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HYRCANIA (Khirbet Mird) Occupied Jordan.

A fortress ca. 14.4 km NE of Jerusalem built, according to Josephus, by Alexander Jannaeus, and named after his grandfather John Hyrcanus (III 1.161). It was conquered by Gabibius, Pompey's general and procurator of Syria (BJ 1.167). Herod conquered the fortress in 32 B.C. and made it a prison for political offenders; they were executed here and buried secretly (BJ 1.364). St. Saba founded a monastery in 492 and named it Castellion. A survey has identified a double wall, an aqueduct, and remains of buildings of the Roman and Byzantine periods.


F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine II (1938) 350; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land (1966) 73, 101, 156.


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