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RABBATHMOBA later AREOPOLIS (er-Rabba) Jordan.

Town in the Provincia Arabia E of the Dead Sea, in Moab, built on the site of the biblical town of Ir Moab. The first settlement of the Roman period was by the Nabateans, and the first mention in the sources is by Ptolemy (5.16.4). In the 2d c. A.D. it was an administrative center, as is attested by documents sealed there and found in the Dead Sea Caves, and by impressions made by the official seal of Rabbathmoba, found in the 2d c. Nabatean necropolis of Mampsis in the central Negev. Eusebius (Onom. 124.15-17) states that the city was known as Areopolis, the city of Ares, a name which frequently figures in Byzantine sources. Ares, in the form of the Semitic god Phanebalos, appears on another seal impression of the city found at Mampsis. Rabbathmoba figures on the Peutinger Table and, according to the Notitia Dignitatum, a unit of Illyrian cavalrymen was stationed there. No excavations have been made, but surveys have identified the remains of a Nabatean temple with a tripartite plan.


F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine II (1938) 425; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land (1966) 117; A. Negev, IEJ 21 (1971) 110-29.


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