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Perea (region)

Perea and its surroundings in the 1st century CE
Incorporation into Ptolemaic Kingdom & Nabataean Kingdom 200 BCE
Incorporation into Arabia Petraea 106–630 CE

Perea or Peraea (Greek: Περαία, "the country beyond"), was the portion of the kingdom of Herod the Great occupying the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, from about one third the way down from the Sea of Galilee to about one third the way down the eastern shore of the Dead Sea; it did not extend too far to the east. Herod the Great's kingdom was bequeathed to four heirs, of which Herod Antipas received both Perea and Galilee.[1] He dedicated the city Livias in the north of the Dead Sea.[2] In 39 CE, Perea and Galilee were transferred from disfavoured Antipas to Agrippa I by Caligula.[3] With his death in 44 CE, Agrippa's merged territory was made province again, including Judaea and for the first time, Perea.[4] From that time[5] Perea was part of the shifting Roman provinces to its west: Judaea, and later Syria Palaestina, Palaestina and Palaestina Prima. Attested mostly in Josephus' books, the term was in rarer use in the late Roman period. It appears in Eusebius' Greek language geographical work, Onomasticon, but in the Latin translation by Jerome, Transjordan is used.

Perea was the area inhabited by the Israelite Tribes Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. New Testament commentators speak of Jesus' "Perean Ministry", beginning with his departure from Galilee (Matt 19:1; Mark 10:1) and ending with the anointing by Mary in Bethany (Matt 26) or his journey towards Jerusalem commencing from Mark 10:32.


  • Pliny the Elder & Josephus 1
  • Other Sites Named Perea 2
  • Hasmonean Incorporation 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Pliny the Elder & Josephus

['Greater Judea' or 'Provincia Iudaea', incorporates Samaria and Idumea into an expanded territory.] The part of Judaea adjoining Syria is called Galilee, and that next to Arabia and Egypt Peraea. Peraea is covered with rugged mountains, and is separated from the other parts of Judaea by the river Jordan (in the original Latin: "Supra Idumaeam et Samariam Iudaea longe lateque funditur. pars eius Syriae iuncta Galilaea vocatur, Arabiae vero et Aegypto proxima Peraea, asperis dispersa montibus et a ceteris Iudaeis Iordane amne discreta.")[6][7][8]
Peraea ...much larger indeed [than Galilee], is generally desert and rugged, and too wild for the growth of delicate fruits. In some parts, however the soil is loamy and prolific, and trees of various kinds cover the plains ; but the olive-tree, the vine, and the palm tree, are those principally cultivated. It is also sufficiently irrigated by mountain streams ; and (should these in the dog-days fail) by ever flowing springs. In length, it extends from Machaerus to Pella : in breadth, from Philadelphia to the Jordan : its northern districts being bounded, as we have already said, by Pella ; and those on the west, by the river. The land of Moab forms its southern limit ; while Arabia and Silbonitis, with Philadelphia and Gerasa, constitute its eastern boundary.[9][10]

Other Sites Named Perea

The Christian Armenians who were deported from Armenia and forcibly settled in the New Julfa/Isfahan region of Iran named a major village "Perea" in honor of the important significance of Perea as the resting place of John the Baptist.

Hasmonean Incorporation

See also


  1. ^ Mason, S. PACE: , 2.}.} (Whiston)The Jewish War.
  2. ^ Mason, S. PACE: , 2.}.} (Whiston)The Jewish War.
  3. ^ Mason, S. PACE: , 2.}.} (Whiston)The Jewish War. and note 1164
  4. ^ Mason, S. PACE: , 2.}.} (Whiston)The Jewish War. and notes 1370, 1376
  5. ^ Two cities of Perea, Abela and Iulias (Livias), make an exception, having been kept by Agrippa II (Mason, S. PACE: , 2.}.} (Whiston)The Jewish War.) to his death c. 100 CE.
  6. ^ "PLINY'S NATURAL HISTORY - Book V". Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Pliny, NH, V
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Silbonitis is a textual error for Sebonitis, i.e.  )

External links

  • Perea entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith

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