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ANTIPATRIS(Ἀντιπατρίς: Eth.Ἀντιπατρίτης), a city built by Herod the Great, and named after his father Antipater. It was situated in a well-watered and richly-wooded plain named Capharsaba (Καφαρσάβα,al. Χαβαρσάβα,J. AJ), so called from a more ancient town, whose site the new city occupied. (Ib. 13.15.1.) A stream ran round the city. Alexander Jannaeus, when threatened with an invasion by Antiochus (Dionysus), drew a deep trench between this place, which was situated near the mountains, and the sea at Joppa, a distance of 120 stadia. The ditch was fortified with a wall and towers of wood, which were taken and burnt by Antiochus, and the trench was filled up. (B. J.1.4.7; comp. Ant.13.15.1.) It lay on the road between Caesareia and Jerusalem. (B. J.2.19.1.) Here it was that the escort of Hoplites, who had accompanied St. Paul on his nocturnal journey from Jerusalem, left him to proceed with the horsemen to Caesareia. (Acts,23.31.) Its ancient name and site is still preserved by a Muslim village of considerable size, built entirely of mud, on a slight circular eminence near the western hills of the coast of Palestine, about three hours north of Jaffa. No ruins, nor indeed the least vestige of antiquity, is to be discovered. The water, too, has entirely disappeared. (Mr. Eli Smith, in Bibliotheca Sacra,1843, p. 493.)
One of the most important stations on the Via Maris. Its ancient name, Aphek, appears on Egyptian name lists and in Biblical literature. It is situated in the borderland between the plain of Sharon and the hills of Samaria, in the midst of a fertile plain, rich in springs, about 18 km to the NE of Tel-Aviv.
In Early Hellenistic times a fort was built on the site as a blockhouse on the border between the districts of Samaria and the Sharon. At this period it was named Pegai, on account of its abundant springs. About 132 B.C. the fort was conquered by John Hyrcanus (Joseph. AJ16.142). At this time it was known also as Arethuse. After the conquest of Judea by the Romans, it was among the towns rebuilt in 63 B.C. by Pompey (Joseph. BJ1.155-57). After his ascent to the throne, Herod the Great built on the site a new town, naming it Antipatris in honor of his father Antipater (Joseph. BJ1.417). Antipatris became the center of a populous district and was still in existence in the Late Roman period. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux (25:21) refers to it as a road station 16 km from Lydda. It declined in the Byzantine period.
Antipatris is identified with the large mound named Râs el-'Ain (Tel Aphek), on top of which are now extensive remains of a Turkish citadel built on the remains of a Crusader castle. To the Roman period belongs a mausoleum. It consists of an open court, a vestibulum, and a single burial chamber in which one ornamented sarcophagus was, discovered.
A. Eitan, “Tel Aphek,” Israel Exploration Journal12 (1962) 149-50; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land from the Persian to the Arab Conquests (536 B.C. to A.D. 640). A Historical Geography(1966); A. Eitan, “A Sarcophagus and an Ornamental Arch from the Mausoleum at Rosh Ha'ayin,” Eretz-Israel8 (1967) 114-18.