ceremonial way viewed from  temple of Zeus at Gerasa 
(photo by Balgawi)

Decapolis

Greek: "Ten Cities"

A region including 10 originally independent Greek city states, all of which lay east of the Jordan river except for Scythopolis [ancient Beth Shean]. Each city was the center of its own administrative district. Several were brought under Judean control by Aristobulus I & Alexander Jannai but were never Judaized. Pompey restored their nominal autonomy under the protection of the Roman governor of Syria. Augustus placed Gadara & Hippos under Herod. The synoptic gospels report several trips by Jesus into this largely non-Jewish region, but with imprecise geography. During the Jewish revolt [66-70 CE], Jewish Christians reportedly migrated to Pella.

For further recent information about archaeological & historical evidence, see:

  • Rousseau, John J. & Rami Arav. Jesus & His World. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995) pp. 85-86.

Other resources on line:

Perspective on the World of Jesus

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