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Tiberias

From Academic Kids

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Tiberias1862.jpg
Tiberias in 1862, the ruins reminiscent of its ancient heritage.

Tiberias (Hebrew טבריה, Teverya; Arabic طبرية, Ṭabariyyah) is a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Lower Galilee, Israel. It was named in honour of the emperor Tiberius.

Tiberias was built at about AD 20 by Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, and it became the capital of his realm in Galilee.

During Herod's time, the Jews refused to settle there; the presence of a cemetery rendered the site ritually unclean. However, Antipas forcibly settled people there from rural Galilee in order to populate his new capital. In time, Tiberias became one of the country's four Holy Cities, a centre of Jewish learning and the arts. Also the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court, chose it as one of its meeting places. It was in fact the final meeting place before the disbandment. Following the expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem after 135, Tiberias and its neighbor Sepphoris became the major centers of Jewish culture. The Mishnah, which grew into the Jerusalem Talmud, may have begun to have been written here.

Under Byzantine and Arab rule, the city declined and was devastated by wars and earthquakes in the Middle Ages. During the crusades it was the central city of the Principality of Galilee in the Kingdom of Jerusalem; the region was sometimes called the Principality of Tiberias, or the Tiberiad. Saladin besieged it during his invasion of the kingdom in 1187, and in October of that year defeated the crusaders at the Battle of Hattin outside the city. Around this time the original site of the city was abandoned, and settlement shifted north to the present location.

In the 16th century, Suleiman the Magnificent gave it back to the Jews, and Tiberias flourished again for a hundred years. It was devastated again, and again resettled by Hassidic Jews.

Today, Tiberias is Israel's most popular holiday resort in the northern half of the country.

A Sanhedrin was officially reestablished in October, 2004 in a meeting in Tiberias [1] (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=70349). However it is generally not accepted as legitimate by other Jewish scholars, since many believe that the return of Elijah must occur first, as only Elijah unquestionably has the necessary ordination to convene a Sanhedrin.

Other transliterations

External links

he:טבריה la:Tiberias nl:Tiberias pl:Tybieriada ru:Тиверия

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