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    jerash....

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    تاريخ التسجيل : 28/10/2009

    jerash....

    مُساهمة من طرف معاذ العيدة في الخميس مارس 04, 2010 1:55 pm






    Jerash , جرش
    A visit to the spectacular Roman ruins of Jerash immediately transports the visitor two thousand years back in time. The city's many splendid monumental remains, still retain the atmosphere of the once thriving metropolis, famous in its own time for magnificent temples, amphitheaters, and plazas. From the buildings and the many other well preserved structures, it is easy to imagine the city in its heyday: Down the colonnaded streets, chariots would have trundled, their wheels etching ever deeper the already well-worn grooves. The little shops that line the streets would have stocked exotic goods brought in from Persia, and Egypt, and the bustle of the city would have been punctuated by other sounds; the gentle splash of water flowing from the fountains of the Nymphaeum; The tapping of builders and masons at work; and the occasional roar of a satisfied crowd being entertained in the amphitheaters. Although now in ruins the spirit of Roman Gerasa lives on.
    Finds at Jerash indicate that this fertile site has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

    In the days of Alexander the Great (332 BC), the city grew increasingly prosperous and important until, in 63 BC, the Roman emperor Pompey conquered the region. The ancient Arabic name of Garshu was changed to Gerasa, and Jerash became part of the Roman Empire and, soon after, a member of the Decapolis.

    Through agriculture, iron-ore mining at Ajloun (just to the north), and trade with the Nabataeans, Gerasa rapidly became one of the wealthiest cities in the Roman Empire. A new city plan, befitting Gerasa's status, was drawn up in the 1st Century. This design is typical of Roman provincial cities, and features a colonnaded main street intersected by two side streets, down which one can still walk today.

    Historians disagree over the exact definition of the Decapolis, but it is thought to have been a loose but dynamic league of ten Graeco-Roman cities, including Philadelphia (present-day Amman), Damascus, Pella, Abila and Gadara (now Um Qais), bound by powerful commercial, political and cultural interests.

    From their base in Petra, the Nabateans had exercised control over the lucrative trade in Indian silks, spices and incense, African ivory and animal hides. They levied heavy duties on these precious goods, and collected money to protect the caravans from bandits. In 106 AD, the emperor Trajan annexed the wealthy Nabataean kingdom, forming the Province of Arabia.

    Now with authority over these additional riches, Gerasa commenced another burst of construction activity - many of the recently erected buildings were replaced with even grander structures embellished with marble and granite.

    Yet another boost in Gerasa's stature come with the visit of emperor Hadrian in 129 AD. To honor its guest, the city raised an imposing triumphal arch at the south of the city, and lavish celebrations were held. The city's prosperity continued unabated until, by the beginning of the 3rd Century, Gerasa had acquired the status of a Roman Colony.

    In its heyday, Gerasa is thought to have had a population of as many as 20,000 people. They mostly spoke Greek, but used Latin for commercial and legal transactions. The buildings which can be viewed today made up the administrative, civic and commercial center of the city. The citizens of Gerasa lived to the east, and their habitations have not been excavated.

    Gerasa's prosperity could not protect it from change. As the 3rd Century progressed, and shipping replaced the overland caravans as the main route for commerce, the city began to lose control of its lucrative trade and tariffs. The trend was accelerated by continuing uprisings against the Romans -such as the destruction of the city of Palmyra in 273 AD- which made the overland route increasingly hazardous. More construction was undertaken during the reign of emperor Diocletian, around 300 AD, but this brief burst of activity was only a temporary respite in the city's decline.

    By the middle of the 5th Century, Gerasa had become a relatively insignificant city. However, as Christianity become the dominant religion following the conversion of emperor Constantine (early 4th Century), this period saw the construction of numerous churches in Jerash.

    Most of these were built in the ruins area - indeed, many churches were constructed of stones taken from pagan temples - and the remains of several can be seen today. The church-building boom continued until the Persian invasion in 614 AD, when Damascus and Jerusalem were also captured. This was closely followed by the Muslim conquest in 636 AD, as a result of which the importance of Gerasa was further weakened.

    A series of earthquakes in 749 AD did serious damage the city and hastened its decline. By this date, the population was less than 4,000; and although the site was occupied in the Early Islamic period until around 800 AD, Gerasa become nothing more than a small rural settlement. Its Roman name was transformed into a new Arabic one - Jerash - derived from the ancient Semitic name. And so - despite a brief occupation by a Crusader garrison in the 12th Century - the city became lost to Western history.

    The rediscovery of Jerash come about in 1806, when Ulrich Jasper Seetzen, a German traveler, come across and recognized a small section of the ruins. Buried in sand - which accounts for its remarkable state of preservation - the city has been gradually revealed through a series of excavations which commenced in 1925. Extensive programs of conservation and restoration continue to this day


    Jerash Festival:
    Visitors to Jerash in July are in for special treat, when the Jerash Festival transforms the ancient city into one of the world's liveliest -and most spectacular- cultural event.

    Inaugurated in 1981 by Queen Noor, the festivals patron, the Jerash festival is an exciting celebration of both Jordanian and international culture. Here are folklore dances by local groups and troupes from as far afield as Spain, Lebanon and Germany. The ancient amphitheater comes to life once more, as 4,000 spectators enjoy world-class ballet, the astounding acrobatics of the Chinese gymnasts, or hysterical comedy from an Arabic satirical team. And the Roman architects' astonishing acoustics give every spectator a front-row seat for Italian opera, Shakespeare from a British theater group, or heart-wrenching singing by the Arab world's most beloved performer, Fairouz.

    Add to thiheady mixture poetry recitals, competitions, and astounding displays of traditional handicrafts-Bedouin rugs, jewelry, embroidery, glass and ceramics-and you have a recipe for a fascinating event. and all the while, brilliant floodlights dramatically showcase the ruins... making you almost believe you can see Roman figures in flowing toga and open sandals flitting from column to column, enjoying the spectacle as much as the 20th-Century audience.

    The Jerash Festival is a must-see if you're in Jordan at the time, and well worth visiting the country for specially
    Jerash , جرش

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الأربعاء ديسمبر 13, 2017 3:10 pm