Settlements > Abila



Abila (also spelled Abela or Abilene) was an ancient city located in the region known as Abilene, which is mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible. There are two significant locations named Abila in ancient history:

Abila of the Decapolis: This Abila was one of the ten cities of the Decapolis, a league of Greco-Roman cities in the southeastern Levant. It was situated in modern-day Jordan, near the border with Syria. Abila of the Decapolis was strategically located along trade routes and served as a prominent center of commerce and culture during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The city boasted theaters, temples, and other public buildings typical of Greco-Roman urban centers.

Abila Lysaniou: Another notable Abila was located in the region of Iturea, in what is now modern-day Lebanon. This Abila is mentioned in the New Testament (Luke 3:1) as part of the territory ruled by Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene. It was likely a smaller settlement compared to Abila of the Decapolis but still held regional significance.

Both Abilas were likely influenced by Greek and Roman culture due to their proximity to Hellenistic and Roman territories. They would have been centers of trade, administration, and cultural exchange, connecting the eastern Mediterranean with the Levant and beyond.

While archaeological evidence attests to the existence of these sites, much about their history and significance remains speculative or inferred from ancient texts and inscriptions.


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