogenes, a gymnasiarch as well as a bouleutes and proedros.10

Philadelpheia was located at the modern city of Amman. MacAdam has called attention to the fact that Amman’s “defensible acropolis, several springs creating a perennial stream and adequate arable land near-by, were partly responsible for its rise to prominence in both Biblical and classical times. Equally important was the city’s fortunate position at the juncture of north-south and east-west trade routes.”11 The precise extent of the territory of Hellenistic Philadelpheia is not known. In any event, it bordered the Peraea on the west, GERASA on the north, and Hesbon on the south.12 (p.270) (p.271) (p.272)

(p.273) Philoteria

According to Polybius (5.70.3–5) Philoteria surrendered voluntarily to Antiochos III in 218 B.C. Later, in the first century B.C., Alexander Jannaios captured and apparently destroyed the town (Synkellos 558–59, ed. Moss-hammer).1 Stephanos refers to it as Philotera (s.v.) and comments that it was in Coele Syria. We do not know when the settlement was founded or by whom. However, since Philotera was the sister of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, one naturally thinks of him as the founder. Two other settlements with similar names are known: PHILOTERA in Lycia and on the Red Sea. Synkellos (558–59) included Philoteria in his list of Macedonian apoikiai. Polybius (5.70.4) says that Philoteria was located on the Sea of Galilee. Although the precise location is not known, most conjectures place it at Tell Beth Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak) on the southwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee.2 At Tell Beth Yerah fragments of Rhodian amphora handles dating from the third and second centuries B.C. have been found. In addition, near a Hellenistic building where Rhodian amphora handles dated to the latter part of the third century B.C. were found, a silver coin of Ptolemy I was also discovered.3

(p.274) Samareia

According to Curtius Rufus (4.8.9), while Alexander the Great was in Egypt (332/1 B.C.) the Samaritans rebelled and assassinated Andromachos, the governor of Syria. Alexander punished the city and settled Macedonians there.1 As far as we know, this was the first Macedonian colony established by Alexander in the course of his expedition.2 Approximately three hundred skeletons are reported to have been found in a cave in the Wadi ed-Dâliyeh, 15 kilometers north of Jericho; it is possible these were the remains of victims of Alexander’s punitive actions.3 Apparently the punishment of the Samaritans did not leave lasting bitterness between them and Alexander. In any event, Josephus (AJ 11.321–24, 340–43), who does not mention Alexan-der’s punishment of the Samaritans, says the Samaritans regained Alexan-der’s favor and received permission to build a temple on Mount Gerizim (AJ 13.256). In the latter part of the fourth century impressive round towers were added to the fortification walls of the acropolis of Samareia. Some time later, c. the second century B.C., a new wall was built around the acropolis.4

In the years following Alexander’s actions, Samareia was destroyed twice: the first time by Ptolemy I Soter in 312 B.C. (Diod. 19.93.7) and later, around 296 B.C., by Demetrios Poliorketes (Euseb. Chron. 199, ed. Karst; Yossipon, p. 62 [ed. Hominer, 1971]). We do not know the nature of the political relationship between the Macedonian colonists and the Samaritans.5 Polybius says (5.71.11,16.39.3) that Antiochos III occupied the territory of Samareia in 218 and again in 200 B.C. We have no other information on the later history of the colony.

Samareia was destroyed under John Hyrkanos (Jos. AJ 13.275–83); subsequently Alexander Jannaios occupied it or its ruins (Jos. AJ 13.396). Later it was freed from Jewish rule by Pompey (Jos. AJ 14.75, BJ 1.156) and then (p.275) restored by Gabinius (Jos. AJ 14.88, BJ 1.166).6 Following that, Herod the Great refounded the city, settling six thousand colonists there and renaming it Sebaste (Jos. AJ 15.292, BJ 1.403; Strabo 16.2.34).

Samareia was located c. 10 kilometers northwest of SHECHEM at the site of Sebaste.7 (p.276)

(p.277) Seleukeia Abila

The earliest extant reference to Abila in the Greek or Latin sources is Polybius, who mentions it in connection with Antiochos III’s conquest of Palestine in 218 and 200 B.C. (5.71.2 and 16.39.3 = Josephus AJ 12.136); in both expeditions Antiochos captured Abila and Gadara. We learn from coinage of the late second/early third century A.D. with the ethnic Southern Syria Southern Syria that Abila was also known as Seleukeia.1 We do not know when this refounding took place or who initiated it; tentatively one might suggest Seleukos IV. Synkellos (558–59, ed. Mosshammer) included Abila in a group of towns in Palestine and the Jordan Valley he considered to be “Macedonian settlements” that were later conquered by Alexander Jannaios.2

Pliny (NH 5.74) does not include the city in the Decapolis, but an inscription found at Tabiyeh near Palmyra and dating to the reign of Hadrian mentions Southern Syria (OGIS 631). Ptolemy (5.14.18) also mentions an Abida, among the cities of the Decapolis; presumably this should be identified with Abila in Transjordan.3 Eusebius, who described Abila as a Southern Syria, mentioned that it was famous for its viticulture (Onomasticon 32, ed. Klostermann). The appearance of a bunch of grapes or a cornucopia with bunches of grapes on the reverse of coins of Abila reflects this.4 Four stamped amphora handles, dated to the third–second century B.C., have thus far been found at Abila; at least two were Rhodian.5 In the Roman period an era beginning in 64 B.C. (or, possibly, 63 or 62) was used at Abila.6 The frequent appearance of Herakles on the coinage indicates the importance of his worship.7 On certain coinage of Marcus Aurelius, Caracalla, and Elagabalus there is a picture of a hexastyle or tetrastyle temple flanked by towers within which is an altar; it is quite likely that this is the representation of a sanctuary at Abila.8 Other coins portray a standing Tyche within a distyle or tetrastyle temple resting her foot on a river god.9

The identification of Seleukeia Abila with the site called Quailibah (15 km north-northeast of Irbid) is based on three factors: (a) the observations of Eusebius and Hieronymus (Onomasticon 32–33, ed. Klostermann) that Abila was located 12 miles east of Gadara, (b) the persistence of the name (p.278) Tell Abil for one of the mounds at the site, (c) the discovery of an inscription (dated palaeographically to the late second century A.D.) at the site that included the name Southern Syria.10 The site was inhabited at various times throughout antiquity from as early as the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age. (p.279) (p.280) (p.281)

(p.282) Seleukeia/Antioch Gadara

Stephanos, who is not always reliable, says (s.v. “Gadara”) that Gadara was called both Antioch and Seleukeia.1 It was not uncommon in the Hellenistic world for a town to change names when it passed from the rule of one dynasty to that of another; thus, for example, ANTIGONEIA on the Orontes/ ANTIOCH near Daphne and PTOLEMAIS/ANTIOCH AKE. On the other hand, it is unlikely that a city would have changed names while still under the rule of the dynasty that had founded it. At the very least we could infer from Stephanos that Gadara was refounded as a Seleucid settlement and named Antioch and/or Seleukeia. Until 2000 Stephanos was our only source of evidence for the name change at Gadara. In that year Michael Wörrle published a fragmentary inscription found in the south wall of the acropolis of Gadara and dated to 85/4 B.C. The inscription mentions [the community of] Seleukeians that was under the rule of a certain Philotas. The latter was probably a local political leader. Most probably the name change (p.283) took place under Seleukos IV, who may also have renamed SELEUKEIA Abila and Gaza.2

Josephus (AJ 17.320, BJ 2.97) describes Gadara, as well as GAZA and HIPPOS as “Hellenic poleis.3 Precisely what this designation means is not clear. On the other hand, Synkellos (558–59, ed. Mosshammer) included Gadara in a group of towns in Palestine that he described as “Macedonian settlements.” There may also have been a colony of Phoenicians at Gadara.4

A center of Greek culture in the Hellenistic period, Gadara was the birthplace of the poet Meleager as well as the philosophers Menippus and Philodemus (Strabo 16.2.29).5 Antiochos III captured it twice, in 218 and again in 200 B.C. (Polyb. 5.71.3, 16.39.3 = Josephus AJ 12.136). A. Hoffmann has suggested that it was Antiochos III who built the city walls.6 Polybius described Gadara as the strongest place in the region. Later, the city was taken by Alexander Jannaios after a ten-month siege (Jos. AJ 13.356, BJ 1.86). Pompey removed Gadara from Jewish rule and, to gratify his freedman Demetrios, who was a native of the city, rebuilt it (AJ 14.75, BJ 1.155). In the Roman period an era beginning in 64 B.C. was used.7 Gadara was part of the Decapolis (Pliny NH 5.74). The extant coinage dates from the mid-first century B.C. to the early third century A.D.8 There is archaeological evidence dating from the second century B.C. for a sanctuary. Hoffmann has suggested that it was dedicated to Zeus Nikephoros and that the initiative for its construction may have come from Antiochos IV Epiphanes.9 The portrait of Herakles on coins of Gadara points to the importance of his cult there.10 Evidence for trade with the Aegean basin may be seen in the fact that more than one hundred stamped Rhodian amphora handles dating to the late third/early second century B.C. have been found at Gadara and in the surrounding region.11

Gadara, which was famous in antiquity for its hot springs,12 was described by Eusebius (Onomasticon 74, ed. Klostermann) as a polis beyond the Jordan, opposite SKYTHOPOLIS and Tiberias. According to the Itineraria Antonini (197–98, ed. Cuntz) Gadara was 16 miles from both CAPITOLIAS and SKYTHOPOLIS; according to the Tabula Peutingeriana (IX.2, “Cadara”) it was also 16 miles from Capitolias and Tiberias. Gadara was located approximately 10 kilometers southeast of the Sea of Galilee at the site of the modern Umm Qeis.13 (p.284) (p.285)

(p.286) Seleukeia Gaza

In the Hellenistic period Gaza was an important, fortified city. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great besieged and captured it. After its capture, Alexander sold the women and children into slavery, repopulated the city with people drawn from the surrounding region, and used it as a fortress (Arrian 2.26–27). There is no evidence, however, that Alexander actually refounded Gaza, that is, that he materially reorganized the city or renamed it. Subsequently it was besieged and captured by Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Ptolemy I Soter, Jonathan the Maccabee, and Alexander Jannaios. It obtained its freedom under Pompey and was restored by Gabinius.1

There was a port at Gaza as early as the time of Antigonos Monophthalmos and Demetrios Poliorketes (Diod. 20.73.3–74.1).2 In the period of Egyptian rule (301–200 B.C., except for 218–217 B.C., when southern Syria briefly came under the control of Antiochos III, Polyb. 5.70) Gaza was an important commercial center for, among other things, the perfume trade. There was a Ptolemaic mint at Gaza; there are extant coins of Ptolemy II and III that were minted there.3

As a result of the victory of Antiochos III at the battle of Panion in 200 B.C., Gaza along with the rest of southern Syria passed to Seleucid rule. The evidence that Gaza was refounded in the Hellenistic period is strictly numismatic: there are coins extant with the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria or Southern Syria.4 From this we learn that Gaza was renamed Seleukeia. Most probably this took place during the reign of Seleukos IV. We do not know how long the new name lasted, nor do we have any other information about the refoundation.5 In any event, the Seleucid presence at Gaza is attested by coins that were minted there under Antiochos IV, Alexander Balas, Demetrios I Soter, Demetrios II Nikator, and possibly Antiochos VII Sidetes.6 (p.287)

(p.288) Seleukeia in the Gaulan

Josephus (AJ 13.393, 396; BJ 1.105) mentions a Seleukeia in the Gaulan among the cities that Alexander Jannaios captured; he says it was near Lake Semechonitis (BJ 4.2) In the Vita he refers to it as a village (188).1 It would appear, therefore, that the status of Seleukeia declined in the nearly two centuries separating the reign of Alexander Jannaios from the time when Josephus wrote his autobiography. There is no extant coinage.2 We do not know who founded Seleukeia.3

Seleukeia was most probably located at the site of the present Slouqiyé (which preserves the ancient name), approximately 15 kilometers southeast of the former Lake Huleh (Semechonitis).4

(p.289) Shechem

It has generally been believed that after Alexander destroyed SAMAREIA the survivors established Shechem as a new Samaritan center.1 Y. Magen objected to this theory.2 Noting that a reanalysis of the finds from Tell Balatah (the site of ancient Shechem) indicated that Shechem was built as a fortified city in the period 331–250 B.C., he observed it was unlikely the Macedonians would have allowed the Samaritans to build a fortified capital and renew the city walls so soon after they rebelled. Furthermore, he pointed out that Alexander transferred control of part of Samareia to the Jews (Jos. CAp 2.43); this would also suggest that after the destruction of Samareia the political condition of the Samaritans did not immediately improve. As a result, Magen suggested—in a reconstruction he admitted was built “mainly on conjecture”— that the settlement established at Tell Balatah was not a Samaritan center but rather a Macedonian military colony. In support of his claim Magen pointed to (a) the presence of the fortifications, (b) the fact that Shechem was subsequently a target for Seleucid conquest, and (c) its rapid decline after the establishment of the city on Mount Gerizim. Magen suggested that had Shechem been a Samaritan city it would have flourished under Seleucid hegemony. As a result of these considerations, Magen speculatively suggested that the settlement at Tell Balatah was a Ptolemaic military colony that was destroyed by the Seleucids under Antiochos III in 200 B.C.; it was replaced by a city on Mount Gerizim that was populated by Samaritans and Sidonians.3

(p.290) Skythopolis

Beth Shean (Skythopolis) was located at the meeting place of the Jordan and Jezreel valleys on the banks of the Harod, a small tributary that flows into the Jordan River. It is important to recall that in archaeological terms Beth Shean actually refers to two distinct sites: the great tell and the area at the foot of the tell. The tell at Beth Shean (Tell el-Husn in Arabic) was the site of the biblical city. It has yielded relatively few remains from the Hellenistic period. In fact, most of the Hellenistic and Roman remains have been discovered south and north of Tell Beth Shean. South of the tell the remains of the city center—dating from the Roman period—have been revealed. To the north, beyond the Harod Rivulet, extensive Hellenistic remains have been uncovered toward and on Tell Istabah. This has prompted the suggestion that it was the site of Hellenistic Beth Shean.1 It is now estimated that in the Byzantine period the area of the city exceeded 131 hectares. As regards the territory of Skythopolis, Polybius remarks (5.70.4–5) that when it and PHILOTERIA came under the control of Antiochos III in 218 B.C. the territories of the two cities were sufficient to provide for the upkeep of his army. The implication is that the territory of the two cities was rich and/or extensive. In the Roman period the territory of the city extended northward to the southern boundary of Tiberias, east to the Jordan River, south to Bethmaela (Tell el-Hilu), and west to the Gilboa Mountains.2

Stephanos (s.v. “Skythopolis”) says that Baisan was the original, barbarian name for Skythopolis, which was also known as Nysa.3 The renaming of Beth Shean as Skythopolis is frequently alluded to in ancient and Byzantine sources.4 Interestingly, a bilingual ossuary inscription found in Jerusalem confirms this. It reads, in Judaeo-Aramaic, Ammyiah ha-Beshanit and Hanin ha-Beshani; in Greek, Southern Syria and Southern Syria.5 According to John Malalas (5.139–40 [CSHB XXVIII]) Skythopolis was originally called Nyssa and, earlier, Trikomia. The origin of these names is problematic.

Essentially we can identify three schools of thought regarding the toponym Skythopolis: (a) the name relates to the Scythian invasion of Palestine (p.291) in the seventh century B.C. and their settling in the region; (b) the name is derived from the Scythians who had served in the Ptolemaic army and were subsequently settled at Beth Shean by Ptolemy II Philadelphos; (c) the name may be associated with the biblical town of Sukkoth, the god Sikkuth, or may have been a transliteration for Beth Sheqet. Regarding Nysa, some traditions derived the personal name from the place-name, others recorded the reverse order: (a) the baby Dionysos was brought to Nysa in Arabia and was given the name Dionysos after his father (Zeus-Dios) and the place (Nysa) (Diod. 3.64–65); (b) Skythopolis was previously called Nysa because Dionysos buried Nysa—his nurse—there and built a walled city around her tomb; furthermore, he settled some of his Scythian companions at the site and changed the name of the place to Skythopolis (Pliny NH 5.74; Solinus 36, ed. Mommsen); in this connection, I would mention two inscriptions of Roman date that refer to Dionysos (and another god, probably Zeus) as “founders” (see below and n. 18); (c) Antiochos IV Epiphanes renamed Skythopolis in honor of his daughter, Nysa;6 and, finally, (d) Malalas (5.139–40; see also Kedrenos 237 [CSHB XIII]) presents a grand mythological mélange involving Orestes and Pylades, who rescued Iphigenia from the Scythians and fled to Trikomia in Palestine, bringing with them a gold statue of Artemis; after the Trikomitans sacrificed a girl named Nyssa, Iphigenia renamed the city Nyssa after the girl and made an altar for the slaughtered girl on which there was an inscription, “Goddess Nyssa, receive those who flee from Scythia”; Malalas adds that the inscription was there in his day; subsequently the Scythians came in pursuit of the statue; when they arrived at Nyssa they found the place attractive and decided to settle there; as a result they renamed the town Skythopolis.7 In addition to these toponyms I would mention that in the mid-first century B.C. the city was renamed Gabinia in honor of the proconsul Aulus Gabinius.8

The evidence for Skythopolis existing in the third century B.C. is as follows: (a) according to Josephus (AJ 12.183), Joseph the son of Tobias, a tax collector of Ptolemy III Euergetes, encountered resistance from Skythopolis when he tried to collect taxes from the inhabitants;9 furthermore, he executed the protoi of the city and confiscated their property; (b) 218 B.C., when Antiochos III invaded southern Syria, Skythopolis and PHILOTERIA surrendered voluntarily to him (Polyb. 5.70.5); (c) a coin hoard of Ptolemy II Philadelphos—the latest coin of which dates to 249 B.C.—has been found at Beth Shean;10 (d) Rhodian and (a few) Knidian amphora handles dating from the third to the first century B.C. have been found at Tell Istabah;11 (e) finally, coming down to the latter half of the second century B.C., we may note an inscription found at Beth Shean that contains a prescript that mentions priests of Zeus Olympios; the inscription may be taken as an indication that at the time there already was a temple there.12

The designation of Skythopolis as a Hellenistic colony is conjectural: there (p.292) is no extant evidence that indicates unequivocally it was. The available evidence indicates only that a settlement existed there in the third century B.C. but does not necessarily throw any light on the circumstances of the founding. Nevertheless, the conjecture is a reasonable one and may be accepted. Separate from—but related to—the question of when the settlement was founded is the problem of when it became a polis. Applebaum believed that the settlement was founded under the Ptolemies and became a polis under Ptolemy III Euergetes. Avi-Yonah, who suggested that the settlement was founded under the Ptolemies in 254 B.C., thought Skythopolis did not become a polis until the time of Antiochos IV Epiphanes.13 According to 2 Maccabees, during the Hasmonean period the Jewish inhabitants of the city lived amicably with their non-Jewish neighbors. Skythopolis was brought under Jewish rule by John Hyrkanos (Jos. AJ 13.280, BJ 1.66) and was part of the realm of Alexander Jannaios (Jos. AJ 13. 396). It was at Skythopolis that Jannaios and Cleopatra made an alliance (Jos. AJ 13.355). The city remained under Jewish rule until the arrival of Pompey (Jos. AJ 14.75, BJ 1.156).

Skythopolis, which was described by Josephus (BJ 3.446) as the “largest” (Southern Syria) city of the Decapolis, was also the only one that was located west of the Jordan River. In the Roman period it used an era beginning in 64 B.C.14 In the first century A.D. Skythopolis was apparently divided into wards or quarters (amphoda). Two are attested: Southern Syria and Southern Syria Southern Syria or Southern Syria. The first was named for a local product; the second, possibly for a god.15 In the economic sphere, I have already mentioned the discovery of Rhodian and Knidian amphora handles at Tell Istabah; these provide evidence for trade with the Aegean world. Archaeologists have also discovered a weight dated to 117/6 B.C. and inscribed with the name of the agoranomos—Satyros.16 Under the empire Skythopolis was an important center for the manufacture of textile goods.17

The only extant Hellenistic evidence for the religious life of Skythopolis is the prescript of a fragmentary second-century B.C. inscription found at Beth Shean that mentions eponymous priests of Zeus Olympios and the Savior Gods. The literary sources—of Roman and Byzantine date—mention the importance of Dionysos and Nysa at Skythopolis. In addition, we learn about Dionysos at Skythopolis—and the religious life of the city—from epigraphic and numismatic evidence of the Imperial period. A hexagonal altar found in the basilica contains Dionysiac reliefs on all sides; on the front is a mask of Dionysos and an inscription dated to 141/2 A.D. recording a thanks offering made to Dionysos, “the founder,” by Seleukos son of Ariston. And a dedication to Dionysos dated palaeographically to the end of the second/ beginning of the third century A.D. by a certain Germanos was found in the theater at Skythopolis. Dionysos is also portrayed on numerous coins of Roman Skythopolis. Dionysos was, of course, an important deity in the Ptolemaic pantheon; this may possibly explain the origin of his prominence at (p.293) Skythopolis. Another Seleukos son of Ariston—possibly a grandson of the first—dedicated an altar to Sarapis.18 Two dedications to Zeus Akraios and one to Zeus Bak[chios] have also been discovered.19

The remains of a large temple have been found on the tell. Rowe dated it to the third century B.C. However, subsequent investigations have indicated that the building did not predate the Roman period. It is not clear which divinity was worshipped in the temple.20

The extant coinage dates from the Roman period.21 On the coins and in inscriptions from the Roman period the double name or ethnic Nysa-Skythopolis is usually found.22 The designation “Hellenis polis” for Nysa-Skythopolis is found on a dedicatory inscription discovered in the city center that probably dates to 161–180 A.D. as well as—in abbreviated form—on some coins of the same period.23 (p.294) (p.295) (p.296) (p.297) (p.298)

(p.299) Straton’s Tower

The coastal city of Straton’s Tower was rebuilt in the late first century B.C. by Herod as Caesarea (Josephus AJ 13.313, 15. 331–41; BJ 1.408). Our concern, of course, is with Straton’s Tower. There are two major questions regarding Straton’s Tower: Was it founded in the fourth century B.C., or is it a Hellenistic foundation? Where exactly was it located?

Two suggestions have been proposed for its origin: (a) it was founded by Phoenicians before the arrival of Alexander the Great and was named either for Abd-Ashtart, the name of three Sidonian kings in the fourth century B.C., or for the goddess Astarte, who will have had a temple in the city; in this connection, scholars have suggested that the name Straton reflected the Hellenizing of Ashtart or Astarte;1 (b) it was founded in the third century B.C., when the area was under Ptolemaic control, and was named for a Ptolemaic general.2

Briefly, the arguments for the town having been founded in the third century B.C. are as follows:

  1. i. There is no extant literary, epigraphic, or archaeological evidence for the establishment of a pre-Hellenistic settlement by the Phoenicians at the site.

  2. ii. Ps.-Scylax, who dates to c. 350 B.C. and describes the various towns on the coast, does not mention Straton’s Tower.

  3. iii. The earliest extant reference to Straton’s Tower is a Zenon papyrus (P. Cairo Zen. I 59004) that (probably) dates to 259 B.C.3

  4. iv. After years of excavation in widely separated areas of Caesarea the earliest ceramic evidence thus far discovered is a single sherd of a Corinthian cyma kantharos that is dated according to some scholars to c. 250 B.C. Note, however, that others date the same sherd to the fourth century B.C. and see this as supporting their contention that the founding of the town predates the Hellenistic period.4

If the town was a Ptolemaic foundation, it is possible that it was named for the same official who gave his name to an island in the Red Sea, namely, “Straton’s Island” (Strabo 16.4.8).5

The arguments for the town having been founded in the fourth century B.C. are as follows:

  1. (p.300) i. P. Cairo Zen. I 59004 implies that the city was already well established by the mid-third century B.C.

  2. ii. Straton was a common royal name in the fourth-century B.C. Near East. A city founded before the mid-third century B.C. could therefore have been founded by a fourth-century king of that name.

  3. iii. The paucity of archaeological evidence from the fourth century does not exclude the possibility that Straton’s Tower existed then.

Toward the end of the second century B.C. Straton’s Tower was controlled by the rebel Zoilos (Jos. AJ 13.326); Alexander Jannaios brought it under Jewish rule. It remained under Jewish control until 63 B.C., when, along with other coastal cities, it was granted its independence by Pompey (Josephus AJ 14.76). By this time it was apparently already in decline. Strabo, who lived at the end of the first century B.C./first century A.D., described it simply as having a “landing place” (16.2.27). And Josephus says that Caesarea was built on the “deserted” Straton’s Tower (AJ 15.331–33, BJ 1.408).

Josephus also tells us (AJ 15.333) that Straton’s Tower/Caesarea was located on the coast of Phoenicia, between Joppe and Dora. The location of Caesarea is, of course, well known.6 On the other hand, the exact location of Straton’s Tower (in relation to Caesarea) remains unknown. Note, however, that (a) Josephus says that Herod founded Caesarea on the site of Straton’s Tower (BJ 1.408) and (b) scattered Hellenistic material has been found at various places within and around the site of Caesarea. However, there is a particular concentration of Hellenistic finds in the area 200 meters north of the Crusader walls; there, excavators have found Hellenistic pottery dating to the last two centuries B.C. as well as sixteen stamped Rhodian amphora handles dating to the mid-second century B.C.7 Excavators at Caesarea have also found up to 8,000 coins; the earliest found thus far are of Ptolemy II Philadelphos and Antiochos III.8 Although investigators have not found any significant pre-Herodian architectural remains in the area, they have discovered the remains of a large Hellenistic structure (as well as Hellenistic ceramics) in the area of the nearby synagogue.9 Furthermore, Raban has suggested that the northern city wall of Caesarea—which most scholars consider to be Herodian—was in fact the Hellenistic wall of Straton’s Tower. Similarly, he has proposed that a wall section in the south vault and the round tower in the harbor were part of the Hellenistic wall. This has prompted the suggestion that Straton’s Tower encompassed the area to the north of the Crusader wall as well as the harbor area to the south.10 (p.301)

(p.302) Sykaminopolis, Boukolopolis, and Krokodeilopolis

Among the towns between Ake and Straton’s Tower, Strabo (16.2.27) mentions “Sykaminopolis, Boukolopolis and Krokodeilopolis and others like them.” Strabo adds that nothing but their names remained. Strabo (16.2.22) and Pliny (NH 5.78) also record a Leontopolis in Phoenicia, between Beirut and Sidon. It is not clear whether these towns were given their respective names during the Hellenistic period. In favor of this possibility is the fact that the form of the toponym—Sykaminopolis (“Mulberry City”), Boukolopolis (“Herdsman City”), Krokodeilopolis (“Crocodile City”), Leontopolis (“Lion City”)—recalls various toponyms in Ptolemaic Egypt; this would suggest these towns might have been so (re)named when the region was under Ptolemaic rule. On the other hand, the Periplus of Ps.-Scylax, which dates to the fourth century B.C., mentions Porphyreopolis and Ornithopolis in the region (104 = GGM, 1: 78); this leaves open the possibility that (some of ) the toponyms (p.303) recorded by Strabo predated the Hellenistic period.1 In light of that and in the absence of other information, we cannot definitely claim any of these towns were Hellenistic settlements. (p.304)


(1.) See AINOS, n. 1.

(1.) Jones (CERP 2, 449) dismissed the possibility that Anthedon was a “military colony” named for “a tiny Boeotian city” because “all the well-attested examples take their names from cities of some importance in the Macedonian kingdom (including Thessaly).” Hence he speculated that Anthedon was simply Ain Teda “tendentiously” misspelled. In the present lack of firm evidence it is not possible to either affirm or deny Jones’s assertion. Note, however, that (a) his argument is ex silentio and (b) there are settlements attested in northern Syria that were or may have been named for towns in central or southern Greece; e.g., HERAIA and TEGEA.

Ps.-Scymnus 500 (GGM, 1: 216), which Tcherikover cited (HS, 79) as referring to Anthedon in southern Syria, in fact refers to the Boeotian city. For Anthedon see also Hierokles 719.1 and below, n. 4.

(1.) For other literary references to Hippos see, for example, Josephus AJ 15.217; Ptolemy 5.14.18; Stephanos s.v. “Hippos”; Hierokles 720.6. See also Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, 65; TIR Iudaea-Palestina, 147.

(1.) On Oulatha in the region between Trachonitis and Galilee see Kahrstedt, Syr. Territ., 89; Schmitt, Siedlungen, 272.

(1.) E. Honigmann, Byzantinisch-neugriechische Jahrbücher 6 (1928) 211.

(1.) The identity of Apollonia and Arsuf was first noted by Clermont-Ganneau, RA 32 (1876) 374–75; cf. T. Nöldeke, ZDMG 42 (1888) 473; see also, for example, Jones, CERP 2, 230. On the other hand, Arsuf should not identified with the Canaanite city of Rishpon (S. Izre’el in Apollonia-Arsuf, 1: 63–75; Avi-Yonah, EJ s.v. “Apollonia”). For Arsuf in the Arabic geographers see Le Strange, Palestine, 399. On the god Reshef see Schürer, History2, 2: 114 n. 152 and literature cited there.

(1.) Founder. Hölscher (Palästina, 59, 61), citing Appian (Syr. 57), suggested Seleukos I Nikator might have founded Arethousa in southern Syria as well as the like-named city in northern Syria. Appian did include an Arethousa among the colonies founded by Seleukos that were named for cities in Greece and Macedonia. However, since Seleukos never controlled southern Syria, Appian cannot have been referring to this town; most likely the reference is to ARETHOUSA in northern Syria. Avi-Yonah (Gazetteer, 29) tentatively suggested that Pompey refounded Pegai as Arethousa. The text of the AJ (14.75) explicitly says that Pompey gave back various cities to their inhabitants; the text of the BJ (1.156–57) says that Pompey “freed” these cities and adds that he restored the cities to their “legitimate citizens.” There is nothing in either text that says Pompey actually refounded any of these cities. In any event, R. D. Sullivan’s suggestion (ANRW 2:8 [1977] 210) that the Arethousa mentioned by Josephus is the city in northern Syria (rather than the one in southern Syria) is not convincing.

(1.) On P. Cairo Zen. I 59003 ( = CPJ 1 = Scholl, Sklaverei, no. 1 = Durand, Palestine, no. 3) and Tobias see, for example, Tcherikover and Fuks, CPJ, 1: 115–18; Bagnall, Ptol. Poss., 17; C. Orrieux in Hellenica et Judaica, 321–33; and Durand, Palestine, 45–55. On eponymous commanders in the klerouchic system see the introductory comments to P. Yale 27.

(1.) H. Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 66; see also Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, p. 102, no. 15; Rosenberger Coll., 4: 20, no. 11; Meshorer, City-Coins, 232; SNG ANS 6: 1274. The era on the coins begins in 97 or 98 A.D.; see M. Sartre, Trois ét., 45 and n. 150; Lenzen and Knauf, Syria 64 (1987) 25.

(1.) For other literary references to Chalkis see, for example, Jos. AJ 19.277, BJ 2.217; Eusebius Chron. 79.6 (ed. Karst); and Honigmann, “Hist. Topog.,” no. 136a.

(1.) For Alexander coins with the letters Southern Syria minted at Damascus see, for example, Price, Alexander and Philip, pp. 398f., nos. 3197 ff. On Hieronymus’s comment see Droysen, Hist., 2: 736; and Tcherikover, HS, 65.

(1.) For other literary references to Dion see, for example, Josephus, AJ 14.47, BJ 1.132. Hierokles 722.4, George of Cyprus 1061, ND 81.23 (ed. Seeck), and Damaskios in Photius Bibl. 347b (ed. Henry) have “Dia”; cf. H. Gelzer, Julius Africanus, 1: 257. For variant versions of the toponym in the manuscript tradition of Josephus see Schürer, History2, 2: 148 n. 333; and Sartre in Decapolis, 149.

(1.) See E. Will in Chuvin, Mythologie, 264 n. 49; and Bowersock in Syrie, 344–46. Cf., however, P. Chuvin who objected that, according to Nonnos (Dionysiaca 20.298), Dionysos’s retinue was said to have been assembled on Mount Carmel (Mythologie, 264 n. 49). This would point to SKYTHOPOLIS, which, of course, was also known as Nysa. But Bowersock correctly pointed out that Skythopolis was in Palestine, not Arabia, and is not mountainous (in Syrie, 345).

For the association of Dionysos and his nurse, Nysa, in the mythology and iconography of NYSA in Caria see R. Lindner, Mythos und Identität (Stuttgart, 1994) 109 ff.; and U. W. Gottschall, LIMC Suppl. I, s.v. “Nysa.”

(1.) For the evidence for a Bronze and Iron Age presence at and near the site of Gerasa see S. Applebaum and A. Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Gerasa.” For the likelihood that Gerasa is a Semitic name see Kraeling, Gerasa, 27. For the form “Garasa” instead of “Gerasa” see CIL XVI 15; see also Pliny NH 5.74, where “Galasa” should be emended to “Gerasa.” For the name Gerasa (in its West Semitic form, grsw) in a Nabataean inscription from Petra see J. Starcky, RB 72 (1965) 95–96.

(1.) Tcherikover (HS, 81) mentioned, “with great reservation,” Hellenoupolis (sic) but raised the possibility that it was named in honor of Constantine’s mother, Helena. This is certainly the case.

(1.) Donne (Dict. Geog. s.v. “Heliopolis”) claimed that the name Heliopolis was “imposed by the Seleucid sovereigns of Syria”; Smith (ABD, s.v. “Baalbek”) said the shrine and town were renamed in the third or second century B.C. Neither Donne nor Smith cited any evidence to support their claim.

For the two inscriptions referring to a Macedonian quarter see R. Mouterde, MUSJ 36 (1959) 67–68: Uic(i)n[i]a Macedonum; and C. S. Clermont-Ganneau, Études d’archéologie orientale 2 (1897) 147 (635/6 A.D.): Southern Syria.

(1.) In fact, “Hellas” was also used to indicate (districts of ) northern and central Greece (as opposed to the Peloponnese); see, for example, LSJ9 s.v. “Hellas”; H. T. Wade-Gery, JHS 44 (1924) 61, 64 n. 34; G. W. Forrest, Historia 6 (1957) 167; R. H. Simpson and J. F. Lazenby, The Catalogue of the Ships in Homer’s “Iliad” (Oxford, 1970) 128–29.

(1.) On the date of Apollonios’s mission see Schürer, History2, 1: 152 and n. 36. In any investigation of the term akra in the account of Hellenistic Jerusalem in Maccabees and Josephus, it is important to bear in mind several points:

  1. (i.) 1 Maccabees was originally written in Hebrew; this original version has long been lost. What survived was a Greek translation. Furthermore, it is likely that Josephus, who paraphrased 1 Maccabees for his account, probably relied primarily on the Greek translation rather than on the Hebrew original. In short, it is salutary to bear in mind that for their discussions scholars are reliant upon literary evidence that has been brought down in translation.

  2. (ii.) Akra is used with both minimalist and maximalist meaning; i.e., it can be used to refer to a fortress or to a fortified area of the city For example, in relating the events of the Hasmonean revolt, Josephus says that Antiochos built an akra in the Lower City (AJ 12.252). However, in his recapitulation of these events in the BJ (1.39, 137) he says that the Lower City was called “Akra” (see also 6.354; AJ 12.252). Tsafrir (RB 82 [1975] 509–21) and Bar-Kochva ( JM, 451), among others, remarked that in sources connected with the Hasmonean revolt, the term akra was used in its minimal sense, i.e., the fortress only (see also W. A. Shotwell, BASOR 176 [1964] 10–19), but that in the sources relating to the Great Revolt the term was applied to the whole Lower City.

    With regard to 1 Macc. 1.33 Goldstein remarked (I Maccabees, 217): “‘Citadel’ and ‘City of David’ are thus ambiguous terms, the interpretation of which depends on the context. In our passage [i.e., 1 Macc. 1.33], the Akra, the fortified City of David, could easily mean a citadel to the north of the temple area.” Goldstein translated 1 Macc. 1.33 as follows: “They fortified the City of David with a high strong wall and strong towers so as to have a citadel, the Akra.” This is somewhat misleading. Thus Bar-Kochva explained ( JM, 463–64): “Conventional exegesis assumes that the second half of the verse [i.e., 1 Macc. 1.33] means that the area described became a fortress called ‘Akra’. But that raises a further difficulty. It would mean that the Akra included the entire territory of the City of David, and indeed some scholars have described the Akra as a fortified zone occupying all of the south-eastern hill.” Bar-Kochva then called attention to the fact that at 1.33 the author of 1 Macc. used akra as a common noun rather than as a place-name, and suggested it should be understood in the sense of a fortified zone. He also noted that at 1.33 the author of 1 Macc. did not use the definite article with akra (nor at 14.36, on which see below) as he did in more than twenty other instances of the word (see, for example, 3.45; 4.2, 41; 6.18, 26, 32; 9.52, 53; 10.6, 7, 9, 32; 11.20, 21, 41; 12.36; 13.21, 49, 50, 52; 14.7; 15.28). Thus he explained that the author’s intention was “only to say that the entire area of the City of David was encircled by a large, strong wall. Towers were added and the entire hill became a stronghold for the enemy and his backers” ( JM, 465; see also Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament, 146, 157).

    In this connection we may also note the following. The term akropolis was often used without an article (e.g., Strabo 16.2.8). In addition to its literal usage (i.e., “upper or higher city,” “citadel,” or “castle”), akropolis was frequently used in krov a metaphorical sense by various Greek authors (see LSJ9 s.v. Southern Syria). For example, Euripides (Orestes 1094) described Delphi as the akropolis of the Phocians” (Southern Syria). Strabo described various cities as akropoleis of larger regions; thus, for example, he described GINDAROS as “a city that is the akropolis of Cyrrhestice” (Southern Syria, 16.2.8) and CHALKIS as “the akropolis, as it were, of the Massyas” (Southern Syria Southern Syria, 16.2.18). Furthermore, akropolis could also be used to describe a person (Theognis 233). In short, is it possible that at 1 Macc. 1.33 akra was being used in the same metaphorical sense simply to describe the City of David? I.e., just as Euripides could describe Delphi as the akropolis of the Phocians, so the author of 1 Macc. could refer to the newly fortified City of David as the akra for the Macedonian garrison and the “sinful people, lawless men.”

  3. (iii.) Most scholars believe that the minimalist meaning of akra was applied to different fortresses at different periods; i.e., over the course of time, the site of the Akra may have changed. In this connection, the Seleucid Akra should be distinguished from (a) a bira mentioned in the time of Nehemiah, (b) an akra that predated the Seleucids (the “Ptolemaic” Akra), and (c) the Hasmonaean baris. In the accounts of the Ptolemaic and Seleucid rule in the years preceding 168 B.C. there are a number of references to an akropolis or akra; see, for example, 2 Macc. 4.12, 28; 5.5 (akropolis); Letter of Aristeas 100–104 (akra); Josephus AJ 12.133, 138 (the phrouroi in the akra at the time of Antiochos III). Presumably all these references are to the same akra, i.e., the “Ptolemaic” Akra (see, for example, Schürer, History2, 1: 154 n. 39). It is generally accepted that this akra stood on the site of the earlier bira mentioned in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 2.8, 7.2) and was the site of or very near the later Hasmonaean baris (Jos. AJ 15.403, 18.91); most scholars believe it was located north of the Temple. Finally, it is also generally agreed that this Akra should be distinguished from the Akra that was built by Antiochos Epiphanes in 168 B.C. Interestingly, in the nineteenth century most scholars also located the Seleucid Akra north of the Temple. At the end of that century scholarly opinion began to shift to the area south of the Temple, and it is now generally believed that one should search there for the Seleucid Akra; see, for example, Schürer, History2, 1: 154 n. 39; Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament, 146–57 (southeast hill); Y. Tsafrir, RB 82 (1975) 503 n. 6, 509–10 (southeast of the Temple, within the area later included in the Herodian temenos); Dequeker in The Land of Israel, 199; Bar-Kochva, JM, 463–65 (the Akra—the citadel of Jerusalem—was on the southeast hill; this was also the site of the “Ptolemaic” Akra). On the other hand, Goldstein (I Maccabees, 217) believes that the Citadel of the Hellenistic period could have been north of the Temple. For an overview of opinions and discussions see, for example, Tsafrir, RB 82 (1975) 503 n. 7 and map on p. 504; see also below, n. 11.

  4. (iv.) Josephus, who is one of our major sources, was writing two hundred years after the events of the Hasmonean revolt; in other words, the Jerusalem with which he was familiar was different from the Jerusalem of the mid-second century B.C.

(1.) In the middle of his description of Arabia (NH 6.159)—where it appears Pliny mistakenly inserted a comment about Syrian cities—Pliny says: “fuerunt et Graeca oppida Arethusa, Larisa, Chalcis, deleta variis bellis.” There is no apparent order to the naming of the three towns; hence this passage cannot help in trying to identify or locate a Larisa in southern Syria. See further LARISA Sizara.

(1.) For the founder see Tcherikover, HS, 80.

(1.) On the cave of Panion see, for example, Josephus AJ 15.364, BJ 1.404; TB Baba Bathra 74b; Tosefta Bekhorot 7.4 (ed. Neusner); Mekhilta Amalek 2.62 (ed. Lauterbach); TB Sanhedrin 98a; Bereshith Rabbah 33; M. Parah 8.11. For Panias in the rabbinic sources see also Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer 28 (ed. Friedlander); TB Megillah 6a; TJ Terumot 8.10 (46c); Bereshith Rabbah 63, 94; and Neubauer, Géographie, 236–38.

For Panias in the Arabic geographers see, for example, Le Strange, Palestine, 418.

(1.) For the ancient and Byzantine sources on Pella see Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, 86; and Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 23–82.

(1.) On the founding of Philadelpheia see also Hieronymus (In Ezech. 8.25 [CCL 75: 334–35]). For other ancient and Byzantine references to Philadelpheia see, for example, Josephus AJ 20.2, BJ 1.129, 380, 2.458, 3.46, 47; Strabo 16.2.34; Ptolemy 5.14.18; Solinus 36.1 (ed. Mommsen); Tab. Peut. IX.1; Eusebius Onomasticon 12, 16, 24, 102, 126 (ed. Klostermann); Patrum Nicaenorum Nomina (ed. H. Gelzer) 1.74, 2.73, 3.72, 4.70, 5.72, 7.79, 8.73, 9.73, 11.68; Hieronymus In Ezech. 7.21 (CCL 75: 289), In Naum 3.8 (CCL 76A: 564–5); Theodoret In Ezech. 21.18–20 (PG 81: 1013); Hierokles 722.9; Georg. Cyp. 1065.

(1.) Both Josephus (AJ 13.395–97) and Synkellos (558–59) preserve lists of cities that were under Jannaios’s control at the end of his life. Synkellos’s list, which is derived from a source independent of Josephus, mentions a number of towns—Abila, Hippos, and Philoteria—that are not mentioned by Josephus. On the question of the reliability of Synkellos’s information see Gelzer, Julius Africanus, 256–58; on Synkellos’s use of his predecessors see also R. Laqueur, RE s.v. “Synkellos,” 1388–1410; Adler, Time Immemorial, 132–206; G. L. Huxley, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy C 81.6 (1981) 207–17.

On the destruction of Philoteria see Jones, CERP 2, 240, 55, 57.

(1.) The founder of the Macedonian colony at Samareia. According to Hieronymus (Chron. 123, ed. Helm2) and Eusebius (Chron. 197, ed. Karst), Alexander punished the rebellious Samaritans and after having captured the city settled Macedonians there. Synkellos (496, ed. Mosshammer) also mentions Alexander settling Macedonians in Samareia after he captured the city. However, in another passage (Chron. 199, ed. Karst) Eusebius says it was Perdikkas who had resettled the city. There is, however, no necessary contradiction. As Tcherikover and others have noted, it is possible that Perdikkas founded the colony on Alexander’s orders (HCJ, 104; see also Willrich, Juden, 2: 195). Alternatively, Tcherikover suggested that Perdikkas, who was the ruler of this area for two years after Alexander’s death (323–321 B.C.), may have elevated the Macedonian colony to the rank of a polis (see also Hengel, Greeks, 10). As there is no evidence to support that latter conjecture, the former suggestion appears preferable. See also Marcus, 523–24; H. Seyrig, Syria 42 (1965) 27; and Schürer, History2, 2: 160–61. Cf. also DOKIMEION and THEMISONION in Phrygia.

G. E. Wright has suggested (HTR 55 [1962] 366–77; Shechem, 175–80) the indications of the reoccupation and refortification of Shechem in the late fourth century B.C. and the appearance of towers of Greek (rather than Palestinian) design at Samareia are best explained if one assumes that at that time (a) Samareia was resettled by Macedonians sent by Alexander and (b) the Samaritans returned to Shechem to (re)found the city.

Applebaum has suggested (in Dar, Samaria, 257) that as a result of the Macedonian intervention a large part of Samareia might have become a royal domain. Applebaum also speculated that the Samaritans who were subsequently transferred to Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter (Jos. AJ 12.7) had been rendered landless by Alexander’s confiscations. Note, however, that the captives that Ptolemy sent to Egypt included persons from Judaea and the area around Jerusalem as well as Samareia.

(1.) For coins with the ethnic Southern Syria or abbreviations thereof see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 308–12; Mionnet, Description, 5: 318; id., Supplément, 8: 223–24; W. Wroth, BMC Syria, lxxxiii; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 48–57; Rosenberger Coll., 4:1–2, nos. 1–12; SNG Schweiz II 2179–83; Meshorer, City-Coins, 78–79. For the ethnic Southern Syria see also Stephanos s.v. “Abile”; OGIS 631.

In general on the coinage of Abila see the literature cited in Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 1–4; see also Wineland, Ancient Abila, 79–94; and Rigsby, Asylia, 535; for the coins discovered in the excavation directed by W. H. Mare (see above) see Wineland, Ancient Abila, 89 n. 87, 135–37.

For literary and epigraphic references (Hellenistic and later) to Abila see, for example, Wineland, Ancient Abila, 55–78.

(1.) Tcherikover tentatively suggested that under “Antioch 5” (“between Coele Syria and Arabia”), Stephanos was referring to Gadara (HS, 74). I do not find this convincing. Note that Stephanos describes Gadara (s.v.) as a “city of Coele Syria,” whereas he describes Antioch no. 5 as “between Coele Syria and Arabia.” In any event, it is important to remember that there were a number of towns named Gadara in southern Syria (see also below, n. 5). Kent Rigsby has suggested in a private communication that Stephanos’s Antioch no. 5 might be a reference to the Gadara farther south that Josephus described as the “metropolis of Peraea” (BJ 4.413; for Gadara in Peraea see also Thomsen, Loca Sancta, 47; Abel, Géographie, 2: 324; Schalit, Namenwörterbuch, 30; Schürer, History2, 2: 134 and n. 250; Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer s.v. “Gedora II”; Möller and Schmitt, Siedlungen, 60–61; Schmitt, Siedlungen, 158).

The problem of indicating precise ancient boundaries in Transjordan is difficult and complex and varies according to the time period under discussion. After the creation of the Roman province of Arabia in 106 A.D. GERASA and PHILADELPHEIA were included in it. Nonetheless, Ptolemy—who was writing in the second century A.D. but did not record places by Roman provinces—described them as being in (the local geographical unit of ) Coele Syria (5.14.18). Furthermore, Philadelpheia continued to describe itself on its coins and in inscriptions of the second and third centuries A.D. as being a city of Coele Syria; see above, PHILADELPHEIA, n. 9. As for the boundaries of the new province, the northern frontier extended to a little beyond the north of Bostra and east; the western border ran somewhat east of the Jordan River valley and the Dead Sea but west of the city of Madaba (see M. Sartre, Trois ét., 17–75; Bowersock, ZPE 5 [1970] 37–39; id., JRS 61 [1971] 236–42; and especially id., Arabia, 90–109). Gadara in Peraea is identified today with es-Salt near Tell Jadur, a place that is near the western boundary of the province of Arabia. And this region could have been described by Stephanos as being located “between Coele Syria and Arabia.”

Abel (Géographie, 2: 323) remarked, without further elaboration, that Gadara was a “nom macédonien donné à un site appelé déjà Gadar … ou Gedor.” Cf. Avi-Yonah (EJ s.v. “Gadara”): “Although the name is of Semitic origin, the new settlers called it Gadara after a Macedonian city.” There was a Gazaros in Macedonia (see, for example, Papazoglou, Villes, 382–84); however, I am not aware of a town or city in Macedonia called Gadara.

On the question of the reliability of Stephanos see especially Whitehead, “Stephanus,” 99–124; Whitehead offers a more favorable opinion than previous scholars (brief survey on p. 100).

(1.) On Alexander’s siege of Gaza see also Diod. 17.48.7; Jos. AJ 11.320, 325; Curtius 4.6.7–30; Plut. Alex. 25; Polyb. 16.22a(40); see also Walbank, Comment., 2: 528. Josephus (AJ 17.320, BJ 2.97) explicitly described Gaza, GADARA, and HIPPOS as “Hellenic poleis.

Antigonos (Diod. 19.59.2); Ptolemy (Diod. 19.84.8); Jonathan the Maccabee (Jos. AJ 13.153; 1 Macc. 11.61–62); Alexander Jannaios (Jos. AJ 13.358–64, 395, BJ 1.87); Pompey (Jos. AJ 14.76, BJ 1.156); Gabinius (Jos. AJ 14.88).

The literary sources record the existence of an Old and New Gaza in the Hellenistic/Roman period; see, for example, Diod. 19.80.5; Arrian 2.26; Eusebius Onomasticon 62 (ed. Klostermann); Sozomenos Hist. Eccl. 2.5, 5.3.6–9 (ed. Bidez and Hansen = PG 67: 948, 1221); Antoninus Martyr 35 (ed. Tobler); an anonymous geographical fragment in H. Hudson, ed., Geographiae Veteris Scriptores Graeci Minores (Oxford, 1717) IV 39 [N.V.]; see also Strabo 16.2.30. There is no available information to indicate which town—Old or New Gaza—was the refounded Seleukeia Gaza. On the complex problem of identifying Old and New Gaza see, for example, Schürer, History2, 2: 101–2, n. 77; Glucker, City of Gaza, 13–18 (sources, 13–15; discussion, 15–18).

On the territory of Gaza see Avi-Yonah, Geography, 151–52 (for Isaac’s criticism of Avi-Yonah see APOLLONIA [Arsuf], n. 5); Glucker, City of Gaza, 25–26. On the nature of Gabinius’s activity in restoring cities in southern Syria see above, SELEUKEIA Abila, n. 2.

(1.) For other references to Seleukeia in Josephus see BJ 2.574, 4.4; Vita 398.

(1.) See, for example, G. E. Wright, HTR 55 (1962) 366–77; and id., Shechem, 175–80; see also SAMAREIA.

(1.) For the suggestion that Tell Istabah was the site of Hellenistic Skythopolis see, for example, Applebaum, Judaea, 6–8; Arav, Palestine, 99–100; R. Bar-Nathan, G. Mazor, and A. Berman, ESI 11 (1993) 50–52; G. Foerster, NEAEHL s.v. “Beth Shean.” See also Tsafrir and Foerster, DOP 51 (1997) 88: “Hellenistic Scythopolis succeeded Bet Shean on the tell, and in the third to second century B.C.E. expanded toward Tel Iztaba, north of Nahal Harod.”

(1.) For a fourth-century founding date for the town see, for example, Schürer (History2, 2: 115), followed by L. Levine (RB 80 [1973] 75–81) and Roller (BASOR 247 [1982] 45; BASOR 252 [1983] 61; and in Caesarea Papers, 23), who believed the founder was Abd-Ashtart I (375/4–361 B.C.). K. Galling (ZDPV 61 [1938] 83), E. Stern (Qedem 9 [1978] 83 ff.), and E. Will (Syria 64 [1987] 246) opted for Abd-Ashtart II (343/2–332 B.C.). J. Ringel (Césarée de Palestine, 21) suggested it was “the last Straton.” For the three kings named Abd-Ashtart see J. W. Belyton, ANS MN 21 (1976) 11–35. See also K. Holum et al., King Herod’s Dream, 27 (“Strato of Sidon”).

For the derivation of the toponym from the goddess’s name see L. Kadman, Caesarea Maritima, 52–53.

(1.) For Krokodeilopolis, Sykaminopolis, and Ornithopolis see also Pliny NH 5.75–76. See also, for example, Hölscher, RE s.v. “Porphyreon Polis”; Honigmann, RE s.vv. “Ornithon Polis,” “Sykaminos 2”; Benzinger, RE s.v. “Boukolon Polis.” On Ptolemaic town names see, for example, SKYTHOPOLIS, n. 6; and pp. 52–58.

(2.) Waddington, I. Syrie, p. 574. For Phaina see, for example, Waddington, I. Syrie 2524–25, 2530–32; Sartre, Syria 76 (1999) 197–98 ( = I. Syrie 2524); Hierokles 723.1; George of Cyprus 1070 (Phenoutos).

For the Aenon near Salim mentioned in John 3.23 and the attempts to locate it (e.g., in Peraea in Transjordan, the northern Jordan valley, or Samareia) see R. E. Brown, The Gospel According to John (i–xii) (New York, 1962) 151.

(2.) On the nature of Gabinius’s activity in restoring cities in southern Syria see below, SELEUKEIA Abila, n. 2.

(2.) On Synkellos’s list see G. Schmitt, ZDPV 103 (1987) 24; and PHILOTERIA, n. 1.

On the Decapolis see, for example, Schürer, History2, 2: 125–27; Browning, Jerash, 13–17; and B. Isaac, ZPE 44 (1981) 67–74 ( = Isaac, Near East, 313–20; additional references on p. 321); P.-L. Gatier, Syria 67 (1990) 204–6.

(2.) On Herod the Great’s resettlement of the Babylonian Jews see Cohen, TAPA 103 (1972) 83–95.

(2.) E. Meyer, Ursprung, 2: 145. Contra: Bickerman, GM, 59 n. 1.

(2.) Kasher (Hellenistic Cities, 121 and n. 18) has suggested that evidence for the existence of Apollonia may be pushed back to the time of John Hyrkanos I. He bases this claim on the fact that Apollonia appears “in the list of places conquered by the Hasmonaeans … relating to the days of Simeon, John Hyrcanus I, and Jannaeus.” The list that Kasher is referring to is the one in Jos. AJ 13.395–97. As far as I can see, however, Josephus is there enumerating the cities that were under Jewish control in the time of Jannaios. It is not clear whether Josephus means the cities were captured during or before Jannaios’s reign.

(2.) In addition to the city of Arethousa in Macedonia, there were many springs with that name in Greece; see further Hirschfeld and Wagner, RE s.v. “Arethusa.” Avi-Yonah (EJ s.v. “Arethusa”; see also s.v. “Antipatris”; and Geography, 146) claimed Arethousa in southern Syria was named for the ARETHOUSA in northern Syria. On the other hand, Benzinger (RE s.v. “Arethousa 10”) equated the latter two settlements; Schmitt (Siedlungen, 64) raised the possibility of confusion of the two settlements.

(2.) On Iraq el-Emir see, for example, E. Will and F. Larché, Iraq al-Amir (Paris, 1991); A. Negev, PECS s.v. “Araq el-Emir”; P. W. Lapp and N. L. Lapp, NEAEHL s.v. “Iraq el-Emir”; F. Larché in CFAJ, 60–63; F. Villeneuve in CFAJ, 49–59; id., GHPO, 257–88; F. Zayadine, MB 22 (1982) 20–27; Arav, Palestine, 107–10; E. Will, ABD s.v. “Iraq el-Emir”; id. in Basileia, 221–25; F. Zayadine, OENEA s.v. “Iraq el-Amir”; and the literature cited in each of these.

For the identification of Birta of the Ammanitis with the ruins at Iraq el-Emir see, for example, Vincent, RB 29 (1920) 197–98; Tcherikover and Fuks, CPJ, 1: 116–17; A. Momigliano in Quinto contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome, 1975) 1: 615–17; B. Mazar, IEJ 7 (1957) 139–43; D. Gera in GREI, 24–26. The ruins have been variously identified as, among other things, a temple (e.g., P. W. Lapp, BASOR 171 [1963] 27–31; P. W. Lapp and N. L. Lapp, NEAEHL s.v. “Iraq el-Emir”; Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 273–74, 2: 180–82), a fortified villa (E. Will, MB 22 [1982] 17; E. Will, ABD s.v. “Iraq el-Emir”; J. Robert and L. Robert, BE [1982] 464), and a fortress (Arav, Palestine, 109); see, in general, Arav, Palestine, 106–10.

For a hoard of Ptolemaic coins dating to the mid-third century B.C. that was found at Iraq el-Emir see C. Augé, ADAJ 45 (2001) 483–85.

(2.) For the claims to Alexander as founder by various settlements see GERASA, nn. 2–3 and SELEUKEIA Abila, n. 2. Rigsby (Asylia, 535) observed that the claim of Alexander as founder supported the idea that Capitolias was “a new name for an older community, which claimed a Hellenistic past that is unknown to us.”

(2.) The name of the city was Southern Syria (Jos. BJ 1.185; see also AJ14.126). According to Stephanos (s.v. “Chalkis 4”) the ethnic was Southern Syria.

Grainger dismissed the possibility that the town was a Hellenistic settlement on the—unconvincing—claim that in the second century B.C. Greek settlements were not being created. As a result he suggested the toponym reflected the likely presence of a copper mine in the vicinity (Hellenistic Phoenicia, 149–50).

(2.) For the suggestion that Damascus was refounded as an Arsinoe see Tcherikover, HS, 66–67; id., HCJ 106, 442; and ARSINOE in northern Syria. For Damascus in the third century B.C. see, for example, C. G. den Hertog, ZDPV 111 (1995) 170–76. On the question of the frontier between Seleucid and Ptolemaic territory in the third century B.C. see CHALKIS on Belos, n. 2.

(2.) Avi-Yonah has suggested the founder may have been Perdikkas (Geography, 40); M. Hengel thought it was Antigonos ( Judaism2, 1: 14). Hölscher’s suggestion (Palästina, 63) that Seleukos I Nikator might have given Dion a Greek city constitution is unlikely because, as far as we know, Seleukos never controlled this area.

(2.) For references to Dionysias see, for example, Photius Bibl. 242 [196] (ed. Henry) = Damaskios Vit. Isid. frag. 196 (p. 270, ed. Zintzen); Hierokles 723.3; George of Cyprus 1072; I. Syrie 2299; IGR 3: 1277–78.

(2.) For the coins of Septimius Severus and Caracalla with a bust of Alexander and the legend Southern Syria see Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 165, nos. 29, 31; id., Liber Annuus 25 (1975) 81f., nos. 28, 30; Seyrig, Syria 42 (1965), 25–28. For coins of Elagabalus with a bust of Alexander and the legend Southern Syria see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 166, nos. 34–35; id., Liber Annuus 25 (1975) 83, nos. 33–34; SNG Schweiz II 2537. See also Leschhorn, “Gründer,” 218–20. Other cities in the region also claimed Alexander as founder or progenitor: e.g., CAPITOLIAS, DION, and, possibly, PELLA and SELEUKEIA Abila.

For the inscription mentioning the Macedonians see Gerasa, 410, no. 78. For the dedication see Gerasa 423, no. 137. For the possibility that Perdikkas might have founded Gerasa on the orders of Alexander see SAMAREIA and Schürer, History2, 2: 150; for Perdikkas as founder of a Macedonian colony at Gerasa see Jones, CERP 2 , 251. Hammond (GRBS 39 [1998] 262) suggested that Alexander founded the settlement but left Perdikkas to supervise the construction.

(2.) P. Bordreuil (in GHPO, 309–10; see also H. I. MacAdam, Topoi 3 [1993] 341) has suggested that the native place-name for the site may have been Shamsimuruna (i.e., “Shamash is our Lord”). The Greek toponym Heliopolis would then have reflected the importance of the sun-god at the site. Earlier, H. Seyrig suggested that the Ptolemies identified the Baal of Baalbek with their sun-god and probably changed the name of the town to Heliopolis (Syria 48 [1971] 347–48). F. Ragette (Baalbek [London, 1980] 28–29) followed Seyrig and also suggested that after the Seleucids conquered the area they probably built the podium on which the later temple of Jupiter was erected. The podium was still unfinished when Pompey conquered the region. See also N. Jidejian, Baalbek (Beirut, 1975) 15–18.

(2.) There is a problem with the verb Southern Syria in 1 Macc. 1.33, Southern Syria Southern Syria. Many translators have objected that to say “and they built the City of David” would not make sense: clearly the “City of David” already existed in 168/7 B.C. As a result, they render Southern Syria in 1.33 as “they fortified” (e.g., Goldstein; Sievers in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 198; the Revised Standard Version [The New Oxford Annotated Bible]; the New Revised Standard Version [The Access Bible]). Note, however, that in the parallel passage Josephus simply says: “He built the akra in the Lower City” (Southern SyriaSouthern Syria Southern Syria, AJ 12.252). And further on, 1 Maccabees (14.36) records the fact that Simon “succeeded in expelling the gentiles from his people’s land and in expelling the in habitants of the City of David in Jerusalem, who had made/built themselves a citadel” (Southern Syria). This brings us back to the question of the translation of Southern Syria in 1 Macc. 1.33. The verb Southern Syria does not mean simply “to build (ex nihilo).” According to the LSJ9 s.v. it can also mean generally “to fashion” (e.g., the LXX 3 Kings 6.36). Hence I believe we may translate the first part of 1 Maccabees 1.31 as “They fashioned/built up the City of David with a high strong wall and strong towers.”

It is useful, incidentally, to note the Southern Syria in 1 Macc. 1.33, Southern Syria Southern Syria, “and it became a citadel for them” (italics mine). That is, the City of David became a citadel for the Seleucid forces under Apollonios. Interestingly, in the one other instance in 1 Maccabees where Southern Syria appears without an article (14.36) we read that Simon expelled “the inhabitants of the City of David in Jerusalem, who had made/built themselves a citadel” (Southern Syria Southern Syria) (italics mine).

On Josephus’s use of 1 Maccabees for his description of the Hasmonean revolt see I. M. Gafni in Josephus, the Bible, and History, ed. L. H. Feldman and G. Hata (Detroit, 1989) 116–31. On the terms “City of David”, “Lower City,” and “akra” and their relation to each other see, for example, Goldstein, comment. on 1 Macc. 1.33–40; Bar-Kochva, JM, 445–51; see also, Sievers, in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 197–98.

(2.) For the location see Hölscher, RE s.v. “Lysias 3.” The Tabula Peutingeriana (VIII.5) lists the following on the road from Jerusalem to Aila (Elath): Hierusalem, Elusa, Oboda, Lysa, Cypsaria, Rasa, Ad Dianam, Haila; Ptolemy (5.16.4) has Eboda, Maliatha, Kalgouia, Lysa, Goubba, Gypsaria, Gerasa; see further Y. Aharoni, IEJ 4 (1954) 9–16 (map on p. 13); Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, 76. There is nothing to indicate whether Lysa (see, for example, TIR Iudaea-Palaestina, 172) was identical with the Lysias mentioned by Strabo.

(2.) On the question of the Semitic divinity that was worshipped at the source of the Jordan River see Hölscher, RE s.v. “Panias,” 595–96.

(2.) For Southern Syria in the text of Stephanos see, for example, Droysen, Hist., 2: 666; Droysen understood the phrase to refer to Pella in Transjordan, as did Tcherikover, HS, 75; id., HCJ, 99; and Schürer, History2, 1: 146 n. 323.

(2.) For the klerouchy of Tobias at Birta of the Ammanitis see P. Cairo Zen. I 59003 ( = CPJ 1 = Scholl, Sklaverei, no. 1 = Durand, Palestine, no. 3). For the possibility that the klerouchy was located at the citadel at Rabbat Amman see BIRTA of the Ammanitis. Regarding the founding date of Philadelpheia, note that Ernest Will (SHAJ 2 [1985] 239 n.14) argued—ex silentio—that since the name Philadelpheia is not found in the Zenon archive, the change took place after 259 B.C.

(2.) Location. G. Hölscher (Quellen 5 [1903] 65) theorized that Philoteria was on the east bank of the Sea of Galilee and equated it with Gamala. Contra: Kahrstedt (Syr. Territ., 24 n. 1), as well as Droysen (Hist., 2: 738) and Dussaud (Topographie, 22), who speculated it was on the west bank. Tcherikover (HCJ, 102), Honigmann(RE s.v. “Philoteria”), Avi-Yonah (Gazetteer, 88), and Arav (Palestine, 97–98), among others, have suggested that Tell Beth Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak) was the site of Philoteria; on the excavations at Beth Yerah see, for example, R. Hestrin, NEAEHL s.v.

A coin hoard that is alleged to have been found at Khirbet el-Kerak contained, among other items, tetradrachms of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaios (J. Baramki, QDAP 11 [1944] 86–90). The coins were probably buried soon after 319 B.C. If the coins were, in fact, from Khirbet el-Kerak, it would provide evidence for a possible Hellenistic settlement there (so Tcherikover, HCJ, 102).

An inscription found at Khirbet el-Kerak is dated to the year 591 (C. H. Kraeling in P. Delougaz and R. C. Haines, A Byzantine Church at Khirbat al-Karak [Chicago, 1960] 53–54, no. 1 = SEG 37: 1474B = Meimaris, Chronological Systems, 81–82, no. 11). Kraeling reasonably suggested that the era in question was Pompeian and, hence, that the inscription should be dated to 528 A.D. Based on the equation Khirbet el-Kerak = Philoteria, Meimaris suggested that after 64 B.C. Philoteria used a Pompeian era. This suggestion is obviously also based on the assumption that after its destruction by Jannaios, Philoteria—like other cities destroyed by Jannaios (e.g., PELLA)—was rebuilt. On the destruction of cities and the forms this could take see KOLOPHON.

(2.) Although a number of foundations in Asia Minor have been attributed to Alexander by ancient authors or modern scholars, none can definitely be attributed to him. See further, Cohen, Settlements in Europe, 420–23.

(2.) On the list in Synkellos see G. Schmitt, ZDPV 103 (1987) 24; and PHILOTERIA, n. 1.

The usual legend on the reverse of the coinage of Abila reads Southern Syria Southern Syria or variants thereof (e.g., Mionnet, Description, 5: 318, nos. 2–3; Supplément, 8: 223, no. 1; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 50–53, nos. 1–5, 9–14; Rosen-berger Coll., 4:1–2, nos. 9, 12–16; SNG Schweiz II 2179, 2181–82). That is, Southern Syria Southern Syria Southern Syria. The sequence Southern Syria is found on coins of the second and third centuries A.D. from Abila and GADARA; Southern Syria—without the Southern Syria—is found on coins of CAPITOLIAS and on a coin of GADARA. The difficulty is interpreting the letter Southern Syria on the coins of Abila and Gadara. Four suggestions have been proffered.

  1. (i.) It has been claimed that the Southern Syria stood for Southern Syria; see, for example, Herzfelder, RN 39 (1936) 292; W. Kellner, SM 77 (1970) 12, nos. 1–3; G. M. Cohen, AJN 10 (1998) 95–102. In this they were following the suggestion of Belley, who was cited by Eckhel, Doctrina, 3: 346. De Saulcy (Numismatique, 309–10) also referred to this suggested reading, albeit with skepticism. The combination Southern Syria Southern Syria and abbreviations thereof are often found on coins of various cities; see, for example, in Asia Minor, SNG (von A) 5731–32, 5734, 5736, 8701 (Mopsos), 6538–43 (Tyana). And Southern Syria with, for example, the additional Southern Syria or Southern Syria is also attested on coinage; see, for example, SNG (von A) 6097, 6098 (Elaiussa-Sebaste). Nevertheless, I have not been able to find other examples of the use of Southern Syria— written in full or abbreviated (rather than the appearance of just the letter gamma)—on coins to describe a city. On the other hand, we do find the legend Southern Syria on coinage of Damascus from the early third century A.D. (de Saulcy, Numismatique, 42, nos. 2–3). And in the early to mid-third century A.D. coins were minted at Perge in Pamphylia with the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria or variations thereof (e.g., Inv. Wadd. 3409; W. Wroth, NC, 1899, 105 n. 30; Imhoof-Blumer, KM, 332, nos. 32, 34; SNG [von A] 4729; SNG [France] 3: 610).

  2. (ii.) M. J. Price, in a note on SNG GB 4: 5977 (a coin of Abila), remarked that Southern Syria should be interpreted as Southern Syria. He pointed out that the title Southern Syria was known from coins of Kanatha (see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 92 ff., nos. 6–10, 13–14, late second/early third century A.D.). In addition we may note that some coins of SKYTHOPOLIS from c. 59–56 B.C. have the legend Southern Syria and variants (see, for example, RPC 1: 4825–26; also 4827–28; and R. Barkay, INJ 13 [1994–99] 54–62). And some coins of Marisa dated to 58/7 B.C. bear the legend Southern Syria, probably a reference to Gabinia (S. Qedar, INJ 12 [1992–93] 20–30).

    In other words, Skythopolis was renamed Gabinia for a short time in the mid-first century B.C. In fact, according to Josephus (AJ 14.88, BJ 1.166), Aulus Gabinius restored many towns in the region, among them SAMAREIA, Azotos, SKYTHOPOLIS, ANTHEDON, Raphia, Marisa, GAZA, APOLLONIA, Jamnia, Gamala, and Adora/Adoreos. (Note, in this connection, B. Isaac, Limits, 336–40; Isaac has argued— essentially from silence—that there is no evidence Gabinius was actually involved in the physical reconstruction of these cities. Rather, Isaac has suggested that Gabinius’s role was limited to various administrative measures on behalf of the cities; i.e., he acted as founder rather than builder. The one possible exception that Isaac mentions is SAMAREIA, where houses have been unearthed that could be dated to the time of Gabinius, and even this evidence, Isaac noted, is tentative [Limits, 339–40; see also G. A. Reisner et al., Harvard Excavations at Samaria (Cambridge, 1924) 50–54; J. W. Crowfoot et al., The Objects of Samaria (London, 1957) 5]. Of course one could be acknowledged as the “founder” without having physically built the particular city. For example, Alexander the Great was universally acknowledged to have founded ALEXANDREIA near Egypt, even though he was too busy to oversee the actual building. That task was overseen by Kleomenes of Naukratis and Deinokrates of Rhodes and, later, by the Ptolemies). The fact that neither Abila nor Gadara—the two cities thus far known to have Southern Syria on their coinage—is mentioned in Josephus’s list is not necessarily significant. Josephus specifically says that, in addition to the cities mentioned, Gabinius restored many others. Furthermore, Skythopolis is mentioned by Josephus, and it apparently was renamed. To date, however, Kanatha and Skythopolis are the only cities whose extant coins indicate they also bore the name of the Roman general. This certainly raises the possibility that Abila could have been renamed for Gabinius. Nevertheless, there are problems with the suggested reading of Southern Syria for the Southern Syria on the coins of Gadara and Abila: on the Abila coinage the first part of the legend bears the ethnic Southern Syria, the end has the toponymic Southern Syria. Similarly, on coins of Gadara the first part of the legend bears the ethnic Southern Syria or Southern Syria Southern Syria, and the end also has the toponymic Southern Syria; cf. the simple legend Southern Syria on the coins of DION. In both cases these frame the letters Southern Syria, which, according to Price, would (a) specify the status of the city and (b) record an additional ethnic (or toponym), i.e., Southern Syria. Thus the old ethnic(s) of the city would be followed by letters alluding to its status, followed by a letter referring to the new name, followed by the abbreviation for Coele Syria. This is not likely. Furthermore, the Southern Syria appears on coins that already have double ethnics (in the case of Seleukeia Abila and Pompeia Gadara); if we follow Price’s suggestion, the coins of Seleukeia Abila and Pompeia Gadara with the Southern Syria would thus have three names on them, Seleukeia, Abila or Pompeia, Gadara and Gabinia. This is admittedly possible, but not likely.

  3. (iii.) Meshorer suggested reading Southern Syria for the letters Southern Syria Southern Syria, i.e., the people of Abila considered Alexander the Great to be the progenitor of the city (City-Coins, 78). In a private communication Prof. Meshorer remarked that his theory was based on the fact that Herakles is very conspicuous on the coins of Abila and Gadara (see below, n. 7). Furthermore, he noted the association between Alexander and Herakles. In fact, in the late second/early third century A.D. a number of cities in Transjordan seem to have claimed Alexander as their founder: e.g., CAPITOLIAS and GERASA, DION, and PELLA (see further, Leschhorn, “Gründer,” 218–21). Thus a coin of Capitolias has on the reverse the legend Southern Syria or Southern Syria Southern Syria or variants thereof (e.g., H. Seyrig, Syria 36 [1959] 66, 76; Seyrig also suggested that a portrait bust on the reverse of the coin might be that of Alexander; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 102, no. 15; SNG ANS 6: 1274; Kellner, SM 77 [1970] 2–3), and a coin of the early third century A.D. from Gerasa bears the legend Southern Syria (H. Seyrig, Syria 42 [1965] 25–28). Note, however, that on the extant coins of both Capitolias and Gerasa the king is specifically identified as “Alexander the Macedonian.” An inscription found at Çorhisar in the Sandikli plain in Asia Minor, dated palaeographically to the Imperial period, reads: Southern Syria (Ramsay, CBP, p. 702, no. 638 = IGR 4: 692; for the reading Southern Syria [Ramsay, JHS 8 (1887) 478; IGR 4: 692] rather than Southern Syria [Legrand and Chamonard, BCH 17 (1893) 277; Ramsay, CBP, p. 702] see Leschhorn, “Gründer,” 221); it probably refers to the Macedonian king rather than a prominent citizen who claimed descent from the original Macedonian settlers (see OTROUS). On the other hand, in the case of the Abila coinage Meshorer’s suggested restoration would simply read Southern Syria, i.e., “Alexander the Genarches,” rather than “Alexander the Macedonian the Genarches.” However, the use of the name without the ethnic would not be unexampled. In the third century A.D. a coin of Sagalassos, for example, had a picture of Alexander on horseback and the legend Southern Syria (SNG [von A] 5206), and coins of APOLLONIA in Phrygia had the king’s name (SNG [von A] 4988: Southern Syria; 90: Southern Syria [sic]) Southern Syria—in all these cases there is no additional ethnic. In general, see further G. M. Cohen, AJN 10 (1998) 95–102.

    On the “Alexandrolatry” of the late second/early third century A.D. see THESSALONIKE, n. 7; APOLLONIA and OTROUS in Phrygia; and GERASA, n. 3.

  4. (iv.) J.-P. Rey-Coquais suggested (SHAJ 7 (2001) 362–63) giving the letter gamma a numerical value; i.e., it would indicate that Abila and Gadara claimed to be “third” among the cities of Coele Syria. In support of this hypothesis Rey-Coquais noted that a number of cities—e.g., NIKAIA, NIKOMEDEIA, Perge, Tarsos—made various claims, among which was that they were “first.” I am not aware, however, of another example of two cities in a particular region boasting they were “second” or “third.”

I would also mention a bronze coin dating to the reign of Geta (i.e., early third century A.D.) that bears on the reverse the inscription Southern Syria and a portrayal of the two kings, both in military dress and with scepter, shaking hands (Antike Münzen: Auktion 25/26.11.1976 Frank Sternberg [Zurich, 1976] no. 499). There is no city name on the coin. The catalogue editor suggested that in style and origin the coin belonged to the Decapolis. P. R. Franke (in Die epigraphische und altertumskundliche Erforschung Kleinasiens, ed. G. Dobesch and G. Rehrenböck [Vienna, 1993] 183, 367, no. 8) accepted the attribution to Abila and further identified Seleukos as Seleukos I. He also suggested the reference might be to a double founding. Now a claim by Abila to Alexander as founder would be understandable and not uncommon within the context of the Decapolis in the early third century A.D. (see above). But Seleukos I Nikator never controlled this region. Hence we must assume either that (a) the Abilans were being particularly free in their (re)writing of civic history (if the allusion is to Nikator as founder), (b) the allusion is simply to the Seleukos (possibly Seleukos IV) for whom the settlement was named, or (c) the coin should be attributed to another city.

(2.) For the inscription mentioning the Seleukeians see M. Wörrle, AA (2000) 267–71: Southern Syria – ca. 4 – Southern Syria.

(2.) On the port of Gaza see, for example, Strabo 16.2.30, Ptolemy 5.16.2, and other sources cited in Schürer, History2, 2: 102 n. 77.

(2.) De Saulcy (Numismatique, 348) attributed a coin with the legend Southern Syria to Seleukeia. However, Imhoof-Blumer (KM, 140) has pointed out that the reading is false and the coin should be assigned to Asia Minor.

(2.) Y. Magen in Early Christianity in Context, ed. F. Manns and E. Alliata (Jerusalem, 1993) 137, followed by Sartre, Alexandre, 121 and n. 46.

(2.) A fragmentary inscription found near Hefzibah, in an area called Tell el-Firr, approximately 10 km northwest of Skythopolis, contains eight documents relating to Seleucid administration in Palestine under Antiochos III (SEG 29: 1613, 1808; 39: 1636; 40: 1508; 41: 1574; Y. H. Landau, IEJ 16 [1966] 54–70 [ed. pr.]; T. Fischer, ZPE 33 [1979] 131–38; J.-M. Bertrand, ZPE 60 [1982] 167–74; F. Piejko, AC 60 [1991] 245–59; Virgilio, Lancia2, no. 27; see also J. Robert and L. Robert, BE [1970] 627; J. E. Taylor, Palestine, 108–68). Although the extant contents of the inscription do not touch directly on Skythopolis, they do reveal that there were extensive tracts of royal land in the vicinity of the town.

On the territory of Skythopolis in the Roman period see Josephus Vita 42, BJ 4.453; see also, for example, Schürer, History2, 2: 145; Avi-Yonah, Geography, 139–40 and map 11 on p. 134 (for Isaac’s criticism of Avi-Yonah see APOLLONIA [Arsuf ], n. 5). For a plan of the city see A. Drori et al. in ESI 11 (1993) 2–3, figs. 1 and 2; and Tsafrir and Foerster, DOP 51 (1997) 86 ff.

(2.) For the Ptolemaic origin of the town see, for example, K. B. Stark, Gaza und die Philistäische Küste (Jena, 1852) 450; Arav, PEFQSt 121 (1989) 144–47; Stieglitz in Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990, 646–51; id. in Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia, 593–608; A. Raban in Caesarea Papers, 15 (note, however, that in the NEAEHL s.v. “Caesarea,” 286, he refers to the “Phoenician settlement of Straton’s Tower”).

We may also note two other pieces of evidence that are brought to the discussion: (a) the earliest extant etymology supporting a Greek foundation for the name of the site is found in late antiquity, in Justinian Novella 103 praef. (in Corpus Iuris Civilis, 3, Novellae, ed. R. Schoell [repr., 1972]); Justinian says that the place was named for a “Hellene” who was called Straton and later renamed Caesarea by Vespasian (sic) (see, however, Schürer [History2, 2: 115 n. 156], who dismissed this evidence as “worthless”); (b) P. Oxy. XI 1380.94–95, which dates to the late second century A.D. but may be a copy of a late Hellenistic document, says that Isis was worshipped at Straton’s Tower under the name Hellas and Agathe.

(3.) For the coinage see Mionnet, Description, 5: 522f.; id., Supplément, 8: 364; de Saulcy, Numismatique, 234 ff.; BMC Palestine, xlv–xlvii and 103, nos. 1–4; Rosenberger Coll., 1: pp. 32–33, nos. 1–9; and Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 38–40.

(3.) For the (abbreviated) ethnic Southern Syria see de Saulcy, Numismatique, 345–47; Hunter. Coll., 3: 222, no. 1; BMC Galatia, etc., 301, nos. 1–3; Head, HN 2, 786; Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 77–78, nos. 18–21; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, pp. 170 ff., nos. 1, 4, 6–40; SNG ANS 6: 1136–52; SNG Schweiz II 2187–89. In general on the coinage see Wroth, BMC Galatia, etc., lxxxiii–iv; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 168–69; Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 152–56; Rigsby, Asylia, 536–37.

For the coins discovered at the site by excavators of the Haifa-Polish team see http://hippos.haifa.ac.il/Numismatic Report. As of 2001, excavators had discovered thirty-two coins, at least six of which—three Ptolemaic, three Seleucid—date to the Hellenistic period. The coins came from mints at, among other places, ALEXANDREIA, ANTIOCH near Daphne, and PTOLEMAIS Ake.

(3.) On Antioch in the Huleh region, for example, Schlatter, Topographie, 314–20; Avi-Yonah, Geography, 69; Tcherikover, HCJ, 101–2. According to Avi-Yonah (BJPES 10 [1943–44] 19–20; Gazetteer, 29; EJ s.vv. “Huleh” and “Dan”; cf. Geography, 51, 69) Antioch in Huleh was the renamed biblical city of Dan. There is some evidence for Hellenistic building activity in the cult area of Dan (Biran, NEAEHL s.v. “Dan,” 331). As Herbert noted, this reflects the continuation of a cult, not necessarily the founding of a settlement (Tel Anafa, 1: 5 n. 13).

Josephus also mentions (AJ 13.394, BJ 1.105) the “trench of Antiochos” (Southern Syria) together with the towns of Gaulana, Seleukeia, and Gamala among the places captured by Alexander Jannaios. Schlatter (Topographie, 314–20), Tcherikover (HCJ, 102), and Avi-Yonah (Gazetteer, 29) have identified this with “Antioch in Huleh.” A number of objections may be brought against this: (a) the identification is, of course, based on the assumed existence of Antioch in Huleh, and this is far from certain; (b) the trench is named after an Antiochos, not after a city named Antioch; (c) Avi-Yonah ( EJ s.vv. “Huleh” and “Dan”; cf. Geography, 51, 69) has suggested Southern Syria means “Valley of Antiochus” and hence can be equated with the jocou favHuleh Valley. However, according to LSJ9, the definition of Southern Syria is “cleft, chasm, esp. in a mountain side, ravine, gully.” The usual terms for “valley” in Greek are, for example, Southern Syria. Finally, the location of Southern Syria is not definitely known. See also the discussion of Möller and Schmitt, Siedlungen, 18–20, 195; Kasher, Jews, 93–94, Hellenistic Cities, 155 and n. 113; G. Fuks, SCI 5 (1979/80) 181–82; see also Schmitt, Siedlungen, 55.

On the Huleh Valley see Avi-Yonah, EJ s.v. “Huleh”; S. C. Herbert, Tel Anafa, 1: 2 ff.

(3.) E. Bickerman, GM, 59–65; followed by M. Hengel ( Judaism2, 1: 277–79), who interpreted the actions of Jason and his followers as “preparations to found the new polis ‘Antioch in Jerusalem’” (277) and commented that “we should not reject out of hand Bickermann’s suggestion that the citizens of the ‘new Antioch’ formed themselves into a kind of association preparatory to the foundation of the city proper” (278). In Jews, Greeks, and Barbarians (43) Hengel took a position apparently closer to Tcherikover: “There were Jewish ‘Hellenists’ from Jerusalem who were given permission by the new king Antiochus IV Epiphanes to disregard the ‘royal favour’ (i.e. of Antiochos III) and to give Jerusalem a new constitution, namely that of a Greek city called Antiocheia.”

(3.) Hölscher (Palästina, 60; see also Benzinger, RE s.v. “Apollonia 25”) thought the founder was Seleukos I Nikator. He based this suggestion on Appian (Syr. 57), who includes an Apollonia among the foundations of Seleukos I (actually Hölscher cited Syr. 62). N.b., however, that Seleukos never controlled this region. Avi-Yonah (EJ s.v. “Apollonia”) speculated that the founder was Seleukos IV. G. A. Smith (Holy Land 25, 127 n. 2) suggested the founder was Apollonius, the Seleucid general. Tcherikover (HCJ, 93) and Schürer (History2, 2: 115) correctly dismissed the attribution to either Seleukos or Apollonios; they suggested that the city was named for the god Apollo. In general, for the founder see Roll in Apollonia-Arsuf, 1: 6 n. 4.

(3.) Avi-Yonah remarked (Gazetteer, 29; id. in Jewish People, 93; cf. Geography, 145): “There is hardly another place in Palestine which changed its name so many times.” He suggested the following sequence: Aphek (biblical) → Pegai (Hellenistic) →Arethousa (founded by Pompey)? →Antipatris (founded by Herod); and identified Rosh ha-Ayin as the site. Jones (CERP 2, 257, 275) and Kasher (Hellenistic Cities, 176 n. 161, 207f.), among others, also suggested that Antipatris might have been the refounded Arethousa and that the latter could also have been known as Southern Syria, i.e., “The Springs.” If this equation is valid and if we definitely know the location of Pegai/ Antipatris, then we would, of course, know the location of Arethousa. Unfortunately, there is no extant information that can prove this line of reasoning.

W. F. Albright (BASOR 11 [1923] 6–7; JPOS 3 [1923] 50–53; see also A. Alt, ZDPV 45 (1922) 220–23) apparently did not believe Pegai was refounded as Arethousa; in any event, he suggested the sequence was Aphek →Pegai →Antipatris. (On Aphek [Hebrew, “riverbed, stream”] see, for example, Avi-Yonah, Geography, 146; id., EJ s.v. “Aphek 1”; P. Beck and M. Kochavi, NEAEHL s.v. “Aphek” and literature cited there; AEHL s.v. “Aphek; Antipatris”; M. Kochavi, BA 44 (1981) 75–86.) Hölscher speculatively associated Arethousa with Ekron (Palästina, 61).

Tcherikover (HCJ, 104) noted that since Arethousa was the name of “a source-goddess or water nymph,” we should “seek the town near some stream or spring.” Nevertheless, he noted that the precise location of Arethousa was a matter of conjecture and declined to offer a specific suggestion.

As for Pegai and Antipatris we may note the following:

Pegai. Pegai is mentioned along with Joppe and Gazara (Gezer) by Josephus as being among the cities of the coastal plain that had been captured by Antiochos VIII (AJ 13.261; cf. 246); cf. also M. Parah 8.10 (“the waters of Pegai”); TB Sanhedrin 5b; TB Baba Bathra 74b. PSI IV 406 ( = Scholl, Sklaverei, no. 6 = D. F. Graf and H. I. MacAdam, Aram 2 (1990) 69, 75 [bibliography] = Durand, Palestine, no. 27), a papyrus from the Zenon archive, mentions Pegai, PTOLEMAIS, and Joppe in connection with the slave trade from Amman, ancient Hauran, and the land of the Nabataeans. The precise location of this Pegai is not definitely known, though most suggestions would place it at Rosh ha-Ayin; see, for example, Alt, ZDPV 45 (1922) 220–23; Albright, JPOS 3 (1923) 51; Tcherikover, HCJ, 433; Kasher, Hellenistic Cities, 207–8 and notes; Graf and MacAdam, Aram 2 (1990) 72.

Antipatris. Josephus indicates that Herod built Antipatris in the Plain of Kefar Sava and named it for his father (AJ 13.390, 16.142–43; BJ 1.99, 417). Antipatris was located at an important junction of the roads connecting Joppe, Caesarea, and Jerusalem (Acts 23.31; see also Schürer, History2, 2: 167 n. 441 and sources cited there) and was considered to be the northern boundary of Judaea (M. Gittin 7.7; see also Derekh Erez Rabbah 6). The location of Antipatris is also not definitely known; again, most scholars locate it near the source of the Yarkon River and associate it with the modern Rosh ha-Ayin (see literature cited in previous paragraph as well as in NEAEHL s.v. “Aphek [in Sharon]”; and TIR Iudaea-Palaestina, 63).

I might mention, incidentally, that according to the Babylonian Talmud (Yoma 69a) it was at Antipatris (sic) that Alexander the Great allegedly met the Jewish high priest. The literature on Alexander’s supposed meeting with the high priest—either at Jerusalem or at (the site of the later) Antipatris—is quite large; see, for example, R. Marcus in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Josephus, 6: 512–32; I. J. Kazis, The Book of the Gests of Alexander of Macedon (Cambridge, 1962) 4–8; J. Goldstein, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 49 (1993) 59–101; D. Golan, Berliner theologische Zeitschrift 8 (1991) 19–30; and other discussions cited in each of these.

(3.) On Hyrkanos in Transjordan see, for example, Tcherikover, HCJ, 137–38; Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 272–77. On the term baris see E. Will, Syria 64 (1987) 253–59.

(3.) The toponym, of course, is Roman, and the extant evidence reflects this; see, for example, Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, 47; Schmitt, Siedlungen, 208–9 and literature cited there.

(3.) For the identification of Chalkis with Gerrha and for the location see, for example, Dussaud, Topographie, 399–401 and map III; and n. 7, below.

(3.) For coins with the inscription Southern Syria see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 57–58; Babelon, RdS 1578; Hunter. Coll., 3: 115, no. 9 (see also 117, no. 11); BMC Galatia, etc., 289, nos. 1–3. For coins with Southern Syria see, for example, Meshorer, Nabataean Coins, pp. 86–87, nos. 5–8; Hunter. Coll., 3: 297, nos. 1–3; LSM 144–46. For coins with Southern Syria see, for example, LSM, 147–53 (dated to between 72/1[?] and 70/69 B.C.). For the unique details of the seated Damascus Tyche that allow it to be differentiated from the Tyche of Antioch and of other cities see, for example, R. Dussaud, Journal asiatique (Mars–Avril 1904) 199; Newell, LSM, 93–94; Meshorer, Nabataean Coins, 13.

On the renaming of Damascus as Demetrias see Dussaud, Journal asiatique (Mars–Avril 1904) 198; Babelon, RdS, CLXXI–CLXXII; Wroth, BMC Galatia, etc., lxxv–lxxvi; Newell, LSM, 78–84; Augé in Archéologie, 161; Rigsby, Asylia, 511. For coins of Aretas III at Damascus see, for example, Newell, LSM, 92–94, and Meshorer, Nabataean Coins 12–15. On Aretas and Damascus see also Bellinger, “End of the Seleucids,” 77–79.

There are a number of attestations for Damascenes in Rhodes, Delos, and Athens at the end of the second/beginning of the first century B.C. See, for example, SEG 42: 746.22 ( = C.P. Jones, Tyche 7 [1992] 124–25); I. Delos 1925.6, 2286.1, 2287.1–2; M. T. Couilloud, Exploration archéologique de Délos (Paris, 1974) 1.2 ( = IG II2 8467); IG II2 8466, 8468–70. In general, see Couilloud, Exploration, p. 59 (additional examples); Jones, Tyche 7 (1992) 129. That these persons refer to themselves as Damascenes is not necessarily evidence for or against the renaming of the city; the inscriptions in question record the names of individuals who identified themselves as Damascenes, rather than official lists of cities.

In 81 B.C. a Demetrias was among the cities that recognized the inviolability of the temple of Hekate at STRATONIKEIA in Caria (I. Strat. 508.74). The editor, M. Çetin Sahin, identified the city as Damascus. This identification is possible, but not entirely secure. If Damascus was refounded as a Demetrias by either Antiochos VIII or Demetrios III, we may question whether the new name was likely to have continued in use after their reigns. In support of the identification of Damascus with the Demetrias recorded in I. Strat. 508 one may argue that it is not likely the reference would have been to one of the other two cities of this name in the region, DEMETRIAS in the area of the medieval Krak des Chevaliers and DEMETRIAS by the Sea; neither of these was as large or prominent as Damascus. Against the identification is the fact that the Demetrias in I. Strat. 508 was listed along with the coastal cities of SELEUKEIA on the Bay of Issos and Kelenderis. This raises the possibility that this Demetrias was also a coastal city. If so, the logical candidate would be Demetrias by the Sea; see further SELEUKEIA on the Bay of Issos, n. 4.

(3.) On Synkellos’s list see G. Schmitt, ZDPV 103 (1987) 24; and PHILOTERIA, n. 1. For Dion in Macedonia see Papazoglou, Villes, 108–11.

(3.) For the results of excavation at Suweida see M. Kalos, Topoi 9 (1999) 777–94.

(3.) For the “Alexandrolatry” under the Severan emperors see THESSALONIKE and OTROUS; see also J. M. Blaquez and U. Espinosa in Neronia IV: Alejandro Magno, modelo de los emperadores romanos, ed. J. M. Croisille (Brussels, 1990) 25–36, 37–51. For the discovery of a “Greek” or “Macedonian” ancestry by cities of Asia Minor in the Imperial period see EUMENEIA in Phrygia. See also Appendix III.

(3.) There is no general agreement on the precise meaning of Southern Syria Southern Syria. Goldstein (I Maccabees, 123–24, following Bickerman, GM, 72) has argued that it refers to Hellenizing Jews. Other scholars believe it refers to foreigners: e.g., Marcus (note on AJ 12.252); Hengel ( Judaism2, 1: 281); M. Delcor (Le livre de Daniel [Paris, 1971] 246); Sievers (in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 198–202). Goldstein’s additional claim that “Dan. 11.39 … probably means that in 167 B.C. the people of the Akra were heterodox Jews, consisting partly, if not entirely, of the hard-pressed Antiochenes” (124) is not convincing.

A word of caution is perhaps in order here. In 1997 there was a zoning dispute in Beachwood, Ohio, involving the Jews of that town. After a particularly crucial vote one of the Orthodox Jews called his opponents “Haman” (S. G. Freedman, Jew vs. Jew [New York, 2000] 285). At some distant future time, a historian reading this— without proper background and explanation—might conclude that the target of this attack was a gentile; after all, Haman—the vizier of King Ahasuerus (Esther 3.1)— was a gentile. In fact, the target was a Reform Jew! And this should not be surprising: in the heat of a dispute, invectives are often thrown about freely and widely and not necessarily with great concern for truth or accuracy.

We may note in passing that two other attempts to establish military colonies in Judaea in the second century B.C. involved, as far as we know, only foreigners. Earlier, Ptolemy V threatened to divide up the land and settle his soldiers on it if the high priest Onias withheld the tribute (Jos. AJ 12.159, Southern SyriaSouthern Syria; on the identity of this king see Marcus’s note in the Loeb edition). And in 165/4 B.C. Lysias threatened to turn Jerusalem into a “Greek habitation” (Southern Syria, 2 Macc. 11.2). According to 1 Macc. 3.36 he planned to settle foreigners in Judaea and to distribute land lots to the settlers (Southern Syria Southern Syria).

(3.) For the absence of archaeological evidence for a Hellenistic settlement at Panias see S. C. Herbert in Tel Anafa, 1: 5 n. 13. On the site of Panias see Ma’oz, NEAEHL s.v. “Banias.”

(3.) For Alexander as founder see Droysen, Hist., 2: 666; Kahrstedt, Syr. Territ., 19; contra: for example, Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 33.

Fraser (Cities) did not include Pella among Alexander’s foundations. Schürer (History 2, 1: 146) suggested that the Palestinian Pella might have been founded by one of the Diadochoi, perhaps Antigonos.

(3.) Tyrians at Philadelpheia. I have already mentioned Stephanos’s comment that Philadelpheia was previously called Astarte. C. Clermont-Ganneau (RA [1905] 212–13) suggested that Asteria—who is mentioned in the literary and numismatic sources—is the Greek adaptation of Astarte, the goddess who was the mother of the Tyrian Herakles-Melkart. Cicero (De Natura Deorum 3.42; see also the commentary of A. S. Pease, M. Tulli Ciceronis De Natura Deorum [Cambridge, 1958] 2: 1055–56) mentions the worship of Asteria and Herakles at Tyre (see also Athen. 9.392d). Herakles or Asteria is often found on coins of Roman Philadelpheia; see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 248–57, nos. 17, 19–20, 24, 26–28, 30, 32, 41–42, 44–45, 47. Certain coins of Philadelpheia have on the reverse a chariot with a domed canopy supported by four pillars and drawn by four horses and the legend Southern Syria (e.g., de Saulcy, Numismatique, 390, no. 5; BMC Arabia, 39f., nos. 11, 20; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 250f., nos. 21, 29; SNG ANS 6: 1397). Other coins have on the reverse a bust of Asteria and the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria (e.g., de Saulcy, Numismatique, 391, no. 2 [Lucius Verus]; BMC Arabia, 39, no. 12; QDAP 1 [1932] 138, no. 33; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 250f., nos. 24, 30, 32; SNG ANS 6: 1392–93, 1395–96). And an inscription, I. Jordanie 2: 29, that was found in the immediate vicinity of Philadelpheia, records the existence of a Herakleion Southern Syria. (N.b. that the reading Southern Syria is not certain. Other proposed readings include Southern Syria Southern Syria (see apparatus criticus of I. Jordanie 2: 29). On the worship of Herakles and Astarte at Philadelpheia see, for example, C. Clermont-Ganneau, RA (1905) 209–15; C. Bonnet, Melqart, 145–48; N. van der Vliet, RB 57 (1950) 256–58; Gatier’s comment. on I. Jordanie 2: 29. For the worship of Herakles at other cities of the Decapolis see, for example, GADARA, PELLA, and SELEUKEIA Abila. Bonnet (Melqart, 147–48 and n. 13) rejected Seyrig’s suggestion (Syria 37 [1960] 249 and n. 3) that a triad of Herakles, Asteria, and Zeus was worshipped at Philadelpheia. Note, however, that a small altar of Zeus has been found on the citadel (see Gatier’s comment. on I. Jordanie 2: 29). For the suggestion that Tyrians settled in Philadelpheia see also G. F. Hill, BMC Arabia, xxxix–xl; Tcherikover, HCJ, 100; M. Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 43; Kasher, Hellenistic Cities, 25. For Phoenician colonizing activity in southern Syria see Rostovtzeff, who has suggested (CAH 7: 190–92) that much of this took place under the Ptolemies.

Other cities of southern Syria that had Phoenician colonies included GADARA (circumstantial evidence for the presence of Tyrians). There were also Sidonian (i.e., Phoenician) colonies at SHECHEM and Marisa. From Shechem we have a reference Southern Syria to (Jos. AJ 11.344, 12.258), and at Marisa we encounter Apollophanes, who was archon of Southern Syria (OGIS 593.14). And an inscription reveals the existence of a community of Sidonians in Jamnia-on-the-Sea in the time of Antiochos V Eupator (Southern Syria, B. Isaac, IEJ 41 [1991] 132–44). Rostovtzeff suggested that the Sidonians at Marisa were organized as a politeuma (SEHHW, 520), while Bar-Kochva (cited by Isaac, p. 139) suggested the same for the Sidonians at Jamnia-on-the-Sea. We may expect this was also true for the Sidonians at Shechem. (For Phoenicians in Hellenistic southern Syria often being called either Sidonians or Canaanites see the comment. on CPJ 1; Hengel, Judaism2 , 1: 90–91; and F. M. Abel, Géographie, 1: 254–58. On [primarily military] politeumata in the Hellenistic world see Launey, Recherches, 2: 1064–85; for references to earlier works see Launey, 1064 n. 4. For politeumata of foreigners at Sidon itself see Cohen in Pursuing the Text, ed. Reeves and Kampen, 249 and n. 19.) Finally, at Jerusalem there was a colony of Tyrian merchants as early as the time of the prophet Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13.23–29). In general see literature cited in SHECHEM, n. 3.

(3.) For the Rhodian amphoras see Delougaz and Haines, A Byzantine Church at Khirbat al-Karak, 31; B. Maisler, IEJ 2 (1952) 166 (Rhodian jars and coins from a block of buildings “constructed in the Ptolemaic period”), 222; O. Yogev and E. Eisenberg, ESI 4 (1985) 15 (a Rhodian amphora handle dated to the latter part of the third century B.C. [on the dating see D. T. Ariel, IEJ 38 (1988) 32–35] and a coin of Ptolemy I).

(3.) For the cave at Wadi ed-Dâliyeh see F. M. Cross, Jr., BA 26 (1963) 118–19; Discoveries in the Wâdi ed-Daliyeh, ed. P. W. Lapp and N. Lapp (Cambridge, 1974) 17–18; N. Lapp, NEAEHL s.v. “Wadi ed-Daliyeh.”

A likely reconstruction of the events that culminated in the death of c. three hundred people in the cave at Wadi ed-Dâliyeh is as follows (see Cross; and Wright, Shechem, 181): the extant evidence points to the last third of the fourth century B.C. for the abandonment of the papyri (which date to c. 375–335 B.C.) and other artifacts thus far discovered in the cave. Therefore, Cross suggested that the leaders of the Samaritan rebellion fled Samaria on learning of Alexander’s plans to return to the city. They went on the main highway down the Wadi Fârah and took temporary refuge in the Wadi ed-Dâliyeh cave. They were discovered there and killed, probably by suffocation.

(3.) On Abida see C. Müller’s commentary on the text of Ptolemy (which he [and Fischer] restored as “Abila”); see also Schürer, History2, 2: 136. Among the cities of Coele Syria and the Decapolis Ptolemy lists both Abida and Abila Lysaniou (west of Damascus). This bolsters the assumption that the former was, in fact, Abila of the Decapolis. See also Hierokles (720.4), who distinguished this town from the like-named city near Damascus (717.6). Note that Eusebius (Onomasticon 32, ed. Klostermann) actually mentioned three places named Abila in the region; see further Wineland, Ancient Abila, 62–64; and Sartre, Alexandre, 509 n. 211.

(3.) On “Hellenic poleis” see SKY THOPOLIS, n. 23.

(3.) For Gaza’s commercial importance under the Ptolemies see, for example, P. Cairo Zen. I 59001, 59006, 59009, 59093; PSI IV 322, VI 616; P. Col. Zen. 2 (for other references to Gaza in the Zenon papyri see Pestman et al., P. L. Bat. XXI B p. 482). See also Abel, RB 49 (1940) 64f.; Tcherikover, “Palestine,” 16–19, 29; Préaux, Économie, 311, 363; U. Rappaport, IEJ 20 (1970) 75–78; and BERENIKE (Ezion Geber); for Roman and Byzantine Gaza see Glucker, City of Gaza, 86–98.

The commercial importance of Gaza is well attested prior to the Hellenistic period; thus Herodotus 3.5 compared it to Sardis, and coinage was minted by Gaza on the Athenian model (see, for example, G. F. Hill, BMC Palestine, lxxxiii–lxxxix and 176–183; Rosenberger Coll., 2: 47–49, nos. 1–17; Rappaport, IEJ 20 [1970], 75–76 and n. 5, with earlier literature).

In addition, the Attic pottery discovered at Tell el-Kheleifeh (Ezion-Geber) testifies to the intense commercial activity between the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aqaba; see Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography (Philadelphia, 1979) 415–16.

For coins attributed to the Ptolemaic mint at Gaza see, for example, BMC Ptolemies, 35, nos. 135–44, 49, no. 28; Svoronos, RBN (1901) 285 ff.; id., Nomismata, 2: 123f., nos. 821–33, 165, no. 1; Hunter. Coll., 3: 371, no. 61; SNG (Cop) Egypt 457–59; O. Mørkholm, INJ 4 (1980) 6, nos. 1–5; Hazzard, Ptolemaic Coins, 105, no. c1039 ( = Svoronos, Nomismata, no. 828). In general see, for example, Hazzard, Ptolemaic Coins, 31–32.

(3.) Tcherikover noted correctly (HS, 70; HCJ, 101) that since this region was first conquered by Antiochos III, Hölscher’s suggestion that Seleukos I Nikator was the founder (Palästina, 64) is untenable. He also dismissed Kahrstedt’s suggestion (Syr. Territ., 23) that the town was founded in the middle of the third century B.C. Tcherikover suggested that Seleukeia was named for Seleukos IV Philopator.

(3.) On the “Sidonians in Shechem” see Josephus AJ 11.344, 12.258. In fact, we do not know how many of these were actually Sidonians rather than local Samaritans claiming to be Sidonians. There is also evidence for Sidonians at Marisa (OGIS 593; J. P. Peters and H. Thiersch, Painted Tombs in the Necropolis of Marissa [London, 1905] 66, no. 7; F. M. Abel, RB 34 [1925] 275, no. 12.) and Jamnia-by-the-Sea (B. Isaac, IEJ 41 [1991] 132–44). In general on the “Sidonians” and the spread of Phoenician colonies throughout the region see, for example, Rostovtzeff, SEHHW, 520; Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 90–91; M. Delcor, ZDPV 78 (1962) 34–48; Momigliano, Alien Wisdom (Cambridge, 1975) 108; F. Millar, JJS 29 (1978) 4–5; G. M. Cohen in Pursuing the Text, ed. J. C. Reeves and J. Kampen (Sheffield, 1994) 247–49; and PHILADELPHEIA, n. 3; N. Kokkinos, The Herodian Dynasty, 63, 117.

(3.) Skythopolis in the literary sources. In the Hellenistic period the form of the toponym is generally found as Southern Syria: Judith 3.10 (J. M. Grintz claimed that the book of Judith was composed in the mid-fourth century B.C. [Book of Judith (Jerusalem, 1957) 15–17 (Hebrew)]. As Applebaum has noted, this would render untenable the notion that the toponym originated in a Ptolemaic colony of Scythian troops; alternatively we may suggest that [a] the name Scythopolis was only to be found in the Greek version of the book of Judith or that [b] the book was composed in the Hellenistic period; in fact, most scholars date the composition to the Hasmonean period; see further Applebaum, Judaea, 1 n. 7; C. A. Moore, ABD s.v. “Judith”); 2 Macc. 12.29 (though note that in the next verse the ethnic is given as Southern Syria; Judges (LXX) 1.27; Aristides Aigyptios 48.353, ed. Dindorf, 2: 470 ( = 36.82, ed. Keil, 2: 289); Polybius 5.70.4. In the Roman period and later the form of the toponym was usually Southern Syria: e.g., Josephus AJ 12.183, 13.188, 277, 280, 355, 14.88; BJ 1.65, 66, 156, 3.446, etc.; Strabo 16.2.40; Ptolemy 5.14.18; Synkellos 405, 559 (ed. Mosshammer); Kedrenos 237 (CSHB XIII); Stephanos s.v. “Skythopolis” (who explains the name as Southern Syria. For Southern Syria on Roman milestones see, for example, D. Thomsen, ZDPV 40 (1917) 1–103; AE (1948) nos. 154–55; AE (1966) 497; Avi-Yonah, IEJ 16 (1966) 75–76; N. Zori in 17th Archaeological Convention, Israel Exploration Society, 135–98 (Hebrew); Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 277–83; B. Isaac and I. Roll, Roman Roads in Judaea, vol. 1, The Legio-Scythopolis Road (Oxford, 1982) 66–82, nos. 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22 (see SEG 32: 1490); A. Ya’aqobi, ESI 9 (1989/90) 80 = SEG 39: 1637. On the Roman road system in Palestine see, for example, Avi-Yonah, IEJ 1 (1950–51) 54–60; M. Fischer, B. Isaac, and I. Roll, Roman Roads in Judaea, vol. 1, The Legio-Scythopolis Road, vol. 2, The Jaffa-Jerusalem Roads (Oxford, 1982, 1996). For the occurrence of the double name Nysa-Skythopolis on coins and in inscriptions of the Imperial period see below, n. 22.

For Skythopolis in the literary sources see Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, 93–94; TIR Iudaea-Palaestina, 223–24.

(3.) P. Cairo Zen. I 59004 = CPJ 2a = Durand, Palestine, no. 4 (259 B.C.). For literary references to Straton’s Tower see, for example, Artemidorus (fl. 100 B.C.; in Stephanos s.v. “Doros”); Strabo 16.2.27; Josephus AJ 13.313, 324, 395; see also Roller, BASOR 287 (1982) 45–46.

(4.) Location. Pliny mistakenly claimed that Anthedon was located in the interior (NH 5.68). However, all the other extant sources place it on the coast; e.g., Josephus AJ 13.396, 18.158; Josephus BJ 1.416; Ptolemy 5.15.2; Stephanos s.v. “Anthedon”; Sozomenos Hist. Eccl. 5.192 ([ed. Bidez and Hansen] = PG 67: 1240).

For the identification of Teda with Anthedon see, for example, W. J. Phythian-Adams, PEFQSt (1923) 14–17; AEHL s.v. “Anthedon.”

(4.) For coins with the ethnic Southern Syria see, for example, Meshorer, City-Coins, 74, no. 197 (37 B.C.); E. Muret, RN, 1883, 67; Imhoof-Blumer, NZ 16 (1884) 293; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, pp. 170–71, nos. 2–3, 5; SNG Schweiz II 2185–86.

(4.) For the denial of the existence of an Antioch in the Huleh region see, for example, Kraeling, JBL 51 (1932) 130–45; M. Dothan, EI 2 (1953) 166–69; Downey, HAS, 189 and n. 116; S. Lieberman, Tosefta Kifshutah on Zeraim (New York, 1955) 1: 209; Möller and Schmitt, Siedlungen, 19; G. Fuks, SCI 5 (1979) 182. See also S. Applebaum, Judaea, 47 n. 2 (“Some scholars have identified Hulata with the Huleh Valley near the headwaters of the Jordan, in whose vicinity another city [?] called Antioch existed… . This seems improbable”).

B. Bar-Kochva (ZDPV 92 [1976] 70 n. 44) observed that the location of Antioch in Hulata had not yet been demonstrated but raised the possibility that the Hellenistic site at Tel Anafa could be identified with Antioch.

(4.) G. M. Cohen in Pursuing the Text: Studies in Honor of Ben Zion Wacholder, ed. J. C. Reeves and J. Kampen (Sheffield, 1994) 243–59. Compare, for example, the Damascenes in Rhodes, Delos, and Athens (end of the second/beginning of the first century B.C.); see DEMETRIAS Damascus, n. 3.

(4.) It was Stark (Gaza, 452) who suggested that Sozousa in Hierokles 719.5 was identical with Apollonia. In Cyrenaica, APOLLONIA and Sozousa were probably identical; cf. also APOLLONIA/Sozopolis in Pisidia and Apollonia/Sozopolis in Thrace.

(4.) There is some scattered evidence for occupation in the third century B.C., but, as P. W. Lapp observed, “as yet it cannot be isolated as a separate stratum” (NEAEHL s.v. “Iraq el-Emir”). In addition, we may note that the name Tobiah has been found inscribed above two cave entrances at Iraq el-Emir (E. Littmann, Syria: Publications of the Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904–5 and 1909, Division III, Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section A, Southern Syria [Leiden, 1921] 1–7). However, the (palaeographic) dating is not secure; suggestions have ranged from as early as the fifth to as late as the third century B.C.; see for example, J.-M. Dentzer et al., AASOR 47–48 (1983) 147; F. Villeneuve in GHPO, 261 and n. 8; Gera in GREI, 25 and n. 17.

(4.) On the Iturean principality see, for example, Seyrig, Syria 27 (1950) 46–49; Schürer, History2, 1: 563–73; W. Schottroff, ZDPV 98 (1982) 130–47. For coins of rulers of Chalkis from c. 85 B.C. to 48 A.D. (Ptolemaios son of Mennaios, Lysanias, Zenodoros, Herod of Chalkis) see, for example, Mionnet, Description, 5: 145, nos. 16–19; BMC Galatia, etc., 279 ff., nos. 2–7; SNG (Cop) Syria: Cities 413–18; RPC 1: p. 662 and nos. 4768–70, 4774–80; and Seyrig, Syria 27 (1950) 47–49 (the earliest extant coinage dates to 73/2 B.C.). For coins of Cleopatra from Chalkis see RPC 1: 4771–73 and DEMETRIAS by the Sea, n. 6.

Niese (GMS, 2: 125) attributed Chalkis under Libanos to Seleukos I Nikator. However, Beloch correctly objected that there is no evidence to support this claim; the Chalkis that Appian includes among Seleukos’s settlements is most probably “on Be-los” (GG2, 4.2: 325 n. 2).

(4.) For coins of the late first century B.C. and later with the legend Southern Syria see, for example, RPC 1: 4781–4806. M. Grant (From Imperium to Auctoritas [Cambridge, 1946] 331 and n. 8) claimed that a coin with the head of Tiberius (or Caligula?) with the inscription Southern Syria on the reverse (see RPC 1: p. 644, no. 4500, and Seyrig, Syria 27 [1950] 56, no. B; note that Sestini, followed by Mionnet [Description, 5: 359, no. 147] and Seyrig, gave the legend as Southern Syria ) invalidated the identification of Demetrias with Damascus because in the early principate the latter had its own ethnic (see M. Dodinet et al., Syria 67 [1990] 352). But, as Seyrig noted (Syria 27 [1950] 50 n. 2), the firm attribution of this coin to any particular city remains to be established; see further DEMETRIAS in northern Syria.

(4.) For the coinage of Dion see, for example, Mionnet, Description, 5: 322; id., Supplément, 8: 226; de Saulcy, Numismatique, 378–83; BMC Arabia, xxxi–ii, 28, nos. 1–4; BMC Galatia, etc., lxxxv–vi, 303, nos. 1–2; Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 68, 77, nos. 15–17; SNG (Cop) Syria: Cities 449; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 116–17, 118–21, nos. 1–13; SNG ANS 6: 1277–82; SNG Schweiz II 2196–97; Y. Meshorer, Atiqot 11 (1976) 70, no. 151; and Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 100–103. For the hexastyle temple on the coinage see, for example, SNG ANS 6: 1277–80.

For the ethnic Southern Syria see also Stephanos s.v. “Dion.” For the era in use at Dion see Stein, “Studies,” 30–33.

I should mention a group of bronze coins bearing a head of Tyche and on the reverse the legend Southern Syria. (e.g., BMC Arabia, 143–45, nos. 19–40; Hunter. Coll., 3: 320, nos. 1–4; SNG [Cop] Palestine-Characene 270–71). De Saulcy (Numismatique, 378–80) identified this as an autonomous emission of Dion dated according to the Seleucid era, i.e., year 224 ( = 89/8 B.C.). The Southern Syria would have referred to the first year of the city’s autonomy. This attribution has not been accepted. Most scholars assign the coins to a mint farther east and suggest (a) Southern Syria refers to the first day of the Macedonian month of Dios, and (b) Southern Syria refers either to the Seleucid era (i.e., 89/8 B.C.) or the Parthian era (i.e., 24 B.C.). Thus W. Wroth (BMC Parthia, xlvi–xlvii n. 2), G. F. Hill (BMC Arabia, xxxi n. 3) and Mørkholm (SNG [Cop] Palestine, 270–71) assigned the coin to SELEUKEIA on the Tigris. D. Sellwood (An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia, 2d ed. [London, 1980] no. 92.3) and C. Augé (GHPO, 325) suggested Ekbatana. E. T. Newell (cited in McDowell, CST, 155 n. 12) and Le Rider (Suse, 43 n. 2, 416: “possibly Ekbatana”) pointed to a mint in Iran. In general see C. Augé in GHPO, 325 and n. 3.

(4.) For the coin of Ptolemy II found at Birketein see Kraeling and Bellinger in Gerasa, 30, 500.

(4.) For Jews in the Akra see, for example, Josephus AJ 12.252, 305 362, 364 and Marcus’s notes; for non-Jews in the Akra see, for example, 1 Macc. 3.45. See also Sievers in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 198–202; Sievers points out that whereas 1 Maccabees is apparently reticent about Jews in the Akra, Josephus is more forthright about the presence of both Jews and non-Jews.

(4.) For the coins struck at Caesarea see Y. Meshorer, INJ 8 (1984–85) 37–58; Rigsby, Asylia, 525–26. On the era of Caesarea see Meimaris, Chronological Systems, 142.

(4.) Appian (Syr. 57) includes a Pella among the foundations of Seleukos I Nikator. However, since Seleukos never controlled this region, the reference cannot be to this settlement. Similarly, the attribution by Eusebius, Synkellos, and various Syriac chronicles of a Pella (without any further specification) to Seleukos probably refers to PELLA in northern Syria (see, for example, Schurer, History2, 1: 146 n. 324; contra: Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 34; Smith suggests the references are to the town in Transjordan; see references and discussion there). Bernard suggested that a Greek

settlement might have been established here during Antigonos’s operations in the area, i.e., in the period 315–311 B.C. (Topoi 5 [1995] 384).

(4.) For the ramparts see J.-B. Humbert and F. Zayadine in CFAJ 25–26.

South Arabian texts dating to third century B.C. also refer to the city as “Am man”; see K. Mlaker, Die Hierodulenlisten von Ma’in (Leipzig, 1943) 39. PSI IV 406.13 ( = Durand, Palestine, no. 27) refers to Southern Syria. It is not clear whether this designates the city of Amman or the Ammanite region; Graf and MacAdam suggested the latter (Aram 2 [1990] 72). After the Islamic conquest the name Philadelpheia disappeared completely; in the Arabic sources the only attested form of the toponym is Amman; see Northedge in Amman, 1: 47.

For the continued use of the native name to refer to a Hellenistic settlement see, for example, APAMEIA Kelainai.

(4.) For round towers dating to the end of the fourth century B.C. see J. W. Crowfoot, The Buildings at Samaria, 24–27. Crowfoot argued convincingly that the round towers were fortifications of a non-Palestinian type, and suggested that the parallel for them is to be sought in the Greek world (The Buildings at Samaria, 24, 27 and n. 2). Thus, according to Wright (Samaria, 179), “they would most easily be explained as having been erected as a renewal of the city’s fortifications by settlers from Greece.” Note, incidentally, that Eusebius (Chron. 197, ed. Karst), Synkellos (496, ed. Mosshammer), and Hieronymus (123, ed. Helm2) say the settlers were Macedonians. For the fortification wall around the acropolis see Crowfoot, The Buildings at Samaria, 28–31.

(4.) For coins with a bunch of grapes or cornucopiae with bunches of grapes on the reverse see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 310; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 50–51, nos. 5–6; SNG ANS 6: 1119 (“dates”); Mare, ADAJ 28 (1984) 52, no. 262; id., ADAJ 31 (1987) 219, no. 212; see also, Meshorer, City-Coins, 78, nos. 211–211a. For the cultivation of grapes at Abila see also Wineland, Ancient Abila, 62.

(4.) On Synkellos’s list see G. Schmitt, ZDPV 103 (1987) 24; and PHILOTERIA, n. 1. Kasher (Hellenistic Cities, 45) has called attention to Meleager of Gadara who took particular pride in his birthplace and in Tyre, where he was educated (Greek Anthology 7.417, 419 = Meleager II, IV in Gow and Page, Greek Anthology, 1: 216–17). Therefore, Kasher has suggested this might indicate there was a Phoenician colony at Gadara; see also Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 43, 62; id., Greeks, 69, 118–19. For Phoenician colonies at other cities in southern Syria see PHILADELPHEIA.

(4.) For coins with the legend Southern Syria see, for example, Hunter. Coll., 3: 282, no. 3; BMC Palestine, 143, nos. 4–5; SNG (Cop) Palestine 49; for Southern Syria see Saulcy, Numismatique, 211, no. 8; see also Le Rider, Suse, 410–11.

For late Hellenistic and early Roman coins of Gaza see A. Kushnir-Stein, RSN 74 (1995) 49–55; id., SM 50 (2000) 22–24.

(4.) For the location of Seleukeia see Möller and Schmitt, Siedlungen, 168 (ed Dura); Schmitt, Siedlungen, 305; B. Bar-Kochva, ZDPV 92 (1976) 62–63 and map on p. 55; see also map 2 in Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, and p. 95 (Slouqiyé); Atlas of Israel, maps I/10, IX/6; and TIR Iudaea-Palaestina, map “North” and p. 226 (Slouqiyé); Gutman in Judaea, Samaria, and the Golan: Archaeological Sur vey, 1967–1968, ed. M. Kochavi (Jerusalem, 1972) 246 (Tel Anafa) (Hebrew); Urman, Golan, 124 and nn. 102–3. The suggested identification of Seleukeia with Dabura (e.g., Z. Ilan, Eretz ha Golan, 2d ed. [Tel Aviv, 1976] 150 [Hebrew]) is not likely; see, for example, Schmitt, Siedlungen, 305; and Bar-Kochva, ZDPV 92 (1976) 62 n. 28.

(4.) For the renaming of Beth Shean as Skythopolis see, for example, Judges (LXX) 1.27; Josephus AJ 5.84, 6.374, 12.348, 13.188; Eusebius Onom. 54 (ed. Klostermann); Synkellos 405, 559 (ed. Mosshammer); Kedrenos 138 (CSHB XIII). The native name, Beth Shean, remained in use alongside the newer Greek name throughout antiquity; thus, for example, M. Avodah Zarah 1.4, 4.12; M. Peah 7.1 (Beishani).

(4.) For the Corinthian cyma kantharos see Roller, BASOR 238 (1980) 36. For a fourth-century dating see, for example, Roller, 36; K. Holum et al., King Herod’s Dream, 43. Stieglitz dated it to c. 250 B.C. (in Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990, 649). In a private communication Kenneth Holum kindly informs me that earlier pottery— even late fifth century—has been found in the Temple platform excavation. However, as Holum correctly notes, this does not prove the existence of Straton’s Tower on the site that early.

(5.) On the religious life at Antioch by Hippos see Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 70. On the era at Antioch by Hippos see Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 70–78; Meimaris, Chronological Systems, 75–76; and Stein, “Studies,” 28–30.

(5.) HCJ, 161; Bevan, Seleucus, 2: 168; and Niese, GMS, 3: 228.

(5.) Avi-Yonah suggested that the territory of Apollonia was relatively small, bordered on the north by the Bdellopotamos, on the east by the Plain of Capharsaba, and on the south by the “Waters of Pegai” (Geography, 145 and map 12 on p. 144). Contra: B. Isaac, who has correctly criticized Avi-Yonah’s assumptions and claims regarding city territories (in Roman Army, ed. Kennedy, 162–65 = Isaac, Near East, 296–301 and postscript, 307–9).

(5.) For the suggestion that Birta of the Ammanitis was the fortress on the acropolis of Rabbat Amman see, for example, S. Mittmann in Festschrift Galling, 208–10; Orrieux in Hellenica et Judaica, 324–25; id., Les papyrus de Zenon (Paris, 1983) 42; E. Will, Syria 64 (1987) 254; Villeneuve in GHPO, 263, 278; MacAdam in Amman, 1: 29; F. Zayadine in Iraq al-Amir, 11. On the term birta see A. Lemaire and H. Lozachmeur, Syria 64 (1987) 261–66.

(5.) A coin dated to the first century B.C. with the ethnic Southern Syria has been tentatively assigned by Wroth to Chalkis under Libanos (BMC Galatia, etc., 279, no. 1; n.b. that the assignment of the coin to Chalkis under Libanos is not definite. In ascribing the coin to this Chalkis, Wroth followed Head, HN, 655. However, the latter placed a question mark next to this attribution and, in fact, deleted the attribution from the second edition of HN). Leake (Num. Hell. 41) assigned a similar coin to CHALKIS on Belos.

Wroth claimed (BMC Galatia, etc., 281n) that Chalkis used an era beginning either in 117 or 114 B.C. He based his argument on a coin of Chalkis (BMC Galatia, etc., 281, no. 7) bearing the head of Zenodoros with the legend Southern Syria on the obverse, a head of Octavian and the letters Southern Syria and Southern Syria on the reverse. According to Wroth, the coin was struck between 30 B.C. and 27 B.C., when Octavian—Southern Syria—assumed the title Augustus. Furthermore, Southern Syria stood for “year 87,” indicating an era beginning in 117 or 114 B.C. Seyrig (Syria 27[1950] 46f.) called attention to another example of the coin for which the readings are quite clear: Southern Syria on the obverse, the letters Southern Syria and Southern Syria on the reverse. As a result, he correctly objected that (a) the letters Southern Syria alone, without Southern Syria, are the initials of a magistrate, and (b) the date Southern Syria, i.e., “year 282,” is the Seleucid era (rather than an era of Chalkis) and yields a date of 26/5 B.C.

It is not clear whether coins from the early second century A.D. and inscribed Southern Syria Southern Syria should be assigned to Chalkis under Libanos or CHALKIS on Belos; see the latter entry, n. 8.

(5.) For coins with the monogram Southern Syria see, for example, Newell, LSM, pp. 50 ff., nos. 71–77 (Demetrios II, second reign), 114 (Antiochos VIII), 115–16, 118–19, 123, 126, 128, 130 (Demetrios III), 148–49, 152 (Tigranes); CSE 841 (Demetrios II, second reign), 857 (Antiochos VIII), 858, 860 (Demetrios III); SNG Spaer 2269 (Demetrios II, second reign), 2658–63 (Antiochos VIII).

(5.) On the probable location of Dion at Ash’ari see, for example, E. Schwartz, Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen (1906) 359–61; Abel, Géographie, 2: 306–7; Honigmann’s comment. on Hierokles 722.4; Avi-Yonah, Geography, 173; H. Bietenhard, ZDPV 79 (1963) 27; Sartre in Decapolis, 149–51. In support of this identification Sartre called attention to the discovery of a number of funerary stelae at the village of Tafas, 5 km east of Ash’ari; the stelae were dated, apparently by an era beginning in 64 B.C. (on the era see above, n. 4). This lends support to the suggestion that there was an ancient settlement at Ash’ari that used this era. See also Avi-Yonah, Geography, 169, map 19; Atlas of Israel, map IX/6. In general see Bietenhard, ZDPV 79 (1963) 27; and Sartre in Decapolis, 149–51.

(5.) For Antiochos IV Epiphanes as the founder see Kraeling in Gerasa, 30–31, followed by J. Seigne. The latter observed that the earliest extant material remains also support this suggestion (in Decapolis, 190; in Archaeology of Jordan, 321; see also A. N. Barghouti, SHAJ 1 [1982] 220; Barghouti noted that the earliest evidence for occupation dates to the second century B.C. Note, however, that in his report in the Jerash Archaeological Project, 1: 53, Seigne remarked that the oldest traces of Hellenistic occupation date to the second half of the century B.C. [italics mine]). For Epiphanes’ interest in Olympian Zeus see Mørkholm, Antiochus IV, 130 ff.

(5.) On the ethnic background of the settlers in the Akra see, for example, Bar-Kochva, JM, 116–120; and Hengel, Judaism2, 2: 188. Cf. Tcherikover, who assumed the troops settled in Jerusalem were “local Syrian troops” (HCJ, 194). Bar-Kochva’s suggestion ( JM, 119) that the garrison troops mentioned in SEG 30: 1695 (see below) may have been Thracians is not convincing.

(5.) For the mention of Pella in pre-Hellenistic documents see the collection of sources in Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 23–33. For Pella in the Arabic geographers see Le Strange, Palestine, 439; and Marmadji, Textes géographiques, 159.

(5.) The evidence for diminished Seleucid control of Ammanitis in the first half of the second century B.C. is as follows: (a) the Tobiad Hyrkanos son of Joseph established himself in Transjordan as an (apparently) independent ruler, built a palace (baris) that he called Tyros, and lived there from c. 187 to c. 175 B.C. (Josephus AJ 12.229–36); this palace has been identified with the great ruins of Qasr el-Abd at Iraq el-Emir, 18 km west of Amman (see BIRTA of the Ammanitis, n. 2); on Hyrkanos in Transjordan see, for example, Tcherikover, HCJ, 137–38; Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 272–77; (b) around 172 B.C. the Hellenizing high priest in Jerusalem, Jason, was deposed by Menelaus; the latter had recently secured the high priesthood from the Seleucid authorities; as a result, Jason now fled to Ammanitis (2 Macc. 4.26–27); a few years later Jason made an abortive attempt to seize Jerusalem from Seleucid rule, but the attempt ultimately failed, and he was again forced to take refuge in Ammanitis (2 Macc. 5.7–8); subsequently Jason was imprisoned by Aretas, the tyrannos of the Arabs; although 2 Maccabees does not make it explicit, the implication is that Jason was seeking refuge in a region—Ammanitis—that was not under direct Seleucid control; in general see MacAdam in Amman, 1: 30–31.

(5.) The political relationship between the Macedonian colonists and the Samaritans. Hengel (Greeks, 10) has speculated that the Samaritan population was reduced to the status of perioikoi in the new polis. This is, of course, possible. N.b., however, that we have no unequivocal evidence for the later history of the Macedonian colony. Despite this, archaeologists have unearthed extensive evidence—in addition to the fortification walls—for the Hellenic character of Samareia in the third and second centuries B.C. We may note, for example, a dedication to Sarapis Isis (SEG 8:95), a bronze statuette of Herakles, a figure of an athlete in terracotta, a marble Kore, a statue of Dionysos(?), and a statuette of Apollo (J. W. Crowfoot in The Objects from Samaria, 71–75), and various types of Hellenistic pottery as well as Megarian bowls (Reisner et al., Harvard Excavations at Samaria, 299–309; K. M. Kenyon and G. M. Crowfoot in Objects from Samaria, 217–81). In addition, stamped amphora handles from, among other places, Rhodes, Kos, Knidos, Thasos, and Sinope provide evidence for trade with both the Aegean and the Black Sea regions (Reisner et al., Harvard Excavations, 310–16; J. W. Crowfoot in Objects from Samaria, 79–87). The commercial integration of Samareia with the larger Hellenistic world around it is also attested by the coinage found there—Ptolemaic in the third century and Seleucid in the second. In addition, city coins from ANTIOCH/PTOLEMAIS Ake, ANTIOCH near Daphne, and other cities have also been found (Reisner et al., Harvard Excavations, 254–66; J. S. Kirkman in Objects from Samaria, 43–67).

(5.) For the amphora handles found at Abila see Wineland, Ancient Abila, 70–72, 103–4. Wineland, noting the relative paucity of amphoras that had been discovered, suggested that the availability of good local wine might have made it unnecessary for the Abilans to import wine.

(5.) There is apparently confusion in Strabo at 16.2.29. First he mentions Gadaris (sic), then Azotos and Askalon. Strabo then continues with a short discussion of the territory of Askalon and says that “among the Gadarenes” were Philodemus, Meleager, Menippus, and Theodorus. Now Azotos and Askalon are coastal cities. Of course, Gadara was well inland, in Transjordan. The probability, therefore, is that at 16.2.29 Strabo confused Gadaris with Gazara (Gezar: see H. Ouvré, Méléagre du Gadara [Paris, 1894], 36–38; Philippson, RE s.v. “Philodemos,” 2444; Stern, Authors, 1: 293; and R. Marcus’s note on Josephus AJ 14.91). Presumably this reference is to Gadara.

(5.) Bickerman’s suggestion (GM, 61–63) that the demos of “the Seleukeians of Gaza” formed a corporation (or politeuma) is not convincing; contra: Tcherikover, who noted (HCJ, 443 n. 12, 447 n. 51) that corporations did not normally have permission to coin money; see also Le Rider, Suse, 411.

(5.) For the bilingual ossuary inscription see CIJ 1372–73.

(5.) There was also a Straton’s Tower in Hellenistic Jerusalem (Jos. BJ 1.79, AJ 13.312–13). In the latter passage Josephus also noted that the name was the same as Caesarea on the sea coast.

(6.) For Susita in the rabbinic sources see, for example, Neubauer, Géographie, 238–40; for the image of a horse on coins of Antioch by Hippos see, for example. BMC Galatia, etc., 301, nos. 1–3; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, pp. 170–71, nos. 4–5; SNG ANS 6: 1136–45, 1148–52; for Sussiya in the Arabic geographers see Le Strange, Palestine, 540.

(6.) Tcherikover’s interpretation has been accepted by, among others, Vermes and Millar in the new edition of Schürer’s History2, 1: 148; F. M. Abel and J. Starcky, Les livres des Maccabées (Paris, 1961) 54–55; Le Rider, Suse, 410–11; Bar-Kochva, JM, 443; see also Habicht, 2. Makkabäerbuch, 216–17 n. 9; Bringmann, Hellenistische Reform, 83–96; and M. Stern, Zion 57 (1992) 233–46. Habicht noted the differing motives of Jason and Antiochos. The motive of the former in asking for permission to found a polis was essentially cultural, i.e., to end the isolation of the Jews. The motive of the latter in granting Jason’s request was political, i.e., to assure a royal stronghold in the region. In this connection Habicht suggested that just as the territory of the polis of Athens included Attica, so the territory of the polis of Antioch Jerusalem probably included all of Judaea. Starcky pointed to the colonizing activity of Antiochos Epiphanes and claimed that Antioch Jerusalem was, along with ANTIOCH in Mygdonia, ANTIOCH on the Kallirhoe, ANTIOCH on the Saros, and ANTIOCH PTOLEMAIS (Ake), a foundation of the king (Les livres des Maccabées, 54–55). In fact, Mørkholm has demonstrated that Epiphanes’ colonizing work was far more modest than generally believed and that none of the above cities can be firmly attributed to him (Antiochus IV, 116–18). And Bickerman objected: “The often repeated hypothesis that Epiphanes made Jerusalem a polis named Antioch and that the inhabitants were called Antiochenes is philologically unsound and directly refuted by documents of II Macc. 11.27, 34 addressed to the gerousia and the demos of the Jews respectively and not to the Antiochenes. Likewise the letter of Antiochos IV (II Macc. 11.22–26) speaks of the Jews and their temple” (Maccabees, 112). Nevertheless these objections are not, in themselves, compelling reasons for denying that Jason founded the polis of Antioch Jerusalem. They are, after all, ex silentio.

A major part of Tcherikover’s discussion of 2 Maccabees 4.9 is concerned with the verb Southern Syria. Tcherikover is uncomfortable with the definition “to register” for Southern Syria. He readily admits that this definition is found on inscriptions and papyri but objects that (a) “the list is invariably drawn up by officials … and minor civil servants and not by ministers of government” and (b) “in all the above examples existent objects are counted and listed—yokes of cattle, priests, members of colonies, etc. It follows therefore that ‘Antiochenes’ existed in Jerusalem before Jason decided to register them. This, of course, is impossible: Antiocheus means a member of a certain organized community who does not exist independent of that community. This alleged registration of individual existent Antiochenes, without connection with an existent community, could only have taken place provided we were to interpret ‘Antiochenes’ as people ‘holding citizen rights of the Syrian city of Antioch’; but Bickermann rightly rejects this supposition, which is in principle opposed to the basic elements of Hellenistic law” (HCJ, 406).

As to the first point: whether Jason personally drew up the list or whether—as is more likely—he delegated the task to someone is unclear. Tcherikover’s second point is more significant. He admits that the verb can mean “to register” persons, but objects that the persons have to be registered in an organization or community that already exists, and asks how this can be. According to Tcherikover there was no such organization or community in Jerusalem at the time: the polis (so Tcherikover) or the politeuma (so Bickerman) did not yet exist. The third possibility, that he was registering people who were holding citizen rights in Antioch near Daphne was rightly dismissed by Bickerman. Since, in Tcherikover’s view, there was no preexistent community from which the “Antiochenes” might be registered, he dismissed the possibility that the verb could mean “to register.” This difficulty prompted him to suggest that at 2 Macc. 4.9 Southern Syria means “to recognize or proclaim.” In short, according to Tcherikover, “Jason received permission from the King ‘to register the people of Jerusalem as Antiochenes,’ that is, to proclaim them as ‘Antiochenes’. Henceforward they are not to be called ‘Jerusalemites’ but ‘Antiochenes’” (HCJ, 407). Part of Tcherikover’s thesis regarding 2 Maccabees 4.9 depends on the assumption that at the time of Ja-son’s actions there was no community of Antiochenes in Jerusalem. This assumption, however, may not be correct. Elsewhere I have attempted to demonstrate that the verb Southern Syria at 2 Macc. 4.9 can, in fact, mean “to register” because the “Antiochenes in Jerusalem” may have been Antiochenes from PTOLEMAIS Ake and could, in fact, have been living in Jerusalem in the period before 175 B.C. (above, n. 4).

For the relation of the alleged polis of Antioch Jerusalem to the settlement in the Akra see JERUSALEM (THE AKRA).

(6.) On the developmental progression of Hellenistic settlements see, for example, Cohen, Seleucid Colonies, 37–41.

(6.) For the suggested reading “Abila” rather than “Pella” in the text of Josephus, AJ 14.40 see Dussaud, Topographie, 289 n.2.

(6.) Babelon suggested the founder was Demetrios III Eukairos, who ruled in Damascus from 96 to 87 B.C. (RdS, CLXXI; followed by Wroth, BMC Galatia, etc., lxxvi; and M. Dodinet et al., Syria 67 [1990] 352). On the other hand, if the monogram Southern Syria on the coin of Demetrios II does represent the initial letters of Southern Syria (see above, n. 5), it would point back to him as the likely founder.

(6.) For the lead weight with the ethnic Southern Syria see Gerasa, 461, no. 251; and Seyrig, Syrian Coins, 33 n. 45. For the coins of the latter half of the second century A.D. with the (often abbreviated) legend Southern Syria Southern Syria see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 160–63, nos. 9–12, 16–17, 21–23: id., Liber Annuus 25 (1975) 77 ff., nos. 10–12, 16–17, 21–23b; N. Van der Vliet, RB 57 (1950) 250–52; SNG ANS 6: 1347–48. For inscriptional evidence see Gerasa, 401–2, no. 58 (130 A.D.): Southern Syria; similar ethnics in Gerasa, 401, no. 56/7 (115 A.D.); 426, no. 147 (179–80 A.D.?); 406, no. 69 ( = IGR 3: 1345 and 1357, 191 or 190 A.D.); 428, no. 153 (209–211 A.D.). See also a Latin inscription from 130 A.D. (G. L. Cheesman, JRS 4 [1914], 13–16; and Welles, Gerasa, 390–91, no. 30): Antioch[i]ae ad Chrysorhoan quae et Gerasa. At Pergamon an inscription from the early first century A.D. records a dedication by Southern Syria Southern Syria (I. Perg. 2: 437 = IGR 4: 374). It is interesting to note that the designation for the city in the Imperial period made specific reference to the earlier toponym as well. Finally, an epitaph on a funerary stele (i.e., a private document) from the mid-third century A.D. found at Jerash refers simply to “Antioch” (Gerasa, 456, no. 232.7–8, 11).

(6.) By the mid-second century B.C. the term “Macedonian” no longer had an ethnic connotation; it simply designated soldiers armed in a particular fashion; see further NAKRASON in Lydia.

(6.) For coins of Pella with a Nymphaion and the legend Southern Syria Southern Syria (and variants thereof ) on the reverse see, for example, H. Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 69–70, 78, nos. 23–24; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 214–17, no. 17; Rosenberger Coll., 4: 59, no. 4. On the springs around Palestinian and Macedonian Pella see Bernard, Topoi 5 (1995) 384–87.

(6.) Presumably Theodoros the son of Zenon who ruled over GERASA, GADARA, and Amathous (Josephus AJ 13.356, BJ 86, 104) was the son of Zenon Kotylas. The ethnic identity of Zenon Kotylas and Theodoros—i.e., whether they were Greeks or Hellenized Nabataeans—is not clearly known; see further MacAdam in Amman, 1: 31; L. Robert, Hellenica 11–12 (1960) 489 n. 2.

(6.) On the nature of Gabinius’s activity in restoring cities in southern Syria see below, SELEUKEIA Abila, n 2.

(6.) For the era at Abila see de Saulcy, Numismatique, 310–2; and the important discussion of Stein, “Studies,” 31–33.

(6.) For the city walls see Hoffmann, AA (2000) 175–225; and id. in SHAJ 7: 391–93.

(6.) For coins of Seleucid kings from Gaza see, for example, G. F. Hill, BMC Palestine, lxvii; Rosenberger Coll., 2: 49 ff., nos. 18–25; CSE 827–30; SNG Spaer 1560–75,1738–45, 2101–27(?).

(6.) In general on the origin of the toponym Skythopolis see Schürer, History2, 143 and n. 308; Fuks, Scythopolis, 160–65. There are three theories regarding the origin of the name Skythopolis:

  1. (i.) According to information provided by Synkellos (405 [ed. Mosshammer]; see also Herodotus 1.105; Eusebius Chron. 185 [ed. Karst]), in the seventh century B.C. Scythians invaded Palestine and occupied Beth Shean; as a result the town was renamed Skythopolis. See, for example, Hölscher, Palästina, 43–46; Neubauer, Géographie, 174; contra: Tcherikover, HCJ, 103. On the Scythian invasion see also A. Malamat, IEJ 1 (1950–51) 154–59.

  2. (ii.) The name is derived from the Scythians who had served in the Ptolemaic army and were then settled at Beth Shean by Ptolemy II. By reference to a Zenon papyrus dated to September 21, 254 B.C. (H. I. Bell, Symb. Oslo. 5 [1927] 33–37), Avi-Yonah, (IEJ 12 [1962] 127–28) has made a highly speculative—and uncon-vincing—suggestion that Scythopolis was founded in the autumn of that year. His argument is as follows: the papyrus in question refers to the forthcoming visit to the Arsinoite nome of Paerisades II, king of the Bosporos. The “Scythian” soldiers in the Ptolemaic army were probably his. The papyrus tells us that the Bosporan delegation visited areas outside Alexandreia. Avi-Yonah says: “We can therefore presume that it was present at the setting-up of Scythopolis. The foundation date of this city would then be a day in the autumn of 254 B.C.” (128). Jones (CERP 2 , 240) noted that the toponym had a “Ptolemaic ring,” and compared it with “fanciful names given to the Egyptian metropoleis, Gynaecopolis, Crocodilopolis, and so forth”; followed by Abel, Histoire, 1: 57. Beloch (GG2, 4.2: 325 and n. 2), incidentally, suggested that the founder was Antigonos Monophthalmos or one of his predecessors.

  3. (iii.) For the association with the biblical town of Sukkoth see, for example, Winer, Bibl. Realwörterbuch, 1: 176; contra: Neubauer, Géographie, 175. On the probable site of Sukkoth at Tell Deir Alla on the east bank of the Jordan see N. Glueck, BASOR 90 (1943) 14–19 and map on p. 3; J. H. Seely, ABD s.v. “Succoth 2.” Hieronymus (Hebraicae Quaestiones in Libro Geneseos on Gen. 33.17 [CCL 72: 41–42]) says: “Est autem usque hodie ciuitas trans Iordanen hoc uocabulo inter partes Scythopoleos.” But, as Schürer noted (History 2, 2: 143 and n. 306), Beth Shean cannot have received its new name from a town across the Jordan; Schürer also denied the possibility that the toponym was derived from the god Sikkuth (Amos 5.26). Finally, another theory explained that Beth Shean was also called Beth Sheqet (Hebrew, sha’anan [tranquil, quiet] = sheqet [quiet]) and that the Greek colonists wrongly believed it was the same as “Skythian”; see, for example, Smith, Holy Land 25, 362–63; Tcherikover, HS, 72 (note, however, that Tcherikover later repudiated his earlier, tentative support for this suggestion [HCJ, 450 n. 98]); contra: Abel, Histoire, 1: 57 n. 3.

Stephanos (s.v. “Skythopolis”) mentions that Nysa was another name for Skythopolis. For the suggestion that Antiochos IV renamed Beth Shean in honor of his daughter Nysa see Rigsby, TAPA 110 (1980) 238–42 (note that in Asylia, 537 n. 23 Rigsby observed that he should have cited Nysa, the daughter of Seleukos II [FGrH 161 F4]); see also Jones, CERP 2, 250; contra: Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 265.

On coins of the Imperial period both names or ethnics—Nysa and Skythopolis— were usually used; see below, n. 22.

(6.) On Caesarea see especially K. G. Holum and A. Raban, NEAEHL s.v. “Caesarea” and references cited there.

(7.) For Apheka see Dalman, Sacred Sites and Ways, 169–71; TIR Iudaea-Palaestina, 64 and map “North”; Avi-Yonah, Gazetteer, 29; Gregg and Urman, Jews, Pagans, and Christians in the Golan Heights, 27–44. In general on the location see Schürer, History2, 2: 130–31; B. Bar-Kochva, ZDPV 92 (1976) 54.

(7.) Habicht noted that invitations to participate in religious festivals and games were normally issued only to poleis (2. Makkabäerbuch, 218). This was undoubtedly the case, for example, for the cities listed in the Delphic theorodokoi list (A. Plassart, BCH 45 [1921] 1–85; and L. Robert, BCH 70 [1946] 506–23). Tyre, however, was not Delphi. We may well question, therefore, whether the same conditions that applied to a festival in mainland Greece would also have applied to the games of an old native city in second-century Phoenicia. The text says only that when the games were being held Jason sent the theoroi to Tyre in order to bring 300 drachmai for the sacrifice to Herakles. The text, however, does add one significant detail: Epiphanes was present at the games (4.18). Undoubtedly that was the real reason Jason sent the delegation. Thus it is quite conceivable that the motivation was not so much to participate in the games as to curry favor with the king.

(7.) For Gerrha as the probable site of Chalkis see, for example, Abel, Géographie, 2: 131; Dussaud, Topographie, 399–401; Jones, CERP 2, 254; Schottroff, ZDPV 98 (1982) 136–44 and map on p. 131; Honigmann (“Hist. Topog.,” no. 136) also equated Chalkis with Anjarr, but on the accompanying map he placed it farther east, closer to the Anti-Lebanon. See also E. Will (ZDPV 99 [1983] 141–46), who denied the equation of Gerrha with Chalkis and placed Chalkis closer to HELIOPOLIS.

On Brochoi see, for example, Dussaud, Topographie, 44 n. 3, 402; Rey-Coquais, MUSJ 40 (1964) 289–96. On the Massyas Plain see, for example, Rey-Coquais, IGLS 6: p. 22.

(7.) For the demotic letter dated to September 103 B.C. see W. Clarysse and J. K. Winnicki in Conflict, ed. Van ’t Dack et al., 52, l. 19.

(7.) For the persistence of the old, native name alongside the new toponym see, for example, PHILADELPHEIA Rabbat Amman and APAMEIA Kelainai.

(7.) For the distribution of the confiscated land to the foreign colonists see, for example, Bickerman, GM, 71. As a parallel he called attention to (a) Ptolemy’s threat, because of nonpayment of tribute, to colonize Judaea with military colonists (Josephus AJ 12.159; see above, n. 3) and (b) Antiochos III’s settling of the Babylonian Jews in Asia Minor (AJ 12.148). See also Herod’s settling of Babylonian Jews in Batanaea (AJ 17.23–31; and G. M. Cohen, TAPA 103 [1972] 83–95). On the other hand, Bar-Kochva suggested the distribution of land mentioned in the book of Daniel referred to the sale of land to the Hellenizers (individually) or, alternatively, to the Hellenistic polis in Jerusalem ( JM, 441); see also Sievers in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 205.

(7.) Stephanos (s.v. “Pella”) specifies that this Pella was in Coele Syria and adds that it was also called Boutis. This claim is mentioned nowhere else in the extant evidence. Smith suggests (Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 36) this might have been an Egyptian appellation, related to the Egyptian goddess Buto. Under “Berenikai poleis” Stephanos says that it was also called Pella and that it was in Syria.

(7.) On Philadelpheia and the Decapolis see, for example, MacAdam in Amman, 1: 33–34. On the Decapolis see literature cited in PELLA/BERENIKE, n. 9.

(7.) For the location and a plan of the site see Crowfoot, The Buildings at Samaria, 1–3; Avigad, NEAEHL 1301, 16. Avi-Yonah’s claims regarding the territory of Samareia (Geography, 151–53 and map 14 on p. 152) have been correctly challenged by Isaac; see APOLLONIA (Arsuf ), n. 5.

(7.) For Herakles on the coinage see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 310–11; Herzfelder, RN 39 (1936) 294, no. 5; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 50–57, nos. 3, 9–12, 14–15, 20, 31; SNG GB 4: 5977; SNG ANS 6: 1122–24; Kellner, SM 77 (1970) 2, no. 3; see also Meshorer, Atiqot 11 (1976) 71, no. 152;id., City-Coins, 78, nos. 212–13, 215. For the worship of Herakles at other cities of the Decapolis see, for example, GADARA, PHILADELPHEIA, and PELLA. On religion at (mainly Roman) Abila see, for example, Fuller, “Abila,” 358–67; Wineland in Decapolis, 336–38.

(7.) On the era at Gadara see, for example, Meimaris, Chronological Systems, 79–80; and Stein, “Studies,” 26–28.

(7.) Tcherikover (HCJ, 103) pointed to Malalas’s claim that Skythopolis had previously been called Trikomia (see above) as evidence that the town was formed by a synoecism of three settlements: one of these was probably Beth Shean. Although the names of the other two settlements are unknown, Tcherikover suggested “it may be that the name Scythopolis was derived from one of them.” Applebaum ( Judaea, 7–8) has suggested that “Trikomia may contain the origin of the name Scythopolis.” Applebaum pointed to a Byzantine inscription (the “Rehov inscription”) that lists the gates of Skythopolis with their orientation (Y. Zussman, Tarbiz 43 [1974] 88–158 [Hebrew]). The northern gate was called the Gate of Sakkota. Applebaum has argued that this does not refer to biblical Sukkoth, which was 14 km south of Beth Shean. Rather, he has speculated that it refers to Tell Istabah (which is north of Tell Beth Shean), which he also suggested was known as Sukkota, “one of the three settlements whose synoecism created the Greek city of Scythopolis,” and that “the original name of Scythopolis resembles that of Sukkota”; followed by Arav, Palestine, 99–100.

(7.) For the Hellenistic pottery and stamped Rhodian amphora handles see, for example, A. Negev, Caesarea (Tel Aviv, 1967) 9 ff.; M. Avi-Yonah and A. Negev, IEJ 13 (1963) 146–48; Roller, BASOR 238 (1980) 35–42; Stieglitz in Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990, 648; and id. in Caesarea Maritima, 599–600, 606–8.

(8.) Sauvaget argued that Damascus was laid out on a grid plan similar to that found, for example, at ANTIOCH near Daphne and APAMEIA on the Axios; hence Damascus was refounded in the Hellenistic period (Syria 26 [1949] 314–58); see also F. E. Peters, DM 1 (1983) 272. In fact, D. Sack has demonstrated that the alignment of streets dates from the reconstruction of the city after the massacres of 1860 (Damaskus, 39–40).

(8.) For the ethnic “Gerasene” on coins see, for example, BMC Arabia 31–32; SNG ANS 6: 1349 (Southern Syria ), 1350 (Southern Syria ); Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 158, nos. 3–7 (Southern Syria). For the ethnic “Gerasene” in inscriptions see, for example, Gerasa, 401 ff., nos. 56/7, 58, 69, 143–45, 147, 153 (Southern Syria Southern Syria). Quasi-autonomous coinage minted in the first century A.D. has the legend Southern Syria: e.g., SNG ANS 6: 1342; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 158, nos. 1–2. For the toponym Gerasa in a Latin inscription see Gerasa, 390, no. 30. For the name Gerasa (in its West Semitic form, grsw) in a Nabataean inscription see above, n. 1.

For Gerasa in the literary sources see, for example, Josephus AJ 13.398, BJ 2.458, 3.47; Ptolemy 5.14.18; Origen In Joan. 6.24 (ed. Preuschen [ = PG 14.269]); Epiphanios Panarion 73.26 (ed. Holl); Hierokles 722.7; Georg. Cyp. 1063; Mark 5.1 and Luke 8.2 (on which see below, n, 16); Midrash Samuel on 2 Samuel 24.6; Ginzey Schechter, 1: 111–12. See also Dessau, ILS 1990.

(8.) For the inhabitants of the Akra see also 1 Macc. 6.18; 10.7; 13.21 (Southern Syria Southern Syria) and 4.2 (Southern Syria), 41 (Southern Syria); cf. 11.41 (Southern Syria Southern Syria) and 14.36 (Southern Syria). 1 Macc. does not refer to them as Southern Syria or as a Southern Syria. Occasionally it mentions the Southern Syria, the military forces, there (e.g., 9.52). There are numerous citations that could be construed as referring to Jews who were also resident in the Akra (e.g., 1.34; 4.2, 60; 6.18, 21; 11.21), but none of these is unequivocal; in contrast, see 14.37, which specifically mentions Simon’s placing Jews in the Akra after his conquest. See further Sievers in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 198–99 (who suggests that 1 Maccabees was reticent with regard to the presence of Jews in the Akra); and Marcus’s note on AJ 12.362.

In contrast, Josephus uses both Southern Syria and Southern Syria (e.g., AJ 12.252, 362; 13.182, 215–16) and distinguishes between these and the Jewish “renegades” in the Akra (e.g., Southern Syria and Southern Syria Southern Syria (i.e., the akra) Southern Syria, AJ 12.362, 364). On the evidence for Jews in the Akra in Josephus see Sievers in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 199–202.

In 1980 S. Applebaum published an inscription that was found in the old city of Jerusalem and is dated palaeographically to the mid-second century B.C. (in Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, ed. A. Oppenheimer et al. [ Jerusalem, 1980] 56–60; see also the text published by A. Kindler in SCI 6 [1981/2] 108, no. 18; and SEG 30: 1695). Applebaum read the first two lines as Southern Syria Southern Syria. Applebaum understood this to be an oath to Ares Athletes or Auletes that was taken by the Greek garrison on the Akra in the period of the Hasmonaean revolt. Bar-Kochva ( JM, 119 and n. 12) followed Applebaum in suggesting Ares referred to the god. However, Pleket (note to SEG 30: 1695) dismissed Applebaum’s reconstruction and interpretation as “clearly fanciful”; see also Goldstein, II Maccabees, 112. Pleket noted Habicht’s more plausible suggestion that Ares was the name of a person, possibly the one who took the oath. Isaac also suggested (note to SEG 30: 1695) that in line 2 one should read Southern Syria (or Southern Syria) rather than Southern Syria.

(8.) Tcherikover (HCJ, 99) inclined toward Ptolemy III as the founder of Berenike. Applebaum (in Judaea, 3) claimed that P. Mich. Zenon 5 indicates that in 258 B.C. Pella had an archon. The papyrus in question is a fragment of an account (there is no date in the extant fragment, though C. C. Edgar, the editor, suggested it probably dated to “between year 26 and year 29”). In fact, for line 11 Edgar read Southern Syria . In a note he commented: “It is doubtful whether Southern Syria is the first letter or is preceded by Southern Syria. I fail to find a satisfactory reading … Southern Syria is barely possible, and in any case Southern Syria cannot be read.”

(8.) For the coinage of Philadelpheia see, for example, Mionnet, Description, 5: 330–33; id., Supplément, 8: 232–36; de Saulcy, Numismatique, 386–92; G. F. Hill, BMC Arabia, xxxix–xli, 37–41; W. Wroth, BMC Syria, lxxxix–xc, 306; N. van der Vliet, RB 57 (1950) 252–58; SNG (Cop) Syria: Cities 451–54; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 242–57; SNG Schweiz II 2215–23; and Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 202–8. Müller’s attribution of some coins of Alexander with the letter F to this Philadelpheia is not convincing; see Schürer, History2, 2: 156 n. 378.

On Roman Philadelpheia see, for example, A. Hadidi in Archaeology in the Levant, ed. P. R. S. Moorey and P. J. Parr(Warminster, 1978) 210–22; J.-P. Rey-Coquais, ADAJ 25 (1981) 25–27; E. Will, SHAJ 2 (1985) 37–41; MacAdam in Amman, 1: 33–38; Kennedy, The Roman Army in Jordan, 112–14; M. Burdajewicz and A. Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Rabbath-Ammon,” 1248–51. For the era (beginning in 63 or 64 B.C.) in use at Roman Philadelpheia see Meimaris, Chronological Systems, 114–17; and Stein, “Studies,” 40–46.

(8.) For coinage with a picture of a temple flanked by towers within which is an altar see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 312; Herzfelder, RN 39 (1936) 293, no. 2; Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 60–62, 75–76, nos. 1–5; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 50–57, nos. 18, 21–25; SNG ANS 6: 1127–28; Meshorer, City-Coins, 78, no. 214; see also Price and Trell, Coins, 163–64; Bowsher, PEQ 119 (1987) 62–69. We do not know the divinity to which this sanctuary was dedicated. Most likely it was either Tyche or Herakles. Seyrig noted that it could also have been dedicated to Zeus (Syria 36 [1959] 61–62).

(8.) On the coinage see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 294–303; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 126–55; N. van der Vliet, RB 57 (1950) 244–50; Meshorer, City-Coins, 80–83; RPC 1: 666–67, nos. 4809–24; Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 125–34; Rigsby, Asylia, 533–34. One of the coin types bears the legend Southern Syria or variants thereof (e.g., de Saulcy, Numismatique, 299; BMC Galatia, etc., 305, no. 6 ; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 136 ff., nos. 31, 35–36, 51–52, 76; SNG ANS 6: 1305); that is, Southern Syria Southern Syria. There is also a coin of Gadara that has Southern Syria without the Southern Syria; thus Southern Syria (Meshorer, Atiqot 11 [1976] 63, no. 88).

The series of letters Southern Syria is also found on coins of SELEUKEIA Abila.

On the problem of interpreting the letter gamma in the sequence see SELEUKEIA Abila, n. 2; and G. M. Cohen, AJN 10 (1998) 95–102.

(8.) The extant evidence for the name Gabinia is numismatic: coins with the legends Southern Syria, etc.; see R. Barkay, INJ 13 (1994–99) 54–62. Other cities in the region that were renamed Gabinia include Marisa (58/7 B.C.; see S. Qedar, INJ 12 [1992–93] 27–33) and Kanatha (Commodus and Elagabalus; Meshorer, City-Coins, 76, no. 206; Barkay, INJ 13 [1994–99] 61 and n. 27); see also SELEUKEIA Abila, n. 2.

(8.) For the coins found at Caesarea see, for example, H. Hamburger, BJPES 15 (1950) 78–82 (Hebrew); D. T. Ariel, Qedem 21 (1986) 137–38; P. Lampinen in Caesarea Papers, 169–72; K. Holum et al., King Herod’s Dream, 43; Steiglitz in Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990, 649.

(9.) On the hippodrome see Watzinger and Wulzinger, Damaskus, die antike Stadt, 63 n. 106; and Will, Syria 71 (1994) 34.

(9.) For the identification of the modern Wadi Jerash with the Chrysorhoas see, for example, Benzinger, RE s.v. “Chrysorhoas 9”; Khouri, Jerash, 9.

(9.) For a suggested Seleucid mint in the Akra see D. Barag, INJ 14 (2000–2002) 59–77.

(9.) On the membership of Pella in the Decapolis see Pliny NH 5.74; Eusebius Onom. 80 (ed. Klostermann); Epiphanios Panarion 29.7 (ed. Holl), De Mens. 171.15 (= PG 43: 262).

The literature on the Decapolis is large; see discussion and further references in, for example, Schürer, History2, 2: 126–58; S. T. Parker, JBL 94 (1975) 437–41; H. Bietenhard, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 220–61; B. Isaac, ZPE 44 (1981) 67–74; Ernest Will, SHAJ 2 (1985) 237–41; J. M. C. Bowsher, PEQ 119 (1987) 62–69; J.-P. Rey-Coquais, ABD s.v. “Decapolis”; Millar, Near East, 408–24. On Jannaios’s destruction of Pella see Kasher, Hellenistic Cities, 155–58.

(9.) With the ethnic on the coins (see references above, n. 8) compare an inscription found in the forum dating to 189 A.D.: Southern Syria Southern Syria (F. Zayadine, ADAJ 14 [1969] 34–35; D. Schlumberger, Syria 48 [1971] 385–89; AE, 1972, 673). For another inscription (a dedication), dated palaeographically to the third century A.D., that also describes Philadelpheia as being in Coele Syria see J.-P. Rey-Coquais, ADAJ 25 (1981) 27–28. Despite the local preference under the Roman Empire for referring to the city as being in (the local geographic unit) Coele Syria, officially the city belonged to the province of Arabia from the reign of Trajan; see SELEUKEIA Gadara, n. 1; and Schürer, History2, 2: 157–58. On Coele Syria see pp. 37–41.

(9.) For Tyche within a distyle temple see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 50–57, nos. 1, 12, 16, 26–29 (for Tyche on other coins see also 2, 7, 15, 19); SNG ANS 6: 1125. The figure in this coin type has also been identified as Atargatis/ Astarte (i.e., as the Tyche of the city) by other scholars: see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 309, 311; Herzfelder, RN 39 (1936) 291, nos. 1, 3, 4; Kellner, MS 77 (1970) 1f., nos. 1–2.

(9.) A. Hoffmann, Topoi 9 (1999) 795–831, esp. 805–14; and id. in SHAJ 7: 395–96. In support of his suggestion that the temple was dedicated to Zeus Nikephoros Hoffmann mentioned a small marble statue that was discovered in the area of the sanctuary. Hoffmann also pointed to Gadarene coins that have on the reverse the picture of a tetrastyle temple in which there is a statue of Zeus Nikephoros (see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 136 ff., nos. 31, 35–36, 46).

(9.) On Joseph son of Tobiah see, for example, Tcherikover, HCJ, 127–34. Tcherikover dated the period of Joseph’s activity as tax collector to 230–220 B.C. (HCJ, 130–31); G. Fuks (Scythopolis, 47–49, citing M. Stern, Tarbiz 32 [1963] 41–47 [Hebrew]) put the beginning of Joseph’s work as tax collector at c. 240 B.C.

(9.) For the ceramic evidence from the area of the synagogue see M. Avi-Yonah, IEJ 6 (1956) 260–61; Stieglitz in Caesarea Maritima, 599. For the Hellenistic structure see M. Avi-Yonah and A. Negev, IEJ 13 (1963) 146; A. Negev, Caesarea, 13. See also the sketch plan in Stieglitz, IEJ 37 (1987) 187.

(10.) For the baris at Damascus see Sauvaget, Syria 26 (1949) 351–55; Will, Syria 71 (1994) 13. Note that, according to Yakut (1.600) and the Marasid (1.149; see Le Strange, Palestine, 420) there was a river named al-Baris near Damascus; furthermore, the Gate of al-Baris in Damascus took its name from the river, and the whole area around the city was sometimes called al-Baris.

Note that the term baris normally referred to a (fortified) manor house; see, for example, RC 18.2, 25; 20.5, 11, 16; and Welles’s discussion, RC, pp. 321f. For the Aramaic birta see, for example, P. Cairo Zen. I 59003.13 ( = Durand, Palestine, no. 3).

(10.) For the Rhodian amphora handles see Welles in Gerasa, 460, nos. 241–42; see also nos. 243–47.

(10.) Three suggestions have been offered regarding the status (of the inhabitants) of the Akra: it was (a) a katoikia, (b) a garrison, (c) a polis, which was either a new, separate entity or the continuation of Antioch in Jerusalem.

  1. (i.) For the view that in 168 B.C. a katoikia was established in the Akra see, for example, Tcherikover, HCJ, 189–90; Hengel, Judaism2, 1: 281; and Fischer, Seleukiden, 32. Goldstein, following a suggestion of Tcherikover (HCJ, 474–75), speculated that Epiphanes was following a Roman model in dispatching military settlers to the Akra (I Maccabees, 124). Given his well-known interest in Roman institutions this is, of course, quite possible. However, it is more likely that Antiochos was simply following long-established Seleucid (and Macedonian) precedent in settling military colonists in a restive area. Compare, for example, the JEWISH COLONIES in Lydia and Phrygia and, earlier, Alexander’s settlement of Macedonians in SAMAREIA. Cf. also the military colony established in Batanaea by Herod the Great around the end of the first century B.C. (Josephus AJ 17.23–31; and G. M. Cohen, TAPA 103 [1972] 83–95; S. Applebaum, Judaea, 47–65).

  2. (ii.) In an extensive discussion, Bar-Kochva has challenged the view that Epiphanes founded a katoikia ( JM, 438–44) and has suggested rather that he established a garrison (248). Among Bar-Kochva’s arguments are the following: “as Tcherikover already proved, Jerusalem was indeed granted the status of polis in 175 B.C. The transformation of the polis into a katoikia would have been a significant demotion and we have no example of any polis whose privileges were withdrawn and which was turned into a katoikia” (443; italics mine). There is no “precedent for the suggestion that the polis continued to exist alongside a newly established katoikia. Such a situation would have meant that the European soldiers would have enjoyed fewer privileges than the Hellenized local Jewish population” (443). Of course both these points retain their validity only if the existence of the polis is a fact beyond dispute; and this is not so. Tcherikover has made an interesting case for the transformation of Jerusalem into the polis Antioch (HCJ, 161–69, 404–9), but it has not been proven. See further ANTIOCHENES IN JERUSALEM. In arguing against the notion that there was a katoikia in the Akra Bar-Kochva also noted that in Dan. 11.39 the end of the verse “and he shall allocate land for a price” refers to the distribution of land not to colonists but rather to the Hellenizers. In support of this he claimed that land given “for a price” could not refer to military colonists, since they were given land in return for military service (441). In fact, we do not know the precise basis upon which land was allocated to Seleucid settlers (see, for example, Cohen, Seleucid Colonies, 51–52). Alternatively, therefore, Bar-Kochva suggested that the verse could refer to the “sale of land not to private individuals, but to the Hellenistic polis established in Jerusalem in order to increase its income” (441 and above, n. 6).

  3. (iii.) It is interesting to note that Antiochos VII Sidetes included Joppe, Gazara, and the Akra in Jerusalem among the poleis he claimed were in his kingdom (Southern Syria Southern Syria, 1 Macc. 15.28). This assertion of sovereignty was quickly rejected by Simon (1 Macc. 15.33). Antiochos’s claim prompted Bickerman to suggest (GM, 71–80) that after the Seleucids razed the walls of Jerusalem in 168 B.C. (1 Macc. 1.31) it became subordinate to the Akra, which now became a Greek polis. In short, according to Bicker-man, Jerusalem and the Temple, as well as the surrounding territory, were assigned to the Akra. As a parallel situation Bickerman cited the case of Mylasa and STRATONIKEIA in Caria, both of which had major temples in their territory. The suggestion that the Akra was a polis is interesting but highly speculative. As Bickerman himself admitted, we do not have any specific information about the civic organization of the Akra. In fact, we do not even know the official name of the community in the Akra. See also Dequeker in The Land of Israel, 197 (“With Bickerman, we understand the Acra as a Macedonian colony which probably enjoyed the status of a Greek city… . The Acra of Jerusalem, i.e., the fortified Hellenized City of David, enjoyed the same status as the Hellenized city of Gezer [Gazara]”).

In this connection it is well to recall Lysias’s threat in 165/4 B.C. (see above) to settle foreigners in Judaea, to distribute land lots to the settlers (1 Macc. 3.36), and turn the city (i.e., Jerusalem) into a “Greek habitation” (Southern Syria Southern Syria, 2 Macc. 11.2). Interestingly, while Jerusalem is described as a polis, the threatened new settlement is referred to as a “Greek oiketerion”; but in the absence of other evidence the distinction—if there was one—should not be pressed. The problem, of course, is that in the late Hellenistic period the term polis could be used to refer to many types of urban settlements. To cite but two examples: at 1 Macc. 1.44 we read that Antiochos IV sent letters to “Jerusalem and the poleis of Judaea.” These poleis were nothing more than local Judaean towns and villages! On the other hand, we may note the three poleis that Antiochos Sidetes addressed: the Akra, Joppe, and Gazara. The latter two were obviously not villages. Rather they were old, Oriental cities, just as Jerusalem was before Lysias wanted to turn it into a Greek oiketerion.

Goldstein suggested (I Maccabees, 123–24, 218) that “the Akra was indeed a polis, a colony of Antiochene citizens… . If so it would have been most natural to call the Akra ‘Antiocheia’, ‘City of Antiochus.’” Contra: Sievers (in Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period, 202–3, 208) denied a possible equating of the Akra with the presumed polis of Antioch in Jerusalem: “Even though perhaps less than a polis, the Akra remained more than a military installation. It had a fiscal, economic, and perhaps cultural function and was probably perceived as a threat to Jerusalem’s civic status” (203). Tcherikover speculated that the polis of Antioch Jerusalem was abolished in 168 B.C. when the “Greek city” was founded at the Akra; this new “Greek city” included foreign settlers among its citizens (HCJ, 192–93, 405); Hengel ( Judaism2, 1: 281) observed that “presumably the ‘Acra’ simply continued the tradition of the ‘Antioch in Jerusalem.’”

(10.) For the Rhodian amphora handle see Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 37, no. 21.

(10.) For the honorific decree for Martas see I. Jordanie 2: 29 (discussion and bibliography).

(10.) For the inscription recording the name Southern Syria see Wineland, Ancient Abila, 75–76. On the site of Abila see the excavation reports cited above; Bietenhard, ZDPV 79 (1963) 26; NEAEHL s.v. “Abila”; Fuller, “Abila,” 41–67.

(10.) For Herakles on coinage of Gadara see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 298; BMC Galatia, etc., 304, no. 5; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 136–51, nos. 32, 37–41, 53, 56, 62, 68, 74, 80–81; SNG ANS 6: 1307, 1310–11, 1315–18, 1329. For the worship of Herakles at other cities of the Decapolis see, for example, PHILADELPHEIA and SELEUKEIA Abila.

For divinities on engraved gems (mainly first–second century A.D.) see M. Henig and M. Whiting, Engraved Gems from Gadara in Jordan (Oxford, 1987) nos. 5–260.

(10.) For the coin hoard of Ptolemy II Philadelphos see C. S. Fisher, Museum Journal 14 (December 1923) 242; and Rowe, Topography and History of Beth-Shan, 45.

(10.) For the suggested identification of the site of Straton’s Tower see, for example, Raban, BASOR 268 (1987) 71–87 (and plan, p. 85); id., NEAEHL s.v. “Caesarea,” 286–87); and Stieglitz in Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990, 650; id. in Caesarea Maritima, 593–606. Roller noted that there appears to have been a dense network of farms and villages in the coastal region around Caesarea, especially after 200 B.C. Hence he suggested that the Hellenistic material found there probably does not belong to Straton’s Tower. Roller also observed that the discovery of Hellenistic material in the northern part of Caesarea may simply reflect the extensive excavation in the area, not necessarily the site of Straton’s Tower (BASOR 252 [1983] 63–65); contra: Raban, BASOR 268 (1987) 84; id. in Caesarea Papers, 18, 21.

Roller (BASOR 252 [1983] 63–65; see also Stieglitz in Caesarea Maritima, 604) has suggested that we should search for Straton’s Tower near the center of Herodian Caesarea.

For the suggested identification of Straton’s Tower with DEMETRIAS by the Sea see the latter entry.

(11.) For the ethnic Southern Syria and the Southern Syria see also M. Sartre, Syria 59 (1982) 82 and n. 69d; E. Will, Syria 71 (1994) 32. For amphoda in other settlements see, for example, STRATONIKEIA in Caria, LAODIKEIA by the Sea, and SKYTHOPOLIS.

(11.) Stephanos (s.v. “Gerasa”) mentions that Gerasa was in “Coele Syria” and was part of the Decapolis; Pliny (NH 5.74, “Galasa”) includes it in his list of cities in the Decapolis. On the Decapolis see PELLA/BERENIKE, n. 9. Although Gerasa originally belonged to the province of Syria, under Trajan it was assigned to the (new) province of Arabia; see Schürer, History2, 2: 153, 157–58; Bowersock, ZPE 5 (1970) 37–39. Despite this, Ptolemy, who was writing in the mid-second century A.D. but did not record places by Roman provinces, reckoned Gerasa among the other cities of the Decapolis in Syria (5.14.18); see SELEUKEIA Gadara, n. 1.

For the era at Gerasa see Stein, “Studies,” 46–49.

(11.) The location of the Seleucid Akra. In the NEAEHL (s.v. “Jerusalem,” p. 723), which was published in 1993, N. Avigad observed: “The location of the site of the Seleucid Acra is the key to reconstructing the Jerusalem city plan in the Early Hellenistic (pre-Hasmonean) period. Lacking concrete archaeological evidence, the debate on this question was, until recently, mainly theoretical, relying on different interpretations of the sources that refer to the fortress and the local topography. Over the years, numerous scholars have offered a wide variety of sites in ancient Jerusalem as the preferred location of the Acra… . Despite progress in research and new finds, it still seems impossible to settle the question of the precise location of the Seleucid Acra in Jerusalem.” In short, in the absence of archaeological evidence bearing directly on the question, the problem of the location of the Akra is still a historical one and is still not fully resolved.

For discussion and references to earlier considerations of the problem see, for example, Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament, 131–57; Y. Tsafrir, RB 82 (1975) 501–21 (plans on pp. 504, 511, 512); Goldstein’s comment. on 1 Maccabees 1.33–40; Bar-Kochva, JM, 445–65; and Avigad’s article in the NEAEHL (cited above).

(11.) For glass production at Pella see, for example, M. O’Hea in Decapolis, 253–64.

(11.) On the location and site of Philadelpheia see H. I. MacAdam in BEINE 2: 84–85. A. Northedge in Amman, 1: 20–21, 57–61 (maps and plans at end); Harding, Jordan, 61–70; M. Burdajewicz and A. Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Rabbath-Ammon” (extensive bibliography on excavations at the site); R. Khouri, Amman: A Brief Guide to the Antiquities (Amman, 1988). Abu al-Fida, writing in the early fourteenth century A.D., mentioned the great ruins there (247 in Le Strange, Palestine, 393); for the Arabic geographers on Amman see Le Strange, Palestine, 391–93; and Marmadji, Textes géographiques, 149–50.

(11.) For the Rhodian amphora handles see T. Weber in Archaeology of Jordan, 606–7; and Sartre, Alexandre, 253. Cf. also the fine wares from the city wall, which have been dated by P. Kenrick to the second century B.C. (AA [2000] 235–65, especially 264–65). According to Kenrick, the evidence of the fine wares from the city wall suggests that one may associate the destruction of the wall with the sack of Gadara by Jannaios in c. 100 B.C.

(11.) For the amphora handles found at Skythopolis, both at Tell Beth Shean and at Tell Istabah, see, for example, SEG 8: 57–82; N. Zori in 17th Archaeological Convention, Israel Exploration Society, 135–98 (Hebrew); Y. Landau and V. Tzaferis, IEJ 29 (1979) 152–59; D. T. Ariel, IEJ 38 (1988) 31–35.

(12.) For the archaeological remains at Gerasa see Fisher, Kraeling et al. in Gerasa, 11–25, 73–158; S. Applebaum and A. Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Gerasa”; W. L. MacDonald, PECS s.v. “Gerasa”; Khouri, Jerash. For the Hippodamian town plan at Gerasa see Kraeling in Gerasa, 41.

(12.) For Simon’s capture of the Akra see 1 Macc. 13.49–52; Josephus AJ 13.215; and Megillat Ta’anit (H. Lichenstein, HUCA 8–9 [1931–32] 319, l. 4).

(12.) For the era in use at Pella see Stein, “Studies,” 33–39.

(12.) On the territory of Hellenistic and Roman Philadelpheia see Jones, CERP 2 , 455, 462; Avi-Yonah, Geography, 177 (for Isaac’s criticism of Avi-Yonah see APOLLONIA [Arsuf], n. 5); and MacAdam in Amman, 1: 31–32.

(12.) On the hot springs at Gadara see, for example, Eusebius Onomast. 74 (ed. Klostermann); Epiphanios Panarion 30.7 (ed. Holl); Antoninus Martyr Itin. 7 (CCL 175: 132, 159); Eunapius Vit. Soph. 459 (ed. Giangrande); Origen Comment. in Joan. 6.41 (ed. Preuschen [ = PG 14: 272]).

(12.) For the prescript of the fragmentary inscription mentioning the eponymous priests of Zeus Olympios and the Savior Gods see Mouterde, MUSJ 16 (1933) 180–82; Rostovtzeff, JHS 55 (1935) 60–61.

(13.) For the civic life in Gerasa under the empire see, for example, the following: boule and demos, I.Perg. 2: 437; Gerasa, pp. 371 ff., nos. 15, 46, 141, 181; boule, no. 189; demos, nos. 3, 4; bouleutes, nos. 26, 62, 170; archon, nos. 45, 74; gymnasiarch, nos. 3, 4, 192.17; archontes, no. 45; dekaprotos, nos. 45, 46; grammateus, nos. 45, 46, 181(?); proedros, nos. 45, 46, 73, 190; agoranomos, nos. 53, 134, 188; epimeletes, nos. 40, 46, 114, 146, 150–52, 154–59, 168, 172, 186; dioiketes, no. 74; strategos, nos. 62, 161 (see Welles’s note). See further Kraeling in Gerasa, 39–67; and indices to inscriptions in Gerasa. Under the empire the era of Pompey was used (C. C. McCown, TAPA 64 [1933] 77–88).

(13.) For the Hellenistic coins discovered at Pella see K. Sheedy in Pella in Jordan, 1979–1990: The Coins, ed. Sheedy et al. (Sydney, 2001) 15–25, nos. 001–053. The Sydney/Wooster excavators reported finding eight or nine Ptolemaic coins (one tetradrachm, the rest bronze) and thirty-seven Seleucid (all bronze). The earliest of the latter were coins of Antiochos III. The mints of three cites were represented— ANTIOCH near Daphne (no. 026), Tyre (no. 040), and PTOLEMAIS Ake. One of the latter was a quasi-municipal coin (no. 027); the other were municipals (nos. 028–038).

On the coinage see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 292–93; Seyrig, Syria 36 (1959) 70, 78, nos. 22–26; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 210–17, nos. 1–18; Rosen-berger Coll., 4: 58–60, nos. 1–14; Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 45–46, nos. 36–39; 1: 52–57, nos. 45–59. Interestingly, the Sydney/Wooster excavators failed to find any Greek Imperial coin that they could attribute to Pella; see Sheedy in Pella in Jordan, 1979–1990: The Coins, 40.

The ethnic Southern Syria is found on coins of Domitian and Elagabalus (e.g., Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 45, nos. 36–39; H. Seyrig, Syria 36 [1959] 78, nos. 23–24; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 212–15, nos. 1–4, 16–17). Southern Syria is found on coins of Lucilla, Commodus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus (e.g., Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 52–57, nos. 45–59; Seyrig, Syria 36 [1959] p. 78, no. 22; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 212–17, nos. 5–15, 18; N. van der Vliet, RB 57 [1950] 252–53). Cf. Stephanos (s.v. “Pella”), who noted that a citizen was called a Southern Syria and that the ethnic was Southern Syria.

(13.) For the location and territory of the city see Wroth, BMC Syria, lxxxvii–lxxxviii; Schurer, History2, 2: 132–33, 136; Avi-Yonah, Geography, 174. See map on pp. 94–95 in OBA2. For the site see, for example, T. Weber with R. G. Khouri, Umm Qais (plan and photographs). There is evidence for habitation at the site from as early as the seventh century B.C.; see S. Holm-Nielsen et al., Archaeology of Jordan s.v. “Um Queis (Gadara),” p. 598.

(13.) There are differing views regarding the status of Skythopolis in the Hellenistic period: (a) Applebaum pointed to Josephus’s account of Scythopolis’s refusal to pay taxes to Joseph son of Tobias (AJ 12.183) and Polybius’s description (5.70.4–5, see above) of Antiochos III’s capture of Skythopolis and its extensive territory as evidence that Skythopolis already had the status of polis at this time ( Judaea, 2, 7); (b) Avi-Yonah suggested that Skythopolis began as a Ptolemaic klerouchy and was not elevated to the status of a polis until the time of Antiochos IV Epiphanes (IEJ 12 [1962] 129); (c) Jones (CERP 2, 450) claimed that Skythopolis and PHILOTERIA were administrative district capitals rather than poleis owning territories.

(14.) For the sanctuary of Artemis see, for example, C. C. McCown, AASOR 13 (1931–1932) 131–37; C. S. Fisher in Gerasa, 125–38; R. Parapetti, Syria 66 (1989) 1–39; Browning, Jerash, 33–36, 86–93,159–67; Applebaum and Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Gerasa,” 473. In inscriptions Artemis is called Southern Syria (Gerasa, 388, no. 27) and kuriva (Gerasa, nos. 28, 62); for other epigraphic references to Artemis see Gerasa, nos. 32, 43, 50. On the coinage of Gerasa, the prevailing type is the bust of Artemis as Tyche, with the legend Southern Syria (e.g., de Saulcy, Numismatique, 384–85; BMC Arabia, xxxiii–xxxv, 31–32, nos. 1–9; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 159–65, nos. 4–9, etc.; SNG ANS 6: 1343–46, 1349–50). For Artemis and Tyche at Gerasa see Vry, “Zeus und Tyche,” 135–37. For other goddesses worshipped at Gerasa see McCown, AASOR 13 (1931–1932) 137–64.

The Sanctuary of Zeus was situated on a slope, adjacent to the city’s southern theater. It was built in c. 163 A.D.; however, it appears that a series of sanctuaries dating to the early first century B.C. and earlier may already have been built at the site. See, for example, J. Seigne, Syria 62 (1985) 287–95; id., Dossiers histoire et archéologie 118 (Juillet–Août 1987) 56–61; id. in Archaeology of Jordan, 319–23; id., MB 62 (1990) 12–13, id., Topoi 7 (1997) 993–1004; A.-M. Rasson-Seigne and J. Seigne, Syria 66 (1989) 118; see also Kraeling in Gerasa, 54; Browning, Jerash, 35–37, 114–27; Applebaum and Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Gerasa,” 472–73. Inscriptions relating to the cult of Zeus reflect its importance in the religious life of the city (e.g., Gerasa, pp. 373 ff., nos. 2–7, 9–10, 13–14, 26, 42).

(14.) For religious life at Pella see, for example, R. H. Smith in Decapolis, 197–208.

(14.) On the Decapolis see PELLA/BERENIKE, n. 9. For the era at Skythopolis see Meimaris, Chronological Systems, 82–87; and Stein, “Studies,” 30. As for the calendar, a mosaic dated to 522 A.D. refers both to the Macedonian month Panemos and the Roman month September (Chronological Systems, 86, no. 17). According to Avi-Yonah (QDAP 5 [1935–36] 25 and n. 2), in northern Palestine the use of Latin month names prevailed in Byzantine mosaics, whereas in southern Palestine and the Negev Macedonian month names are found in inscriptions down to the end of the Byzantine period and later.

(15.) For the office of Phoenicarch see Gerasa, p. 441, no. 188.12–13; cf. OGIS 596; Cod. Just. 5.27.1 (ed. P. Krueger); Novell. 89.15 (ed. R. Schoell and G. Kroll). See also Welles’s commentary on no. 188; P. Perdrizet, RA (1899) 36–42; M. Sartre in Mélanges Balty, 168–69. For ties between other cities in Phoenicia and southern Syria in the Hellenistic period see PHILADELPHEIA Rabbat Amman, n. 3.

(15.) For the location and site of Pella see, for example, Smith, Pella of the Decapolis, 1: 1–2 (map and photographs at end); Weber, Pella, 11.

(15.) For the amphoda at Skythopolis see SEG 8: 43, 44; Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 271; Ovadiah, EI 12 (1975) 118–20. For amphoda at other cities see, for example, STRATONIKEIA in Caria, LAODIKEIA by the Sea, and DEMETRIAS Damascus; see also plintheia at ANTIOCH near Daphne. In general, see Fuks, Scythopolis, 72, 116; D. Feissel, Syria 62 (1985) 95–96.

(16.) For Macedonians, see above, n. 2. The widespread evidence for the worship of the gods of the Greek pantheon (e.g., in addition to Zeus, and Artemis [above, n. 14], also Apollo [Gerasa, no. 38], Hera [no. 17], Nemesis [no. 40], and Poseidon [no. 39]; see also J. D. Wineland in Decapolis, 311) suggests that there were Greeks living in Gerasa or, at least, that (part of ) the population was quite Hellenized.

According to Josephus (BJ 2.458, 479–80, 4.487–8) there were Jews living in Gerasa at the time of the Jewish Revolt. The likelihood that this community already existed in the late Hellenistic period is enhanced by the discovery of Jewish and procuratorial coins in Roman levels. The earliest of these coins were issued by Hyrkanos (135–104 B.C.); see Kraeling in Gerasa, 34, 45, 500. Note, on the other hand, B. Isaac, who has argued that the text of Josephus BJ 4.487 is corrupt and that we should read “Gesara = Gezer” rather than “Gerasa” (in M. Fischer, B. Isaac, and I. Roll, Roman Roads in Judaea [Oxford, 1996] 2: 162–63; as Isaac noted, this was first suggested by H. Reland in 1714 in Palaestina ex Monumentis Veteribus Illustrata, 2: 808). For a similar phenomenon see Mark 5.1: the best MSS read “Gerasenes,” but it seems clear that the original read “Gergesenes.” See, for example J. Marcus, Mark 1–8 (New York, 1999) 341–42; and J. A. Fitzmyer, Luke (I–IX) (New York, 1981) 736.

Regarding Nabataeans at Gerasa, Kraeling noted (in Gerasa, 36) that of fifty-one extant coins for the period from the reign of Ptolemy II to the beginning of the reign of Trajan, i.e., from the mid-third century B.C. to the end of the first century A.D., twenty-four were Nabataean (twenty-one of these were issues of Aretas IV, 9 B.C.–40 A.D.). From the first century A.D. onward inscriptions mention the god Pakidas and an Arabian god (Gerasa, nos. 17–18). In general on the Nabataeans at Gerasa see Kraeling in Gerasa, 36–39; Millar, Near East, 398; and D. F. Graf, Rome and the Arabian Frontier (Aldershot, 1997) 787–96.

(16.) For the amphora handles found at Tell Istabah see above, n. 11. For the inscribed weight see B. Lifshitz, ZPDV 92 (1976) 181, no. 33 ( = SEG 28: 1451); and A. Kushnir-Stein, ZDPV 113 (1997) 89; for another weight dated to 117/6 B.C., which is probably also from Skythopolis, see Kushnir-Stein, IEJ 52 (2002) 225–26.

(17.) For the coinage see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 384–85; G. F. Hill, BMC Arabia, xxxiii–xxxv, 31–32; A. R. Bellinger, Coins from Jerash, 1928–1934 (ANS NNM 81 [1938]); Spijkerman, Liber Annuus 25 (1975) 73–84; id., Coins of Decapolis, 156–67.

(17.) For the important textile industry at Skythopolis under the empire see TJ Kiddushin 2.5 (62c); TJ Avodah Zarah 1.2 (39c); Edictum Diocletiani et Collegarum de Pretiis Rerum Venalium 26 (ed. Giacchero); Expositio Totius Mundi et Gentium xxxi (ed. Rougé); Cyril of Skythopolis Vita Sabae 80 (ed. Schwartz). See also Avi-Yonah, IEJ 12 (1962) 132–33; A. Engle, Readings in Glass History 6–7 (1976) 28–29; Jones, LRE, 836–37, 857; Fuks, Scythopolis, 120–21; Z. Safrai, Roman Palestine, 198–202.

(18.) On Roman Gerasa see, for example, D. Kennedy, MedArch 11 (1998) 39–69; and id., The Roman Army in Jordan, 106–11. For Gerasa in the Arabic geographers see Le Strange, Palestine, 462.

For a description of the site see, for example, C. S. Fisher in Gerasa, 11–25; Browning, Jerash; Harding, Jordan, 79–105; S. Applebaum and A. Segal, NEAEHL s.v. “Gerasa”; Khouri, Jerash; MB 62 (1990). Most of the above contain photographs, maps, and site plans. For a revised plan see J.-P. Braun et al., ADAJ 45 (2001) 433–36.

(18.) On the religious life at Skythopolis see Seyrig, Syria 39 (1962) 207–11; A. Ovadiah, EI 12 (1975) 116–24 (Hebrew); Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 273–76; Fuks, Scythopolis, 75–88. For the dating by eponymous priests of Zeus Olympios and the Savior Gods at Skythopolis see SEG 8: 33; Rostovtzeff, JHS 55 (1935) 60–61.

There is epigraphic evidence for at least two men named Seleukos son of Ariston at Roman Skythopolis. For the thanks offering made in 141/2 A.D. by Seleukos son of Ariston to Dionysos see G. Foerster and Y. Tsafrir, ESI 6 (1987/8) 31; L. Di Segni, G. Foerster, and Y. Tsafrir, EI 25 (1996) 345–48 (Hebrew); L. Di Segni, SCI 16 (1997) 139–61; L. Di Segni, G. Foerster, and Y. Tsafrir in RBNE 2: 72–75. Another partially preserved inscription (unpublished) on an octagonal altar that was dedicated by the same donor mentions Dionysos and probably Zeus as the founders (Di Segni, RBNE 2:73). For other (unpublished) epigraphic attestations dating to the mid-third century A.D. for another Seleukos son of Ariston—possibly a grandson of the second-century A.D. Seleukos—found at Skythopolis see Foerster and Tsafrir, ESI 11 (1992) 8; Di Segni, RBNE 2: 73; id., SCI 16 (1997) 140–43. For the survival of Macedonian names at a Hellenistic settlement, see, for example, DOURA EUROPOS; cf. the evidence for Ptolemaic and Seleucid names at Marisa (J. Peters and H. Thiersch, Painted Tombs in the Necropolis of Marissa [London, 1905] 42–43, nos. 6–7; 64, no. 36; Di Segni, SCI 16 [1997] 141 n. 6). See also the claim in the early second century A.D. by a priestess of Artemis at LAODIKEIA by the Sea that she was a descendant of Seleukos Nikator.

For the dedication by Germanos see B. Lifshitz, ZPE 6 (1970) 62. On the worship of Dionysos at Skythopolis see, for example, Seyrig, Syria 39 (1962) 210f.; Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 275–76; H. Gitler, RSN 70 (1991) 23–28. For Dionysos on coins of Skythopolis see, for example, BMC Palestine, 76f., nos. 5–11; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 188–209, nos. 5–7, 17–21, 21a, 23, 34a, 38a, 40–48, 57–61; Rosenberger Coll., 3: 27–38, nos. 5, 10–11, 14, 18, 22–23, 25, 29–30, 59; Meshorer, Atiqot 11 (1976) 65–67, nos. 108–10, 15(?); and R. Barkay, INJ 13 (1994–99) 54–62 . For statues of Dionysos see, for example, G. Foerster and Y. Tsafrir, Qadmoniot 23 (1990) 52–54 (Hebrew); C. Vermeule and K. Anderson, Burlington Magazine 123 (1981) 8 (Dionysos-Alexander?). For the prominence of the worship of Dionysos under the Ptolemies see, for example, B. Segall, AA (1965) 575–80; Fraser, Alexandria, 202–6; Rice, Procession, 68–69 and passim; cf., however, Rigsby (TAPA 110 [1980] 239), who claims that the Ptolemaic cultivation of Dionysos was pretty much confined to the court.

For the dedication to Sarapis see Foerster and Tsafrir, ESI 6 (1987/8) 32; Foerster and Tsafrir, ESI 11 (1992) 8. For Tyche at Skythopolis see Vry, “Zeus und Tyche,” 128–32.

(19.) For the dedications to Zeus Akraios see Lifshitz, ZDPV 77 (1961) 186–89 ( = SEG 20: 456, 130–140 A.D.; the date is not clear; Seyrig [Syria 39 (1962) 209] suggested the early first century A.D., the Roberts [BE (1962) 316] thought it was 129 A.D.; see also Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 [1977] 274–75); and Y. Tsafrir, EI 19 (1987) 282–83; id., IEJ 39 (1989) 76–78 ( = SEG 37: 1529). For the dedication to Zeus Bak[chios] see Lifshitz, ZDPV 77 (1961)189–90 ( = SEG 20: 457, first century A.D.[?]).

A dedication to Ares, dated to the third century A.D., has been found at Samakh, approximately 30 km from Beth Shean (SEG 8: 32). However, Seyrig (Syria 39 [1962] 207 n. 3) has argued cogently against using this as evidence for a cult of Ares at Skythopolis; contra: Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 (1977) 275.

(20.) For the dating of the temple to the third century B.C. see Rowe, Topography and History of Beth-Shan, 44–45. For the later dating see S. Applebaum, Judaea, 5; Arav, Palestine, 99–100; Mazar, NEAEHL s.v. “Beth Shean.” As for the divinity that was worshipped in the temple, Rowe suggested either Dionysos or Astarte-Atargatis. In favor of Dionysos he pointed out that (a) a piece from the temple frieze contains the head of Dionysos, (b) a number of votive figurines of Dionysos and the nymphs were found on the necropolis south of the sanctuary, and (c) a head of Dionysos (?) found in the debris of the reservoir on the south side of the temple probably belonged to a statue of the god that was erected in the temple. Applebaum, noting the evidence for priests of Olympian Zeus, believed it was a temple of that divinity. Finally, another suggestion associated the temple with Zeus Akraios (BAR 16.4 [1990] 20).

(21.) For the coins of Skythopolis see, for example, de Saulcy, Numismatique, 287–90; G. F. Hill, BMC Palestine, xxxiv–xxxvii, 75–77; Rosenberger Coll., 3: 27–38, nos. 1–63; Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 186–209; Meshorer, City-Coins, 40–42; RPC 1: pp. 667–68; Kindler and Stein, Bibliography, 180–87; R. Barkay, INJ 13 (1994–99) 54–62; Rigsby, Asylia, 537–38. L. Müller’s attribution of certain Alexander coinage to Skythopolis (Numismatique, 304–5) was rejected by Hill (BMC Palestine, xxxiv; see also Lifshitz, ANRW 2:8 [1977] 262–63).

(22.) For the ethnic Southern Syria and various abbreviated versions see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 188–89, nos. 2–3, etc. On a dedicatory inscription from Skythopolis that probably dates to 161–180 A.D. (see below, n. 23), the ethnic is spelled Southern Syria (though note P.-L. Gatier, Syria 67 [1990] 205–6; Gatier suggested that possibly Southern Syria should be read there, too; he observed that Stephanos gives both forms). For the toponym Southern Syria Southern Syria see, for example, Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 188–89, no. 1.

(23.) For the dedicatory inscription that refers to Nysa-Skythopolis as a Southern Syria Southern Syria see G. Foerster and Y. Tsafrir, INJ 9 (1986–87) 57 (Southern Syria Southern Syria, ll. 4–9 = SEG 37: 1531; see also SEG 40: 1509; and P.-L. Gatier, Syria 67 [1990] 205–6). On the basis of this inscription the editors suggested that on coins of Commodus dating to 175/6 and 185/6 A.D. (e.g., Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 192 ff., nos. 15, 21; Rosenberger Coll., 3: 30, no. 20; Kindler, Coins, 132) the abbreviations Southern Syria and Southern Syria stand for Southern Syria rather than Southern Syria; for the latter reading see Spijkerman, Coins of Decapolis, 303; A. Kindler, INJ 6–7 (1982–83) 80–81 and n. 16.

A century earlier Josephus (AJ 17.320, BJ 2.97) had described GADARA and HIPPOS, which were members of the Decapolis, as well as GAZA, as “Hellenic poleis.