Jerash: Roman Ruins

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September 1995

Roman Ruins Jerash, Jordan

     Scott visited Jerash, but for some odd reason, ran out of film and didn't have more. He was able to get off one photo of the infamous Hadrian's arch (see below).  Too bad because from what I heard, these ruins are far more impressive than the ones in the heart of Amman.  Here's a little about the Ancient city and it's ruins:

     Jerash is located about 48 km north of Amman.  It was known in ancient times as "Gerasa" and is one of the best preserved roman ruins in the near east.  It was a city of the Decapolis (a group of ten Roman-controlled cities settled by Greeks; the 10 most important trade/strategic cities), which was formed about 63 BC., after the Roman conquest.  In AD 90, Jerash was absorbed by the Roman province of Arabia, which included the city of Philadelphia (modern day Amman).

     In 106 AD, the Emperor Trajan constructed roads throughout the provinces and trade came to Jerash. The Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in 129-130 AD. There is an inscription which shows that.  The Triumphal Arch was built to celebrate his visit.

     The city finally reached a size of about 800,000 square meters. A Persian invasion in AD 614 caused the  decline of Jerash. However, the city did well during the Umayyad Period. In AD 746, an earthquake destroyed much of Jerash. During the Crusades, some of the monuments were converted to fortresses, including the Temple of Artemis. Small settlements continued in Jerash during the Ayyubid, Mameluk and Ottoman periods. In 1878, Circassians settled there. Excavation and restoration of Jerash began in the 1920s.

     Some of the buildings in Jerash include: Hadrian's Arch (see photo below), a hippodrome, two large temples (Zeus and Artemis), and an oval Forum which is surrounded by a colonnade. There is also a long colonnaded street, two theatres, two baths, some small temples and almost all-in-tact city walls. Between 400-600 AD, more than thirteen churches were built, many with mosaic floors, which are well preserved.

Above: Hadrian's Arch


Sites you might like to visit:

Bible Places

Sacred Destinations Travel Guide

Visit Jordan

Ottoman Empire

Umayyad

Emporer Trajan

Emporer Hadrian

Crusades

Zeus

Artemis

Hippodrome

Nice Large photo gallery of the Ruins

 


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