Fortress city overlooking the coastal road on the northwestern border of Judea, known in early Israelite times as Jabne'el. The city was captured by the Greeks & burned by the early Maccabeans, but restored by Alexander Jannai. After Roman armies occupied Judea, Gabinius ordered Jabneh reconstructed as a Roman city. Augustus awarded it to Herod after the defeat of Antony & Cleopatra. Herod willed it to his sister Salome, who in turn willed it to Augustus' widow, Livia. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Hillel's disciple Johanan ben Zakkai located the rabbinic Academy at Jabneh, where it remained until the end of the Hadrianic war (135 CE). Rabbi Aqiba began to record the Mishna there.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 5.87; 9.217; 12.350-351; 13.215.
                                                       17.189, 321; 18.31, 158.
                   _____, War 1.50, 156, 166;
                                       2.98, 167, 335-336.

For further information about archaeological & historical evidence, see:

  • Buttrick, G. A., ed. Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. vol. 2 (NY/Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962) p. 779-780.

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