Synopsis: Joseph and Hyrcanus of the Tobiad clan served as tax farmers in Coele Syria for nearly half a century, weathering the transition from Ptolemaic and Seleucid control along with the constant maelstrom of Jerusalem politics.
“Hyrcanus determined not to return to Jerusalem any more, but seated himself beyond Jordan, and was at perpetual war with the Arabians, and slew many of them, and took many of them captives. He also erected a strong castle, and built it entirely of white stone to the very roof, and had animals of a prodigious magnitude engraven upon it…And he ruled over those parts for seven years, even all the time that Seleucus was king of Syria. But when he was dead, his brother Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, took the kingdom.” – Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII, Chapter 4
Map of the Decapolis region:
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