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ABILA 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), but 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.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine II (1938) 234-35; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land (1966) 40, 96, 175.

A. NEGEV

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