Dathema or Diathema was the name of a fortress in Gilead to which the Jews fled when hard pressed by Timotheus of Ammon. There they shut themselves in, prepared for a siege, and sent to Judas Maccabeus for aid (I Maccabees v. 9-11). Dathema was one of many places in a similar plight, and seems, from the description of it, to have been strongly enough fortified to necessitate "an innumerable people bearing ladders and other engines of war" to take it. Judas attacked in three divisions, drove off Timotheus, killed eight thousand of the enemy, and saved the city (I Macc. v. 29-34). The Peshitta reads "Rametha," from which George Adam Smith ("Historical Geography of the Holy Land," p. 589) infers that it was perhaps Ramath Gilead. Conder suggests the modern Dameh on the southern border of the Lejah district. It can not, however, be positively identified.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Dathema". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.