|Founded||1st century BCE|
History of Maiuma
In antiquity, Gaza port was the principal port on the Mediterranean serving the Incense Road. Strabo and Ptolemy referred to it as Gazaion limen. The port was distinct from the city, which was located opposite it.
The Port of Gaza was at the end of the Nabataean spice road where trade was conducted in herbs, spices incense, drapery, glass and food. Goods arrived in the port on the backs of camels from Southern Arabia (the Kingdom of Sheba) through Petra, the Arava Valley and crossing Negev Desert via Avdat. At the port of Gaza, these goods were dispatched to the European markets.
It functioned as the port of Gaza (and was sometimes called simply "the port of Gaza") but was recognized as an independent city since the early Christian era. The Greek name Neapolis ("the new city") seems to have also been used in reference to it.
Under the emperor Julian, it was downgraded and the name was changed to Maioumas ("harbor place"), or as "the part of Gaza towards the sea". It became associated at this time with a pagan festival.
Christianity in Maiuma
Maiuma seems to have been an early center of the spread of Christianity, which may explain the treatment of its status by Constantine and Julian. Its population was said to have been largely Egyptian in origin. As the city regained its independence from Gaza, for a certain period of time it had its own bishop, due to Gaza's relatively long resistance to introduction of Christianity. The first known bishop of the city was a certain Zenon in the late 4th or early 5th century, mentioned by Sozomenus. Among others known are Paulianus (or Paulinianus), participant in the First Council of Ephesus in 431; Paul, who took part in the Second Council of Ephesus in 449; Peter the Iberian who was reluctant to serve in the office but was elected by the citizens in 452 nevertheless; John Rufus, his successor; and Procopius, chronologically the last known bishop of Maiuma, known to have participated in the Synod of Jerusalem of 581. Mention must also be made of St. Cosmas of Maiuma.
The city was famous for the fact that the tomb of St. Victor was located in it.
Bishops of Gaza
- Philemon (New Testament person)
- Porphyry of Gaza c. 347–420
- Paul of Gaza 308
- Timothy 304 Bishop of Gaza
- Hieromartyr Silvanus of Gaza, bishop, and with him 40 martyrs (311)
- Bishop Asclepas 325AD attendee at the First Council of Nicaea
- Zeno (or Zenon) around 400AD Bishop of Gaza
- Peter the Iberian c. 411-491 elected c 453
- John Rufus, Peter's successor c491
- Paulinianus, c 431AD participant in the First Council of Ephesus
- Paul, c 449AD attendee at the Second Council of Ephesus
- Samonas Bishop of Gaza
- St. Cosmas of Maiuma. c742AD
- Procopius, chronologically the last known bishop of Maiuma, known to have participated in the Synod of Jerusalem of 581AD
- Henricus van de Wetering ( Titular Archbishop of Gaza)
Remains of Maiuma
Maiuma is identified with al-Mina, about 4 kilometers from Gaza towards the sea. Remarkable archaeological findings from the site include the mosaic floor of a synagogue representing King David with a lyre, dated to the early 6th century AD and discovered in the mid-1960s. The city appears to have been fortified, but the enclosure wall still seems hard to trace.
- The Children of Noah: Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times, 1999, Raphael Patai
- Hecht Museum The Nabateans in the Negev Curator: Renate Rosenthal-Haginbottom
- Israeli MFA
- Hanan Eshel (2008) The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hasmonean State Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-6285-3 pp 117-133
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- E. g. Strabo, Geography, 16. 2. 21
- Cart. Mad. 114
- Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 4. 37; Sozomenus, Ecclesiastical History, 5. 3
- Sozomenus, Ecclesiastical History, 5. 3; 7. 28
- Bruria Bitton-Ashkelony and Arieh Kofsky (2004) Christian Gaza in late antiquity BRILL, ISBN 90-04-13868-4 p 3
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- Antoninus Placentinus 33; Cart. Mad. 125
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- Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Band XIV, Halbband 27, Lysimachos-Mantike (1928), s. 610.
- Jordan: The Madaba Mosaic Map. DISCUSSION: Ascalon, Gaza, Negev and Sinai. 124. Maiumas, which is also Neapolis - (al-Minah). Accessed January 11, 2013.