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CALLIRRHOE:

Hot springs on the western side of the Dead Sea, near the Zerka Maim (Buhl, "Geographie des Alten Palästina," p. 123; Smith, "Historical Geography of Palestine," p. 571). Josephus describes the springs ("Ant." xvii. 6, § 2) as running into the lake of Asphaltites and as being fit to drink. They were, however, strongly sulfurous, and for this reason were used for medicinal purposes to cure skin diseases. It was to Callirrhoe that Herod went for relief from his ailment, without, however, securing it. Modern travelers have noticed at Callirrhoe four large and many small springs. Sulfurous vapors are given off by the waters, the temperature of which is the same as that of the waters of Tiberias, 49° C. The ground around the sources is covered with reeds, thorns, and wild palm-trees (Robinson, "Physical Geography," pp. 163-164). Neubauer supposes that by the appellation ("Biram"), mentioned in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 108a) among the thermal places, is meant Callirrhoe, which is situated in the vicinity of Baris; and that is a corrupt reading of . In fact, Josephus speaks of a locality called Baaras situated in a valley in the vicinity of Machaerus, where flames rising from the earth can be noticed in the night. This locality is called by Eusebius and Jerome Baris or Baru. "Callirrhoe" is the post-Biblical name of Lasha.

Bibliography:
  • Neubauer, La Géographie du Talmud, pp. 37, 254.
J. Jr. G. B. L.
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