(Umm Qeis) Jordan.
City N of the
Yarmuk river, in N Jordan, a Ptolemaic foundation.
The Peutinger Table
places it 16 miles from both Tiberias and Capitolias. In the Hellenistic period it was an
important cultural center, and Meleager, Menippus, and
Philodemos were born here (Strab. 16.759
). It was the
capital of the district of Galaaditis (Gilead), but became
part of the Seleucid kingdom after the victory of Antiochus III. At that time it was also called Antiochia and
Seleucia. It was conquered by Alexander Jannaeus, but
freed by Pompey in 64 B.C. (Joseph. AJ 13.356
city was rebuilt and joined the Decapolis. It minted
coins from the time of Augustus to that of Gordian III,
dating them from the time of Pompey. Augustus presented Gadara to Herod, but it was annexed to Syria
after the monarch's death and ruled directly by a Roman
proconsul. Matthew (8:28) mentions it as the place in
which Jesus healed the demoniac. A late Roman inscription found on the site gives the name of the town
as Colonia Valentiniana Gadara. In the territory of the
city were well-known hot springs (Euseb. Onom
and in the Byzantine period a synagogue was built nearby.
E. L. Sukenik, Ancient Synagogues in
Palestine and Greece
(1934) 81-82; F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine
11 (1938) 323; M. Avi-Yonah, The
(1966) 40, 51, 69, 76, 80, 84, 89, 96, 102, 174.