Livias was a city in Palestina Prima, and was an episcopal see, a suffragan of the Caesarea in Palaestina. The traditional location of the Roman city is at Tell er-Rameh, a small hill rising in the plain beyond Jordan, about twelve miles from Jericho. However, new evidence from the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project raises questions about this identification. When the archaeological evidence is compared with data derived from the textual sources, a new theory is proposed that, while Tall er-Rameh was the commercial and residential center of Livias, the area around Tall el-Hammam, which grew in the Early Roman period, was the administrative epicentre of Livias. Archaeological evidence from Shuneh al-Janubiyyah has shown the existence of a church in the diocese, dating from the sixth-eighth centuries. A third Byzantine church was discovered between Tall Kafrayn and Tall el-Hammam (2.6 km to the west of Tall el-Hammam) with a large mosaic floor now being used as a Muslim cemetery.
Under the name of Betharan, Livias is twice mentioned in the Bible About 80 B.C. Alexander Jannaeus captured it from the King of the Arabs; it was then called Betharamphtha. Somewhat later Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee, fortified it with strong walls and called it Livias after the wife of Augustus; Josephus calls it Julias also, because he always speaks of the wife of Augustus as Julia. Nero gave it with its fourteen villages to Agrippa II, and the Roman general Placidus captured it several years later.
- Letoius, who was at Ephesus in 431;
- Pancratius, at Chalcedon in 451;
- Zacharias, at Jerusalem in 536.
- Reland, Palæstina, I (Utrecht, 1714), 496;
- Heidet in Fulcran Vigouroux, Dictionnaire de la Bible, s. v. Bétharan
- Morris Jastrow and Frants Buhl, “Beth–Aram,” Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, N.Y.: Funk & Wagnalls, 1906), 119; Siméon Vailhé, “Livias,” trans. Mario Anello, Catholic Encyclopedia (New York, N.Y.: Appleton Company, 1910), 9:315; William F. Albright, “The Jordan Valley in the Bronze Age,” Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 6 (1925 1924): 49; Nelson Glueck, “Some Ancient Towns in the Plains of Moab,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 91 (1943): 11; Kay Prag, “A Walk in the Wadi Hesban,” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 123 (1991): 60–61; Herbert Donner, The Mosaic Map of Madaba. An Introductory Guide, Palaestina Antiqua 7 (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1992), 39; Estee Dvorjetski, Leisure, Pleasure, and Healing: Spa Culture and Medicine in Ancient Eastern Mediterranean, Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 116 (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 202.
- Graves, David E., and Scott Stripling. “Re-Examination of the Location for the Ancient City of Livias.” Levant 43, no. 2 (2011): 178–200.
- The Christian Sanctuaries in Transjordan 07
- Graves, David E., and Scott Stripling. “Re-Examination of the Location for the Ancient City of Livias.” Levant 43, no. 2 (2011): 195.
- Numbers 32:36; Joshua 13:27
- Josephus, "Ant. Jud.", XIV, i, 4.
- "Ant.", XVIII, ii, 1; "Bel. Jud.", II, ix,l.
- Josephus, "Ant. Jud.", XX, viii, 4.
- Josephus, "Bel. Jud.", IV, vii, 6.
- Oriens Christianus, III, 655.