A Hellenistic city, situated southeast of the Sea of Gennesaret. It was rebuilt by Pompey, and afterward given to Herod the Great. After his death it became a free city under Roman sovereignty (Josephus, "Ant." xiv. 4, § 4; xv. 7, § 3; xvii. 11, § 4). At the beginning of the war of liberation the Jews attacked the heathen population, which act was soon afterward fiercely revenged (Josephus, "B. J." ii. 18, § 1, 5). The site of this city is marked by the ruins of Muḳes, among which are found remains of theaters and a temple. This Gadara is often identified with the Gadara referred to by Josephus ("B. J." iv. 7, § 3) as the capital of Peræa. Schlatter, however, is right in declaring the identification unfounded, and referring the description in Josephus ("B. J." iv. 7, §§ 3 et seq.) to the southern valley of the Jordan.
- Schlatter, Zur Topographic und Gesch. Palästinas, 1893, pp. 44 et seq.;
- Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., ii. 122 et seq.
The Talmudic equivalent of "Gadara" is "Gadar" (); situated on a mountain, it was one of the stations on which fires were lighted to announce the new moon. At its base below were thermal springs. It was supposed to have been fortified by Joshua ('Ar. ix. 6), and it was the seat of an important school (Ta'an. 20a). According to Midr. Esth. i. 2, it was also the seat of a tribunal. The place is mentioned in certain decisions on the Sabbath, its inhabitants having been permitted to walk on that day to Ḥamtan ("the springs") and to return, while those of Ḥamtan were not allowed to visit Gadar ('Er. v. 7).
- Neubauer, G. T. pp. 243 et seq.