Gerasa, now known as Jerash, is 45 km north of Amman and about 30 km from the Jordan River. The site was inhabited in the Canaanite period but most of its visible remains today are of Roman construction.
The city was abandoned in the middle ages, but its remains are exceptionally well preserved. In fact, ancient Geraa is one of the best examples in the world for a Roman designed urban center.
It’s finds include well-preserved set of intersecting streets, a unique oval public forum, two theatres, two immense temples (one to Zeus, the other to Artemis), a basilica, a public fountain (nymphaeum), baths and a Christian cathedral.
Gerasa and The Decapolis
Decapolis is a term used to describe a group of supposedly ten cities in the southern Levant that co-existed during the Roman period. These cities were all centers of Greek and Roman culture and supported by the Romans. Some of these cities exist to this day, and some have become archaeological sites. Six of these cities are today in Jordan (Gerasa, Gadara, Pella, Amman, Capitolias, and Raphana). Two are in Syria (Damascus and Canatha), and two in Israel (Beit-Shean and Hippos-Sussita). Non
The Decapolis and Jesus
The Gospels record Jesus visiting the cities of the Decapolis, but none of them mention which ones. Jesus probably visited Beit-Shean (then called Nysa Scythopolis), as it is on the way from the Galilee to Jerusalem.
Gadara is mentioned in Matthew’s version of the story of the miracle of the swine (8:28), while Gerasa is mentioned Mark’s version to the same story (5:1). In reality, the city of Hippos-Sussita is the closest to the Sea of Galilee, where the event took place. Being so, the swine herders were probably from Hippos-Sussita, or another city (Kursi?) whose name was later forgotten.
Damascus is mentioned in the book of acts, as where Paul converted to Christianity.
Book a Private Tour to Gerasa / Jerash
Points of Interest in the Area
|Eight Days Tour of Jordan|