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KNOWN BY THE ROMANS AS GADARA
110 km north of Amman, on the northwest border of Jordan, lays the Decapolis city of Umm Qais which was known by the Romans as Gadara. The city reached its full glory under Roman rule, and was famous for the richness of its intellectual life, being the birthplace of several classical Philosophers, poets and writers. Not only popular because of the extensive ruins but because of its magnificent panoramic views over the Golan Heights, Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee) and the Jordan Valley.
The ancient city of Gadara is also believed to be the site where Jesus Christ cast out demons from two men and forced the evil spirits to enter a herd of pigs, which in turn rushed down the steep slope and drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Matthew chapter 8, 28-34).
Much of what can be seen today was actually constructed during the 2nd century AD. A visitor can observe the West Theater which was constructed from the black basalt, and once seated an audience of 3,000 people. Beside the West Theater, stand the black basalt Corinthian columns of the 6th century octagonal Byzantine church, and further west is a bath complex. Numerous Greco-Roman tombs and a colonnaded street can also be observed.