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The semicircular building itself is covered with a half-dome, and ornamented with particular richness and beauty. It is remarkable throughout these ruins, how admirably the columns and buildings are disposed for producing effect in combination.Of two bridges, a good deal of the one to the east remains, and the arches reach across the river, though it is not passable owing to the destruction of the upper part. There is a paved road between the colonnades leading from the bridge.” · The ground occupied by this city, which was nearly in the form of a square, might have been enclosed by a line of four English miles in length; the distance from the ruined gateway on the south to the small temple on the north being about five thousand feet. It stood on the corresponding slopes of two opposite hills, with a narrow but not a deep valley between them, through which ran a clear stream of water springing from fountains near the centre of the town, and bending its way thence to the southward. But so complete is the desolation of this once magnificent place, that Bedouin Arabs now encamp among its ruins for the sake of the rivulet by which they are washed, as they would collect near a well in the midst of their native desert. Such portions of the soil as are still cultivated, are ploughed by men who claim no property in it; and the same spot accordingly is occupied by different persons every succeeding year, as time and chance may happen to direct.
Mr Buckingham thinks that the similarity of situation, as well as of name, would lead to the conclusion that this Jerash of the Arabs is the same with the Gergasha of the Hebrews. Reland gives a variety of derivations, quoted from Pliny, Jambli. chus, Epiphanius, and Origen; all of which are much more satisfactory, as they regard the position of a certain town in the Land of Gilead, than as they convey any precise ideas as to its etymological import. After the Romans conquered Judea, the country beyond the Jordan became one of their favourite colonies; to which, from the circumstances of its containing ten cities, they gave the name of Decapolis,—an appellation recognised by St Mark in the seventh chapter of his Gospel. Geraza, it is presumed, was one of those cities; and, although its history is darkened with more than the usual doubt which attaches to the Jewish annals after the fall of Jerusalem, there is reason to believe that in the time of Vespasian it suffered the penalty of rebellion, and was finally destroyed by the Saracens when they attacked the eastern boundaries of the empire.
We must satisfy ourselves with a mere glance at the hills of Gilead--the rich pasture-lands of the tribe of Reuben, and formerly the kingdom of the gi. gantic Og, the monarch of Bashan. It is well known that the Valley of the Jordan is bounded on the east by a range of mountains still more lofty than those which skirt its western limits; but it was not suspected, till lately, that the former concealed in their recesses some of the richest scenery and most valuable land any where to be found in Palestine. Rising gradually from the bed of the river, the traveller soon finds himself on a platform seven or eight hundred feet above its level ; forming a district of extraordinary fertility, abounding with the most beautiful prospects, clothed with thick forests, di. versified with verdant slopes, and possessing exten
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