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Decapolis

Meaning: ten cities = deka (10), and polis (a city)

This was a district on the east and southeast of the Sea of Galilee containing “ten cities,” which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. All the cities, except one, were east of the Jordan River.

It included a portion of Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned 3 times in the New Testament (Matthew 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31).

Cities of the Decapolis

  1. Canatha
  2. Damascus
  3. Dion
  4. Gadara
  5. Gerasa
  6. Hippos (Hippus)
  7. Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the destruction of Jerusalem)
  8. Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon)
  9. Raphana
  10. Scythopolis, i.e., “city of the Scythians” (ancient Bethshean, the only one of the 10 cities west of the Jordan River)

When the Romans conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain privileges, these “ten cities,” and the province connected with them they called “Decapolis.”

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