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TIBE´RIAS (Τιβεριάς, Eth. Τιβεριεύς, J. AJ 18.3, B. J. 2.8, 3.16; Steph. B. sub voce Ptol. 8.20.16), the principal town of Galilaea, on the SW. bank of the sea of Tiberias or Gennesareth. It was situated in the most beautiful and fruitful part of that state (J. AJ 18.2.3), and was adorned with a royal palace and stadium. (Joseph. Vit 12, 13, 64.) It was built by the [p. 2.1197]tetrarch Hërodes Antipas, in honour of the Roman emperor Tiberius, from whom it derived its name. (Joseph. l.c.) It is stated to have been 30 stadia from Hippo, 60 from Gadara, and 120 from Scythopolis (J. Vit. 65); distances which are not much at variance with that of Joliffe, who states that it is 20 miles English from Nazareth and 90 from Jerusalem. (Travels, p. 40.)

From the time of Herodes Antipas to that of the reign of Agrippa II., Tiberias was probably the capital of police (J. Vit. 9), and it was one of the four cities which Nero added to the kingdom of Agrippa. (J. AJ 20.8.4.) In the last Jewish War, Tiberias, from its great strength, played an important part (Joseph. B. J. 2.20); as, after Sepphoris, it was held to be the largest place in Galilaea (Joseph, Vit. 65), and was very strongly fortified. (B. J. 3.10.1.) The inhabitants derived their sustenance in great measure from their fisheries in the adjoining sea. (J. Vit. 12.) On the destruction of Jerusalem, and for several centuries subsequently, Tiberias was famous for its academy of learned Jews. (Lightfoot. Hor. Hebr. p. 140.)

In the immediate neighborhood of Tiberias were the celebrated hot springs of Emmaus (Joseph. B. J. 2.21, Ant. 18.2.) [EMMAUS] It is not certain whether Tiberias occupied the site of Chinnereth, though Hieronymus thinks so (Onom. s. v. Chinnereth); it seems more likely that this place belonged to the tribe of Naphthali. (Josh. 19.35; Reland, Palaest. p. 161.) Nor is there any better reason for identifying it, as some have done, with Chammath (Joseph. 19.35) or Rakkah, which was the Rabbinical notion. (Cf. Hieron. Megil. fol. 701; Lightfoot, Chorograph. Cent. cap. 72--74.) The modern name of Tiberias is Tabaríeh: it is not, however, built actually on the site of the old town, though close to its ruins. When Joliffe was there, it had a population of 11,000 (Travels, pp. 48--58.) It was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on New Year's Day, 1837, since which time it has never been completely rebuilt. (Russegger, iii. p. 132; Strauss, p. 356; Robinson, iii. p. 500.)


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