Coordinates: 31° 10′ 51″ N, 35° 42′ 6″ E
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate, which is situated in the north of Jordan, 48 km north of the capital Amman towards Syria. The history of the city is a blend of the Greco-Roman world of the Mediterranean basin and the ancient traditions of the Arab Orient. The name of the city reflects this interaction. The earliest Arab/Semitic inhabitants, who lived in the area during the pre-classical period of the 1st millenium BC, named their village Garshu. The Romans later Hellenized the former Arabic name of Garshu into Gerasa. Later the name transformed into the Arabic Jerash.
The 749 Galilee earthquake destroyed large parts of Jerash, while subsequent earthquakes (847 Damascus earthquake) along with wars and turmoil contributed to additional destruction. However, In the early 12th century, by the year 1120, Zahir ad-Din Toghtekin, atabeg of Damascus ordered a garrison stationed in Jerash to convert the Temple of Artemis into a fortress. It was captured in 1121 by Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem, and utterly destroyed. The Crusaders immediately abandoned Jerash and withdrew to Sakib (Seecip); the eastern border of the settlement with Seljuk. Jerash was then deserted until the 16th century.
Al-Karak, also known as just Karak or Kerak, is a city in Jordan known for its Crusader castle, the Kerak Castle. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria. Al-Karak lies 140 km to the south of Amman on the ancient King’s Highway. It is situated on a hilltop about 1,000 m above sea level and is surrounded on three sides by a valley. Al-Karak has a view of the Dead Sea.
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