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ANTIPATRIS:

City founded about the year 10 B.C. by Herod the Great in the plain of Kefar Saba. From a passage in Josephus it appears that there had been, in the time of Alexander Jannæus, a town on this site called Kefar Saba ("old village"), which name reappears in the modern Kefr-Saba. It is true that Talmudic authorities distinguish between Antipatris and Kefar Saba; but in all probability they intend by the latter name to designate the whole plain. This plain is no doubt identical with the "coast of Antipatris" (Tosef., Dem. i. 11) alluded to by the rabbis about the middle of the second century. From such passages it appears that Antipatris was inhabited mainly by Samaritans. The expression "coast" does not necessarily imply that the city was in proximity to the sea (as Neubauer thinks), inasmuch as Josephus describes the city as surrounded by a river; and the term used may also denote the banks of a river. Josephus defines the location of Antipatris as 150 (another reading has 160) stadia from Joppa, at the entrance into the mountains, and 26 miles south of Cæsarea, upon the highroad from that city to Lydda—a definition which applies very well to the modern Kefr-Saba. In Talmudic writings, Antipatris figures as the most northerly limit of Judea (Tosef, Giṭ. vii. [v.] 9; Yoma, 69a), which probably indicates that at that period—about 150 to 300—Antipatris was an important city. In the fourth century, however, it had evidently fallen into decay; and Jerome designates it as a "semi-demolished little town." It was in existence, nevertheless, as late as the eighth century. See also Kefar Saba.

Bibliography:
  • Neubauer, G. T. pp. 86-90;
  • Buhl, Geographie des Alten Palästina, pp. 82, 105, 129, 151, 153;
  • Böttger, Topographisch-Historisches Lexicon zu . . . Josephus, p. 27;
  • Schürer, Gesch. ii., 2d part, 156-158 (which contains a list of the literature upon the subject).
L. G.
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