Ermak Travel Guide

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Eleutheropolis

Eleutheropolis

Eleutheropolis is an ancient city situated 53 km South- West of Jerusalem in Israel. This city was found by the Romans carries a Greek name that means (“the city of the free”). It is quiet common for the Romans of the time to venerate Hellenistic (Greek) culture and its language. In fact many Romans choose Greek as a language for poetry and literally works just like Latin was considered a language of the high statue in Medieval Europe. The city is located 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Jerusalem.

 

 

Location: 53 km South- West of Jerusalem   Map

 

 

 

History of Eleutheropolis

Eleutheropolis was called Beit Guvrin or Bet Gubrin initially, but after Roman suppression of Bar Kokhba’s revolt in 132- 135 AD the city is destroyed. Those who are captured are all sold into slavery. On January 1st, 200 emperor Septemius Severus re-establishes the city under a new name.

The city grew and became quiet important. It became the seat of bishopric in its bishop Macrinus goes to the first Council of Nicea in 325. Eusebeus of Caesaeria who lived in the time period even uses the city as a starting point for measuring distances of other locations. Church texts mention 50 soldiers who are (captured probably by Persians) and executed here for their Christian beliefs. Ironically the city is destroyed in 796 from its own civil war.

The Crusaders in the 12th century captured these lands, rebuild many of the Byzantine churches including that of Santa Anna in nearby Maresha. But Saladin soon recaptured the area. Crusaders managed to retake these lands under Richard the Lion Heart, but soon lost again the lands to Bibars.

 

Roman Amphitheatre

Fairly well preserved this was the site of gladiator fights and public executions. With arrival of Christianity the bloodshed stopped and this are served the citizens of Eleutheropolis as an open market.

 

Crusader citadel and church

Although badly damaged these structures carry distinctly European architecture that the Crusaders sough to preserve in the Holy Land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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