Sunday, August 27, 2006


The oval forum and cardo of Gerasa (Jerash) The Decapolis (Greek: deka, ten; polis, city) was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in Syria and Judea (renamed Palestine in 135 AD). The ten cities were not an official league or political unit, but they were grouped together because of their language, culture, location, and political status. The Decapolis cities were centers of Greek and Roman culture in a region that was otherwise Semitic (Jewish, Nabatean, and Aramean).

With the exception of Damascus, the "Region of the Decapolis" was located in modern-day northeastern Israel, northwestern Jordan, and southwestern Syria. Each city had a certain degree of autonomy and self-rule.

The names of the traditional Ten Cities of the Decapolis come from the Roman historian Pliny the Elder (N.H. 5.16.74).


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