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DECAPOLIS (See also wiki article Decapolis.)

DECAPOLIS - Originally a league of ten cities, Greek in population and constitution, for mutual defence against the Semitic tribes around them. It must have come into existence about the beginning of the Christian era ; perhaps in the time of Pompey (see GERASA and PERAEA). The original ten cities, as enumerated by Pliny, were Scythopolis, Pella, Dion, Gerasa, Philadelphia, Gadara, Raphana, Kanatha, Hippos, and Damascus. Other cities joined the league from time to time. The region of Decapolis (Mt.4.25, Mk.5.20, 7.31) was the territory in which these cities were situated ; that is (excluding Damascus), roughly speaking, the country E. and SE. of the Sea of Galilee. [Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd Ed., T&T.Clark, 1963. - R.A.S.M. - F.C.G.]