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GABALA (Jeble) Syria.

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 2 (1952)I; P. J. Riis, “Activités de la mission archéologique danoise . . .,” ibid. 10 (1960); H. Seyrig, “Questions aradiennes, 1. Gabala,” RN 6 ser. 6 (1964)MI.


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