Ascalon, Gaza, Negev and Sinai
115. Anthedon ? - (Teda)
Hellenistic city in the vicinity of Gaza. Anthedon in Greek means "Flower City." It is first mentioned as a daughter city of Gaza, captured by Alexander Yannai (Jos., Ant., 8,357). Pompey "freed" it but the actual work of rebuilding was left to his successor Gabinius (ibid., 14,88; Wars, 1,166). Together with the entire coastal area it passed to Cleopatra, and later Augustus presented it to Herod (Ant., 15,217; Wars, 1,396). Herod embellished the town and named it Agrippias in honor of Agrippa, Augustus' general and son-in-law. During the Jewish War (66-70 C.E.) Anthedon was attacked by the Zealots but the attack was repulsed and it remained a hellenized city. In the fourth century it became a Christian bishopric. Paganism, however, was deeply rooted in Anthedon, flourishing there until the fifth century (Sozomenus, Eccl. Hist., 5,9). The site has been identified with Tell Iblakhiye, on the sea shore 1 1/2 mi. (2 km.) north of the port of Gaza; a hill farther north is still called Teda (=Anthedon). The Arab geographer el-Idrisi (12th century) called the harbor of Gaza "Tida."
Michael Avi-Yonah, Encyclopaedia Judaica, ad v. "Anthedon"
Herbert Donner (The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 73)
Remains of a name which cannot be restored.
Editors' note: We owe the restoration suggested above to Stéphane Verhelst (Jerusalem).
Bellarmino Bagatti (Ancient Christian Villages of Judaea and Negev, Jerusalem - in the press)
Tida, Theda, Anthedon
According to Christian sources, e.g. the 6th-century itinerary of Theodosius, Anthedon lay between Gaza and Ascalon. It was identified by Father Abel (Géographie, p. 245) with Tida or Theda, a site near Beit Lahiye and not far from the Gaza port.
The first bishop of the place known to us is Paul, who took part in the Councils of Ephesus in 431 and Chalcedon in 451. Then we know of Eustathius who was at the Council of Jerusalem in 518 and Dorotheus who attended that of 536. Sozomen tells us how a certain Zenon, brother of the martyrs Eusebius and Nestabus who were captured in the persecution of Julian the Apostate in 362, fled to Anthedon, "a seaside city about 20 stadia away from Gaza"; but at that time the place was inhabited by pagans who, having recognized him as a Christian, beat him and drove him out of town (Historia Ecclesiastica V, 9). Later Zenon became bishop of Maiuma of Gaza.
The Schedule lists under the name Teida: wall foundations and, on the surface, potsherds among the sand dunes.
For more sources and bibliography see:
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994) s.v. "Anthedon", 68.
Map Section 9 Place Sources