One of the cities of the Decapolis in Palestine, the site of which is uncertain. For the identifications of the ancient geographers see Pliny ("Hist. Naturalis," v. 14, xv. 18), Josephus ("Vita," § 65), and Eusebius ("Onomasticon," s.v., "Apheca"). In the Talmud Hippos occurs under the name "Susita" (), the Hebrew equivalent, and it is frequently mentioned with Tiberias. These two cities, facing each other (Gen. R. xxxii.), were situated on opposite shores of the lake; and merchants went to and fro between them (Yer. Sheb. viii. 3). Susita was for a time opposed to Tiberias (Lam. R. i., 18); and it is spoken of as inhabited by Gentiles (Yer. R. H. ii. 1). It is mentioned with Ashkelon as an example of a heathentown in the midst of the land of Israel (Tosef., Oh. xviii. 4). R. Joshua b. Levi identified the land of Tob (Judges xi. 3) with Susita (Yer. Sheb. vi. 2). It is very likely that the primitive name was "Susita" and that "Hippos" was the Greek translation of this, for by the Arabian geographers it is called "Susiyyah."
Hippos seems to have been an important city, as the whole district was called, after it, "Hippene" (Josephus, "B. J." iii. 3, § 1). It was conquered by Alexander Jannæus and afterward freed by Pompey (idem, "Ant." xiv. 4, § 4; idem, "B. J." i. 7, § 7), thus becoming one of the independent towns of the Decapolis. Later, Augustus presented it to Herod ("Ant." xv. 7, § 3; "B. J." i. 20, § 3), after whose death it was again wrested from the Jewish dominions ("Ant." xvii. 11, § 1; "B. J." ii. 6, § 3). From that time on Hippos was designated as a Greek city (ib.); and probably the Talmudic passage Yer. R. H. ii. 1 refers to that epoch. At the outbreak of the Roman war the Jews, led by Justus of Tiberias, devastated Hippos; but the inhabitants avenged themselves by massacring the Jews ("B. J." ii. 18, § 1, 5).
In the Christian period Hippos became an episcopal see (Epiphanius, "Hæres." lxxiii. 26). A coin has been discovered bearing the name "Hippos" (Muret, "Revue Numismatique," 1883, i. 67). It is of the time of Nero, having on the obverse side Nero's head and on the reverse a horse with the inscription ιππηνων.
- Neubauer, G. T. pp. 238-240;
- Clermont-Ganneau, in Revue Archéologique, 1875, xxix. 362-369;
- Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., p. 120.