Sites & cities that bear the name of Gadara


Today in : Jordan
First trace of activity : ca. 3rd century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : 749 C.E
Recorded names : גדרה‎, Gadʾara, גדר, Gader, Γάδαρα, Gádara, Gedaris

Description : Gadara (Hebrew: גדרה‎, Gadʾara, or גדר, Gader; Greek: Γάδαρα Gádara), in some texts Gedaris, was an ancient Hellenistic city, for a long time member of the Decapolis city league, a former bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see. Its ruins are today located at Umm Qais, a small town in the Bani Kinanah Department and Irbid Governorate in Jordan, near its borders with Israel and Syria. It stood on a hill 378 metres (1,240 ft) above sea level overlooking the Yarmouk River gorge, with the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee well visible to the north and northwest. By the third century BC the town was already of some cultural importance. It was the birthplace of the satirist Menippus (3rd century BCE), a slave who became a Cynic philosopher and satirised the follies of mankind in a mixture of prose and verse. His works have not survived, but were imitated by Varro and by Lucian.> In the early first century BC Gadara gave birth to its most famous son, Meleager. He was one of the most admired Hellenistic Greek poets, not only for his own works but also for his anthology of other poets, which formed the basis of the large collection known as the Greek Anthology. The Greek historian Polybius describes Gadara as being in 218 BC the "strongest of all places in the region". Nevertheless, it capitulated shortly afterwards when besieged by the Seleucid king Antiochus III of Syria. Under the Seleucids, it was also known as Antiochia (Ancient Greek: Αντιόχεια) or Antiochia Semiramis (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια Σεμίραμις, Antiókheia Semíramis) and as Seleucia (Ancient Greek: Σελεύκεια). The region passed in and out of the control of the Seleucid kings of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt. Gadara was captured and damaged by Alexander Jannaeus.

See on map »