A small coastal town
20 km S of Laodicea ad Mare. Gabala was a Phoenician
city of the confederation of Arados and became independent in the 1st c. B.C. Pausanias mentions one of its
sanctuaries, dedicated to a Nereid, and in the 5th c. A.D.
Theodoretos of Cyrrhos declared it to be a charming little town.
The town was built on a grid plan, probably dating
from the Seleucid period. Its main monument is a theater, erected in the center of the town during Roman
times. It was still well preserved in the 19th c. and has
now been partially cleared. It was built on flat ground
and oriented N-NE. The hemicycle has a diameter of
90 m, and its three tiers of seats are entirely supported
by vaults. There are no vomitoria, but a series of outside
entryways under the arcades of the facade and two interior corridors leading to the parodoi guaranteed easy
circulation. The elegant profile of the tiers of seats, the
delicacy of the sculptured decoration of the scaenae
frons, the polychromy of the imported marbles and granites, all indicate Hellenistic influence. The ramparts are
of Roman date. The port is of a type frequent in Phoenicia: a beach behind an opening in the sandstone barrier which forms the coast, with an outer harbor.
E. Frézouls, “Les théâtres romains de
Syrie,” Annales archéologiques de Syrie
; P. J.
Riis, “Activités de la mission archéologique danoise . . .,”
ibid. 10 (1960); H. Seyrig, “Questions aradiennes, 1.
6 ser. 6 (1964)MI