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Gadara

the capital of the Roman province of Peraea

It stood on the summit of a mountain about 6 miles southeast 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 northeast 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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