Golan, al-Golan or Gaulonitis (Hebrew: גּולן; Arabic: جولان Gōlān or Jōlān; Greek: Γαυλανῖτις Gaulanítis) refers to an area that was shared between the Roman provinces of Palestine and Phenicia. Its main cities were Golan (Gaulan) and Galama. Archaeologists localize the city of Golan at Sahm el-Jaulān where ruins were found from the early Byzantine era.
After the collapse of the Seleucid Empire at the end of the 2nd century BCE, Hasmoneans, Nabateans, Itureans, Herodians and Romans fought for the control of the area. The region was properous between the 2nd and the 7th century CE when paien communities were step by step replaced by Christian ones.
The area is referred in the Bible as the territory of Manasseh in the Bashan. Golan was the most northerly of the three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River (Deuteronomy 4:43). Manasseh gave this city to the Gershonite Levites (Joshua 21:27; 1 Chronicles 6:71). According to the Bible, the Israelites conquered Golan from the Amorites. The city was known to Josephus. Near Golan, Alexander Jannaeus was ambushed by Obodas, king of the Arabians, and his army. It formed the eastern boundary of Galilee and was part of the tetrarchy of Philip. It was described by Eusebius in his Onomasticon as a large village that gave its name to the surrounding country.
- The history and antiquities of al-Golan - International Conference, al-Bassel Center for Archeological Research and Training, 2007-2008.
- Rami Arav, Richard A. Freund (2004). Bethsaida: A City by the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee, vol. 3 (v. 3) (Paperback ed.). Truman State University Press. p. 42. ISBN 1-931112-39-8.
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