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Roman Provincial Coins from the Decapolis, Syria and Arabia
The Decapolis means "the ten cities" in Greek, yet we don't really know how many cities there were, or where they were. In 106 A.D., under the Roman emperor Trajan, the Nabataean Kingdom and the cities of the Decapolis were incorporated into the newly established Provinces of Syria and Arabia.
|The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity,” for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.|
|Jerash, Jordan is north of the national capital Amman. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, it’s known for the ruins of the walled Greco-Roman city Gerasa just outside the modern city. The historian Josephus mentions the city as being principally inhabited by Syrians, but also having a small Jewish community. "Jerash lamps" parallel the very similar Jewish "Daroma" lamps" of Judaea. A large group of "Jerash lamps" was found in a potters shop excavated in Jerash, hence the name. Some Jerash lamps have been found in Israel, at Beit-Guvrin, Nazareth, Caesarea, and other sites. Usually the nozzle is decorated with a fig or grape leaf, decorations on the shoulders vary but floral and geometric patterns are most common. Jerash lamps are most easily identified when they have a red slip is carelessly splashed on the upper half.|