The Jews assaulted Gadara and Gaulonitis, Sebaste and Ascalon, Anthedon and Gaza, putting many to the sword. Then came their own turn, for the Syrians and Greeks rose upon them and slaughtered them without mercy. As yet, however, there had been no blood shed in Tyre, though all knew that it must come.
The Jarmuk, or Sheriat-el-Mandhur, anciently the Hiero-max, drains the water, not only from Gaulonitis or Jaulan, the country immediately east and south-east of the sea of Tiberias, but also from almost the whole of the Hauran. At its mouth it is 130 feet wide, and in the winter it brings down a great body of water into the Jordan.
The last work of compilation, at least of the text which bears the name of Matthew, appears to have been done in one of the countries situated at the northeast of Palestine, such as Gaulonitis, Auranitis, Batanea, where many Christians took refuge at the time of the Roman war, where were found relatives of Jesus even in the second century, and where the first Galilean tendency was longer preserved than in other parts.
Seetzen left Aleppo in 1805 for Damascus. His first expedition led him across the provinces of Hauran and Jaulan, situated to the S.E. of that town. No traveller had as yet visited these two provinces, which in the days of Roman dominion had played an important part in the history of the Jews, under the names of Auranitis and Gaulonitis. Seetzen was the first to give an idea of their geography.
Following the enlightened narrative of Malte Brun, the reader will find that southward of Damascus, the point where the modern Palestine may be said to begin, are the countries called by the Romans Auranitis and Gaulonitis, consisting of one extensive and noble plain, bounded on the north by Hermon or Djibel-el-Sheik, on the south-west by Djibel-Edjlan, and on the east by Haouran.
But the same stream, in the upper part of its course, forms the boundary between Gaulonitis and the fertile Galilee, which is identical with the modern district of Szaffad. This town, which is remarkable for the beauty of its situation amid groves of myrtle, is supposed to be the ancient Bethulia, which was besieged by Holofernes.
On the north, the snowy ravines of Hermon are traced in white lines upon the sky; on the west, the high, undulating plateaux of Gaulonitis and Perea, absolutely arid, and clothed by the sun with a sort of velvety atmosphere, form one compact mountain, or rather a long and very elevated terrace, which from Cæsarea Philippi runs indefinitely toward the south.
Her sister was wife of Philip, tetrarch of Gaulonitis and Batanaea. Now this Philip was brother to Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, and both were sons of Herod, called by the Jews the "Great." Miriam, as I understood, was at home in the courts of both tetrarchs, being herself of the blood. Also, when a girl, she had been betrothed to Archelaus at the time he was ethnarch of Jerusalem.
Philip, tetrarch of Gaulonitis and Batanea, into whose dominions Jesus made frequent journeys, was a much better sovereign. As to Archelaus, ethnarch of Jerusalem, Jesus could not know him, for he was about ten years old when this man, who was weak and without character, though sometimes violent, was deposed by Augustus. The last trace of self-government was thus lost to Jerusalem.