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Tiberias

Tiberias (tībēr´ēəs), town (1994 pop. 36,400), NE Israel, on the Sea of Galilee, 682 ft (208 m) below sea level. It is one of the four holy cities of Judaism and a trade center for agricultural settlements. A resort town, Tiberias has hotels, a hot springs spa, and a lake port. There are machine shops, fisheries, and textile factories.

Named for Emperor Tiberius, the town was built (c.AD 20) by Herod Antipas; there are ruins of the baths he built. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Tiberias became (2d cent.) a center of Jewish learning; the Sanhedrin convened in the town, and parts of the Mishna and Jerusalem Talmud were edited there.

Tiberias was captured by the Arabs in 637, taken by the Crusaders in the 11th cent., recaptured by Saladin in 1187, and occupied by Egypt in 1247. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th cent. Rebuilt and fortified in the 18th cent. by Dahir al-Umar, the local Ottoman ruler, Tiberias resumed its position as a center of Jewish scholarship. In 1922 it became part of Palestine. Maimonides, the Jewish philosopher and physician, is buried in Tiberias. Arabic forms of the name are Tabariya and Tubariya.

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Tiberias

TIBERIAS

Town located on the eastern shore of Lake Tiberias (also referred to as the Sea of Galilee or Kinneret) in northern Israel.

The town of Tiberias was founded by Herod Antipas (c. 20 c.e.) and named for the Roman emperor Tiberius. It was an important center of Jewish learning, law, and religion from the second through fifth centuries. Over the course of its history, Tiberias was controlled by Arabs, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks. Early Zionist pioneers set up kibbutzim in this area around the turn of the twentieth century. The city's population quadrupled after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. In the 1948 Arab-Israel War, fighting broke out with an Arab attack on Jews in the older sections of the town. Jewish fighters were able to push out their Arab adversaries, and eventually the Arab inhabitants fled.

Tiberias, which has a relatively warm climate in winter, is a favorite tourist site, featuring boating, lakefront hotels, and a hot springs spa. Its 2004 population was about 43,000, the majority of them immigrants from North African and Eastern European countries.

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