Gadara (Greek: Γάδαρα): Roman town in the Decapolis, modern Umm Qays.
- Founded by the Ptolemies in the third century BCE
- Meleager of Gadara, Theodore of Gadara, and Philodemus of Gadara
- Taken over by the Seleucids and in the early first century BCE by the Hasmonaeans
- 63 BCE: conquest by the Romans, creation of the Decapolis
- View of Lake Galilee is presupposed in the story of the "madman of Gadara"note[Mark 5.1-19.]
- Jewish War: fort of John of Gischala; captured by the Romans in 68; Jewish inhabitants killednote[Josephus, Jewish Wars 4.413.]
- Episcopal see
- 636 CE Battle of the Yarmuk
The Madman of Gadara
So they came to the other side of the lake, to the region of the Gerasenes. Just as Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came from the tombs and met him. He lived among the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For his hands and feet had often been bound with chains and shackles, but he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him. Then he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God – do not torment me!” (For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”)
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” He begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of the region.
There on the hillside, a great herd of pigs was feeding. And the demonic spirits begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” Jesus gave them permission. So the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake, and about two thousand were drowned in the lake.
Now the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind – the one who had the “Legion” – and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their region.
As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon-possessed asked if he could go with him. But Jesus did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and all were amazed.note[Mark 5.]