Amathus

Amathus (Α᾿μαθούς, -οῦντος , also τὰ Α᾿μαθά), a strongly-fortified town beyond the Jordan, which Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. AEtham) place twenty-one Roman miles south of Pella. It was taken by Alexander Jannaeus (Josephus, War, 1, 4, 3; Ant. 13, 13, 3), and its importance is shown by the fact that Gabinius made it the seat of one of the five jurisdictions (συνέδρια) into which he divided the country (Ant. 14, 5, 4; War, 1, 8, 5). Josephus elsewhere (Ant. 17, 10, 6) mentions that a palace was burnt at Amatha (q.v.) on the Jordan, which was probably the same place. It is mentioned as the seat of a Christian bishopric at the Council of Chalcedon (Concil. 4, 118). Reland (Paloest. p. 559 sq.) thinks it is mentioned in the Talmud by the name of Amathu (עֲמָתוּ), and that it may be the same with Ramoth-Gilead. Burckhardt passed the ruins of an ancient city standing on the declivity of the mountain, called Amata, near the Jordan, and a little to the north of the Zerka or Jabbok; and was told that several columns remain standing, and also some large buildings (Travels, p. 346). This is doubtless the site (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 284), although not quite so far south as the Onomasticon would make it (Raumer, — Palast. p. 213).

 
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