The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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Section of country east of the Jordan and of the Sea of Galilee; so called particularly in the first century C.E. It is frequently mentioned by Josephus as a part of the tetrarchy of Philip, in the same general region as Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Batanea. The origin of the name is probably to be found in "Golan," one of the cities of refuge (Deut. iv. 43; Josh. xx. 8) located in Bashan, in the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh, and also one of the Levitical cities assigned to the children of Gershon (Josh. xxi. 27; I Chron. vi. 56). The modern equivalent of "Golan" is "Jaulan," described by Schumacher in his "Across the Jordan" (p. 3):

"This district of Jaulân is bounded on the south by the Shari'at el Menâdireh, and on the north extends to the Jisrs (or Bridges) of 'Allân and Rukkâd, or even as far as Ghadîr el Bustân. On the east it is bounded by the gorge of the Nahr el 'Allân (Haurân), and on the west by the still more precipitous Nahr er Rukkâd. Its highest elevation, at Ghadîr el Bustân, reaches 1,912 feet; while its lowest inhabited village, not counting the Bedawin huts at Kuweyyeh, is El Ekseir, at 1,145 feet; but its average height may be put at 1,500 feet above the Mediterranean Sea."

This plateau is but little cultivated except near the villages. It is dotted with volcanic mounds of basaltic formation, and makes fine pasturage during the earlier spring. Schumacher (pp. 91-93), on the authority of the present inhabitants, mentions Saḥem al-Jaulan, the best-built village in all Jaulan, as probably the ancient capital of this district.

E. G. H. I. M. P.
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