The town is one of the ten cities of the Decapolis listed by Pliny the Elder. It was founded as a planned Roman city, perhaps for military purposes, under Nerva or Trajan in AD 97 or 98, the date from which, according to the coins it minted, it dated its special era. Inscriptions show that local citizens served in the Roman army. It was surrounded by a wall built in the 2nd century and had an area of 12.5 hectares according to one source, 20 acres according to another.
In the rearrangement associated with the creation of the Roman province of Arabia in 106, Capitolias became part of the province of Palaestina Secunda, whose capital was Scythopolis. It is mentioned by many geographers, including Hierocles and George of Cyprus in the 6th and 7th centuries.
- Antiochus was at the First Council of Nicaea in 325
- Anianus/Ananias took part in the Council of Chalcedon in 451
- Bassus is mentioned in 518
- Two bishops named Theodosius are mentioned, one in 536, the other in 600
In the 12th century the see was an independent archbishopric, as appears from a "Notitia Episcopatuum" of that time. No longer a residential bishopric, Capitolias is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.
The city wall, with three north-facing gates, can be traced on the surface Other remains include a temple of the Capitoline Triad, a three-tiered marketplace, a colonnaded street, a 5th-century church that was converted into a mosque in the 8th century, an aqueduct, reservoirs, a Roman military cemetery, and paved roads.
- C.J. Lenzen, E.A. Knauf, "Capitolias: A Preliminary Evaluation of the Archaeological and Textual Evidence" in Syria, Year 1987, Issue 64–1–2, pp. 21–46
- Beit Ras/Capitolias: A Preliminary Evaluation of the Archaeological and Textual Evidence. JSTOR 4198595. Retrieved 11 July 2013. (same text, not free)
- The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites: "Capitolias (Beit Ras) Jordan"
- Jewish Virtual Library: "Capitolias"
- Pliny's Natural History 5.16.74
- Siméon Vailhé, "Capitolias" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908)
- Lequien III, 715
- Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 454
- David Richard Thomas et al. (editors), Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History (600-900) (BRILL 2009 ISBN 978-90-0416975-3), pp. 419–422
- Hugh N. Kennedy, The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East (Ashgate Publishing 2006 ISBN 978-0-75465909-9), p. 333
- H. Gelzer, in Byzantin. Zeithschrift, I, 253, cited by Siméon Vailhé in Catholic Encyclopedia
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 857
- Beit Ras Excavations: 1988 and 1989. JSTOR 4198840. Retrieved 11 July 2013.