DISCUSSION

Peraea and the Dead Sea

16. Bethramphta, now Livias - (Tell al-Ramah)


Only the city vignette is preserved here. The inscription is restored on the basis of the town location, nevertheless its identification remains highly ipotetical.

Michael Avi-Yonah (The Madaba Mosaic Map, Jerusalem 1954, 37)
Across the Jordan and opposite Galgala we notice above the gazelle the fragmentary representation of a locality, with the trunks of two palm trees to the right. To judge from its position on the map this might refer either to Abel (Khirbet el Kafrein) or to Livias-Bethramtha (Tell er-Rame). Another equally nameless village is situated between this place and the Dead Sea. If the latter is meant to represent Beth-jeshimoth (On. 48,7), then the northern village would be Beth-ramtha, and Abel might have been located in the lost part of the pavement further to the north-east. Possibly, however, Abel was not represented at all. Eusebius mentioned Beth-ramtha (Livias) seven times (On. 48,13 ecc.), while he mentions Abel but does not locate it.

Herbert Donner (The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 39)
The Old Testament town was called Beth-Haram, later on, under the Roman emperor Augustus, it was called Livias or Julias. It is identical with Tall Iktanu and the small but remarkable Tall ar-Rama. It appears to be situated at the upper course of Wadi Zarqa Ma'in which runs into the Dead Sea after its turn.

Robert Schick ("Northern Jordan: What Might Have Been in the Madaba Mosaic Map", in The Madaba Map Centenary, Jerusalem 1999, 228)
Small portions of two other unlabelled city vignettes survive. A variety of suggestions have been made for their identification. The city vignette above the gazelle to the left could be Abel (Khirbat al-Kafrein) or Livias/Beth-Ramtha (Tell al-Rame), or perhaps Beth Nimrin (Tell Nimrin), while the city vignette above the gazelle to the right could be Beth Jeshimoth (Suweima). (See also the complete article)

For more sources and bibliography see:
F.-M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine. II (Paris 1938), s.v. "Beth Nimra", 278.

Map Section 3 Place Sources

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Created Tuesday, December 19, 2000 at 23:44:01
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000