Shalom! Continuing our journey in Israel, if you missed my earlier posts, check out Shalom! Israel
Next stop was to Zippori National Park located in the western Lower Galilee. It was also our last stop in Galilee. Remains of a magnificent city were discovered here – a system of streets, public buildings, dwellings, a theatre, a central market, bathhouses, a synagogue and churches. They are mainly dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods, and a fortress and a church from the Crusader period.
Brief History of Zippori
Zippori is mentioned for the first time during the reign of Alexander Janaeus (103 BC). However some archaeological findings at the site date to the First Temple period. In 63 BC, the country conquered by the Roman army under Pompeii, and in 55 BC, Gabinius, governor of Syria, declared Zippori the capital of the Galilee. In Herod’s time (47 BC), Zippori continued to be the capital of the Galilee. After his death in 4 AD, the Jews revolted against the Romans and captured Zippori. However the Roman army quelled the rebellion and burned the city, selling its Jewish inhabitants in slavery. The Galilee subsequently came under the rule of Herod’s son, Antipas, who rebuilt and fortified Zippori.
In 66 AD, the first revolt of the Jews against the Romans broke out. However, the people of Zippori made a treaty with the Roman army, thus protecting their city from destruction.
In 324 AD, Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire, which marks the opening of the Byzantine period. Constantine supported a converted Jew by the name of Joseph, bestowing on him the title, “friend of the emperor”, allowing him to build a church in Zippori.
The Roman Theatre was built in the late first or early second century AD. Carved into the bedrock on the steep northern slope of the hill and it seated 4,000.
The Hunter Mosaic
The Centaur Mosaic – Centaurs originate in Greek mythology, and are half man and half horse. The Centaur depicted here is holding a shield or a dish with the Greek inscription” “Helpful God”.
For more information on Zippori, check out Israel Nature & Parks Authority.
For more on my Israel trip, check out Shalom! Israel.
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