In the third century BC, the Hellenistic period, Jerome became a member of the Federation of Greek cities of the Decapolis. Then it was known as Gerasim.
Gerasim and other cities of the Decapolis were conquered by Pompey in 63 BC, which ended up being a positive development. Jerome enjoyed semi-autonomous status and considerable authority in the Roman province of Syria, during which prospered from its position on the path of incense and spice trade.
Jerome lost its autonomy under the Emperor Trojan, but the annexation of Petra in 106 AD brought the city more wealth. Favorite city of Adrian, who stayed there during the winter 129-30, there is growing economic and social development in the second century. Some temples were built during this period, including the Temple of Artemis (150 AD) and the Temple of Zeus (162 AD).
After a period of decline in the third century, Jerome was reborn as a Christian city in the Byzantine Empire. It flourished particularly during the reign of Justinian (527-65), during which at least seven churches were added to the city.
The last church was built in 611, but everything went downhill from there. The city was conquered by the Persians in 614, captured by the Muslims in 635 and was badly damaged by several earthquakes in the 8th century.
In 720, Caliph Yazid II decreed that "all images and portraits of his dominions, of bronze and stone and wood, and pigments, must be destroyed." Obedience to this command can be seen in a mosaic of some churches Jerome, like that of St. John the Baptist. But others are already so damaged that they could not see the puzzle (for example, the church of San Damiano and space), escaped the destruction of
When the Crusaders arrived in the 12th century, Jerome has been uninhabited for some time. Unfortunately, the garrison in the region, Atabay Damascus Temple of Artemis made a fortress that was captured and completely destroyed (apparently, the fire), King Baldwin II of Jerusalem in 1112.
Jerome began excavations in 1920 and continues to this day.
What to See
Jerash is a large and fascinating archaeological site. Visitors enter on the south side through Hadrian's Arch, built in honor of its namesake. Nearby is the Hippodrome, where chariot races and sporting events were held. A little way down the track is the South Gate, part of the 4th-century AD city wall.
Go to the races
Catch the hedonistic fever of ancient Rome in a trip to the races at Jerash, a magnificently preserved, Greco-Roman city where daily chariot races are staged at the recently restored Hippodrome.
The well known Jerash Festival is being replaced by the "Jordan Festival" for the summer of 2010. This is being planned with some big names on the list of performers like Amr Diab, Elissa, Ragheb Alameh, Fadel Shaker, Assi Hillani, Cheb Khaled and Faudel. There are huge names expected to make an appearance as well like the famous Opera singer Placido Domingo and the popular singer Mika!
Jerash is laid out in the traditional Roman grid pattern of streets based around the main avenues - the north-south "Cardo" and the east-west "Decumanus". They met in the middle of the city at the "Tetrapylon" a small square that was bordered by a colonnade and surrounded by a number of small shops. Originally there were statues on the plinths, and this is where notices of public events were published.
Where to sleep:
The Hadrian's Gate Hotel, just opposite to Hadrian's Arch! This is a very small and simple hotel.
The Olive Branch on a hill about 15kms or 10 miles away.
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