Sites & cities that bear the name of Nablus


Today in : Palestine, State of
First trace of activity : 72 C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : نابلس‎, Nābulus, שכם‎, Šəḵem, Shechem, Škem, Νεάπολις, Flavia Neapolis, Julia Neapolis, Naplouse

Description : Nablus (Arabic: نابلس‎, romanized: Nābulus; Hebrew: שכם‎, romanized: Šəḵem, Biblical Shechem, ISO 259-3 Škem; Greek: Νεάπολις, romanized: Νeápolis) is a city in the northern West Bank, approximately 49 kilometers (30 mi) north of Jerusalem (approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) by road), with a population of 126,132. Located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center, home to An-Najah National University, one of the largest Palestinian institutions of higher learning, and the Palestinian stock-exchange. The city was named by the Roman emperor Vespasian in 72 CE as Flavia Neapolis. During the Byzantine period, conflict between the city's Christian and Samaritan inhabitants peaked in a series of Samaritan revolts before their suppression in 529 dwindled that community's numbers in the city. With the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, the city was given its present Arabic name Nablus. The Crusaders drafted the laws of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Council of Nablus and its Muslim, Christian and Samaritan inhabitants prospered. The city then came under the control of the Ayyubids and Mamluk Sultanate. Under the Ottomans, who conquered the city in 1517, Nablus served as the administrative and commercial center for the surrounding area, corresponding to the present-day northern West Bank. Flavia Neapolis ("new city of the emperor Flavius") was named in 72 CE by the Roman emperor Vespasian and applied to an older Samaritan village, variously called Mabartha ("the passage") or Mamorpha. Located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, the new city lay 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) west of the Biblical city of Shechem which was destroyed by the Romans that same year during the First Jewish–Roman War. Holy places at the site of the city's founding include Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's Well. Due to the city's strategic geographic position and the abundance of water from nearby springs, Neapolis prospered, accumulating extensive territory, including the former Judean toparchy of Acraba. Insofar as the hilly topography of the site would allow, the city was built on a Roman grid plan and settled with veterans who fought in the victorious legions and other foreign colonists. In the 2nd century CE, Emperor Hadrian built a grand theater in Neapolis that could seat up to 7,000 people. Coins found in Nablus dating to this period depict Roman military emblems and gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon such as Zeus, Artemis, Serapis, and Asklepios. Neapolis was entirely pagan at this time. Justin Martyr who was born in the city c. 100 CE, came into contact with Platonism, but not with Christians there. The city flourished until the civil war between Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger in 198–9 CE. Having sided with Niger, who was defeated, the city was temporarily stripped of its legal privileges by Severus, who designated these to Sebastia instead.

See on map »