Antipatris

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For the site near Haifa, see Tel Afek.
Ras al-Ayn, the Ottoman fortress at the head of the Yarkon River
Aerial view, 2014

Antipatris (Ancient Greek: Αντιπατρίς), one of two places known as Tel Afek (Hebrew: תל אפק‎), was a city built by Herod the Great, and named in honour of his father, Antipater II of Judea. It lay between Caesarea Maritima and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem.[1]

Tel Afek lies east of Petah Tikva and west of Kafr Qasim and Rosh HaAyin, near the source of the Yarkon River.[2]

History[edit]

Tel Afek[edit]

Prior to the establishment of classic Antipatris, Tel Afek had earlier served as a fortress and major strategic points in battles between the Egyptians, Israelites and Philistines in the Bronze and Iron Age, until it fell into ruin prior to Herod's rebuilding. Afek is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an organization point of Philistines during the straggle with Israelites in the 11th century BCE.

Establishment of Antipatris[edit]

Antipatris was a city built by Herod the Great, and named in honor of his father, Antipater II of Judea. It lay between Caesarea Maritima and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem.[3] The city was destroyed in 363 CE by an earthquake.

Ottoman Ras al-Ayn[edit]

Ottoman records indicate that a Mamluk fortress may have stood on the site.[4] However, the Ottoman fortress was built following the publication of a firman in 1573 CE (981 H.):

"You have sent a letter and have reported that four walls of the fortress Ras al-Ayn have been built, [..] I have commanded that when [this firman] arrives you shall [..have built] the above mentioned rooms and mosque with its minaret and have the guards remove the earth outside and clean and tidy [the place].[5]

The fortress was built to protect a vulnerable stretch of the Cairo-Damascus highway (the Via Maris), and was provided with 100 horsemen and 30 foot soldiers. The fortress was also supposed to supply soldiers to protect the hajj route.[6] The fortress is a massive rectangular enclosure with four corner towers and a gate at the centre of the west side. The south-west tower is octagonal, while the three other towers have a square ground plan.[7] There had also been an Arab peasant village at the site which, however, became deserted in the 1920s.[8]

Yarkon-Tel Afek national park[edit]

Currently, the site of Antipatris is included in the national park "Yarkon-Tel Afek", incorporating the area of the Ottoman fortress, the remains of the Roman city and the British water pumping station.

References[edit]

  1. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 
  4. ^ Heyd, 1960, p.108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  5. ^ Heyd, 1960, p. 107-108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  6. ^ Heyd, 1960, p. 106. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  7. ^ Petersen, 2002, p.255
  8. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p396

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 32°06′18″N 34°55′49.5″E / 32.10500°N 34.930417°E / 32.10500; 34.930417