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EMMAUS later NICOPOLIS (Amwas) Palestine.

A town 32 km N of Jerusalem in N Judea, on the border of that country in the Persian period. It was fortified by Bacchides at the beginning of the Hasmonaean uprising, and Judas Maccabeus defeated Gorgias there in 166 B.C. After the middle of the 1st c. B.C. Emmaus became the capital of a district. According to Luke (24: 13ff) Jesus met the disciples at Emmaus after the Crucifixion. After the destruction of Jerusalem Vespasian settled veterans of the Roman army there. In A.D. 221 it was given a status of polis by Elagabalus, who renamed it Nicopolis.

Excavations have revealed settlements of the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and later periods. Remains of a Samaritan synagogue have been found, and a Byzantine church, built above an earlier structure which is believed to have been the house of Cleophas.


L. H. Vincent & F. M. Abel, Emmaüs, sa basilique et son histoire (1932); M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land (1966) 84, 95, 115, 159.


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