Gadara definition


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From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary [easton]:

     the capital of the Roman province of Peraea. It stood on the
     summit of a mountain about 6 miles south-east of the Sea of
     Galilee. Mark (5:1) and Luke (8:26-39) describe the miracle of
     the healing of the demoniac (Matthew [8:28-34] says two
     demoniacs) as having been wrought "in the country of the

     Gadarenes," thus describing the scene generally. The miracle
     could not have been wrought at Gadara itself, for between the
     lake and this town there is the deep, almost impassable ravine
     of the Hieromax (Jarmuk). It is identified with the modern
     village of Um-Keis, which is surrounded by very extensive ruins,
     all bearing testimony to the splendour of ancient Gadara.
       "The most interesting remains of Gadara are its tombs, which
     dot the cliffs for a considerable distance round the city,
     chiefly on the north-east declivity; but many beautifully
     sculptured sarcophagi are scattered over the surrounding
     heights. They are excavated in the limestone rock, and consist
     of chambers of various dimensions, some more than 20 feet
     square, with recesses in the sides for bodies...The present
     inhabitants of Um-Keis are all troglodytes, 'dwelling in tombs,'
     like the poor maniacs of old, and occasionally they are almost
     as dangerous to unprotected travellers."

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