This post is mostly a photographic presentation of monuments from Umm Qais, Jordan.
Umm Qais or Qays is a town in northern Jordan principally known for its proximity to the ruins of the ancient Gadara. It lies in the Bani Kinanah Department and Irbid Governorate in the extreme northwest of the country, near Jordan’s borders with Israel and Syria. It is perched on a hilltop 378 metres (1,240 ft) above sea level overlooking the Sea of Tiberias, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River gorge.
A member of the Decapolis, Gadara was a center of Greek culture in the region, considered one of its most Hellenized and enjoying special political and religious status. By the third century BC the town was of some cultural importance. The Greek historian Polybius describes Gadara as being in 218 BC the “strongest of all places in the region”. Nevertheless, it capitulated shortly afterwards when besieged by the Seleucid king Antiochus III of Syria. Under the Seleucids, it was also known as Antiókheia (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια) or Antiochia Semiramis (Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια Σεμίραμις, Antiókheia Semíramis) and as Seleucia (Ancient Greek: Σελεύκεια). The region passed in and out of the control of the Seleucid kings of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt. Gadara was captured and damaged by Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 BC, when the Roman general Pompey placed the region under Roman control, he rebuilt Gadara and made it one of the semi-autonomous cities of the Roman Decapolis, and a bulwark against Nabataean expansion. But in 30 BC Augustus placed it under the control of the Jewish king Herod.
(Important Note: ALL photographs of this article added to the sourced texts by NovoScriptorium after kind courtesy of our friend Ben Lee – ALL photographs originally taken by Ben Lee)
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