Idea #564 – Exploring the ruines of Alexander The Great’s Gerasa
Gerasa, known also under the name of Jerash, was founded at the end of the IVth century B.C.. According to the legend, the city would have been created by Alexander the Great, for the benefit of veterans of his army, legend which we find on a coin, struck during the reign of Caracalla in the name “of Alexandre of Macedonia, founder of Gérasa”. However, the city takes its development only in the IIth century B.C., and no previous track was able to be clearly highlighted by archaeological excavations. In 84 BC, the city was taken by Alexandre Jannée who died in 76 there BC. The city was taken by Romains in 63 BC, who transform it into a rich city. In 129, Emperor Hadrien went in Palestine and visited the city. In 614, the city was plundered by the Persians, then the Arabs in 635. It was damaged by several earthquakes, before being definitively plundered during confrontation between Crusaders and Muslims, the latter having transformed the Artemis’s temple into a citadel.
The first excavations were made in the years 1920-1930. After several campaigns of researches, a large number of monuments were exacavated and, often, reconstituted, like the Arc of Hadrien, a racecourse, a big temple of Zeus, Artemis’s temple, an oval plan forum (the biggest of Roman Empire), two thermal establishments, a market – called macellum in latin -, a nymphee dedicated to the Tyche of the city, two theaters, and ruines of houses, included in an immense surrounding wall flanked by towers. At least thirteen churches on grounds covered with mosaics, among which a cathedral, the cathedral Saint Théodore, were found, often in the state of remains.
Where is it ?