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Ras al-Ayn, the Ottoman fortress at the head of the river Awja

This article incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897), a publication now in the public domain.

Antipatris, one of two places known as Tel Afek, was a city built by Herod the Great, and named in honour of his father, Antipater II of Judea. It lay between Caesarea Maritima and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem.

Tel Afek served as a fortress and major strategic points in battles between the Egyptians, Israelites and Philistines in the Bronze Age, until it fell into ruin prior to Herod's rebuilding. The city was destroyed in 363 CE by an earthquake. It was later used as a fort by the Crusaders, Arabs and Turks when it was known as Majdal Yaba.

The city ruins are located in Tel Afek (Hebrew: תל אפק‎), east of Petah Tikva and west of Kafr Qasim and Rosh HaAyin, near the source of the Yarkon River.[1]


Ras al-Ayn

Ottoman records indicates that there might have been an older, possibly Mamluk fortress on the site.[2] However, the present Ottoman fortress was built following the publication of a firman in 1573 A.D. (981 H.):

"You have sent a letter and have reported that four walls of the fortress Ras al-Ayn have been built, [..] I have commanded that when [this firman] arrives you shall [..have built] the above mentioned rooms and mosque with its minaret and have the guards remove the earth outside and clean and tidy [the place].[3]

The fortress was built to protect a vulnerable stretch of the Cairo-Damascus highway (the Via Maris), and was provided with 100 horsemen and 30 foot soldiers. The fortress was also supposed to supply soldiers to protect the hajj route.[4]


The Fortress

The fortress is a massive rectangular enclosure with four corner towers and a gate at the centre of the west side. The south-west tower is octagonal, while the three other towers have a square ground plan.[5]

The Village

There was a Palestinian village at the site which, however, became deserted in the 1920s.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Heydn, 1960, p.108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  3. ^ Heydn, 1960, p. 107-108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  4. ^ Heydn, 1960, p. 106. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  5. ^ Petersen, 2002, p.255
  6. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p396


External links

Coordinates: 32°06′18″N 34°55′49.5″E / 32.105°N 34.930417°E / 32.105; 34.930417

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

a city built by Herod the Great, and called by this name in honour of his father, Antipater. It lay between Caesarea and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem. To this place Paul was brought by night (Acts 23:31) on his way to Caesarea, from which it was distant 28 miles. It is identified with the modern, Ras-el-Ain, where rise the springs of Aujeh, the largest springs in Palestine.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

This article needs to be merged with ANTIPATRIS (Jewish Encyclopedia).
This article needs to be merged with Antipatris (Catholic Encyclopedia).


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