Damascusthe capital of modern Syria  Damascus was further north than the others and so is sometimes thought to have been an "honorary" member.
Damascusthe capital of modern Syria  Damascus was further north than the others and so is sometimes thought to have been an "honorary" member. Josephus stated that Scythopolis was the largest of the ten towns.
Some were established under the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Judea until BC. Others were founded later, when the Seleucid dynasty ruled the region.
Some of the cities included "Antiochia" or "Seleucia" in their official names Antiochia Hippos, for examplewhich attest to Seleucid origins. The cities were Greek from their founding, modeling themselves on the Greek polis.
The Decapolis was a region where two cultures interacted: There was some conflict. The Greek inhabitants were shocked by the Semitic practice of circumcisionwhile various elements of Semitic dissent towards the dominant and assimilative nature of Hellenic civilization arose gradually in the face of assimilation.
At the same time, cultural blending and borrowing also occurred in the Decapolis region. The cities acted as centers for the diffusion of Greek culture. Some local deities began to be called by the name Zeusfrom the chief Greek god. Meanwhile, in some cities Greeks began worshipping these local "Zeus" deities alongside their own Zeus Olympios.
There is evidence that the colonists adopted the worship of other Semitic gods, including Phoenician deities and the chief Nabatean god, Dushara worshipped under his Hellenized name, Dusares.
The worship of these Semitic gods is attested to in coins and inscriptions from the cities. The people of the Hellenized cities welcomed Pompey as a liberator from the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom that had ruled much of the area.
When Pompey reorganized the region, he awarded a group of these cities with autonomy under Roman protection. This was the origin of the Decapolis.
For centuries the cities based their calendar era on this conquest: Autonomy under Rome[ edit ] Decapolis region and its surroundings in the 1st century Under Roman rule, the cities of the Decapolis were not included in the territory of the Herodian kingdomits successor states of the Herodian tetrarchyor the Roman province of Judea.
Instead, the cities were allowed considerable political autonomy under Roman protection. Each city functioned as a polis or city-statewith jurisdiction over an area of the surrounding countryside. Each minted its own coins. Many coins from Decapolis cities identify their city as "autonomous," "free," "sovereign," or "sacred," terms that imply some sort of self-governing status.
The Romans sponsored and built numerous temples and other public buildings. The imperial cultthe worship of the Roman emperor, was a very common practice throughout the Decapolis and was one of the features that linked the different cities. This has led to their common identification today as a "federation" or "league".
The Decapolis was probably never an official political or economic union; most likely it signified the collection of city-states which enjoyed special autonomy during early Roman rule.
According to Matthew 4: The Decapolis was one of the few regions where Jesus travelled in which Gentiles were in the majority:The analysis reveals that hierarchies of desirability – or “leagues” – emerge in anonymized data from online dating networks in four major U.S. cities. The majority of people in these dating networks contact prospects who are ~25 percent more desirable than themselves.
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