later SELEUCIA ABILA (Tell Abil) Jordan.
A Ptolemaic town in N Palestine, ca. 19 km N
of Irbid, which attained importance in the Hellenistic-Roman period. It was conquered by Antiochus III (Polyb.
5.71; 16.39). At the beginning of the 1st c. B.C. it was
taken by Alexander Jannaeus (Joseph., AJ 11.136
freed by Pompey in 64 B.C., who made it autonomous.
At this time, when it became part of the Decapolis, it
minted its own coins. Seleucid influence is evident in the
title Seleucia Abila, found on coins from the time of
Caracalla. Eusebius (Onom
. 32.14) knew the place as
19 km E of Gadara. In the Byzantine period it was part
of Palestina Secunda. It has not been excavated, but surveys have noted the bridge connecting the two mounds
of the site, the fortifications, a Roman temple, a theater,
and a basilica.
F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine
II (1938) 234-35; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land
40, 96, 175.