Qasr al Abd (Castle of the Slave)

Qasr al Abd




Location: 17 km West of Amman Map


History of Qasr al Abd

Qasr al Abd is an archaeological site located 17 km West of Amman in Jordan. The archeological site of Qasr al Abd wad founded by Hyrcanus of Jerusalem in the second century BC. Its name means "castle of the slave" since Hyrcanus as a governor was considered as a slave of its people. The compound was meant as a private residence of the governor surrounded by the wall and gardens, but Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes in his attempt to Hellenize Jews became too much of the threat. Hyrcanus committed suicide in 175 BC in a face of religious persecutions.


2 Maccabees

1: Not long after this the king sent an old man of Athens to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers, and not to live after the laws of God:
2: And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim, of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the place.
3: The coming in of this mischief was sore and grievous to the people


Famous Jewish historian Josephus Flavius described Qasr al Abd as: "A strong fortress, which was constructed entirely of white marble up to the very roof and had beasts of gigantic size carved on it; and he enclosed it with a wide and deep moat". At the first century the building of Qasr al Abd was already abandoned and reflecting pool was mistaken for a defensive moat.