ANTIPATRIS (Gr. Αντιπατρις), ancient Palestinian city in the valley of Kefar Sava on the coastal plain, close to the important route Via Maris. This was the site of biblical *Aphek, known also as Pegae in Hellenistic times, and perhaps as Arethusa from the time of Pompey. It was eventually rebuilt by Herod the Great in memory of his father Antipater (Jos., Ant., 16:142ff.). In Roman times Antipatris stood at the junction of important highways leading to Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Jaffa, and is often mentioned as a military campsite or as a stopover for travelers (Acts 23:31). It was the northern boundary of the territory of Judea (Git. 7:7). A vivid picture of Jewish life in Antipatris in the days of R. Johanan b. Zakkai is portrayed in Derekh Ereẓ Rabbah, 6. During the war against Rome, the Romans left Antipatris unharmed and Vespasian regulated its affairs much as he had done in Jabneh, Lydda, Timnah, and other places whose inhabitants had remained loyal to Rome. In the fourth century Antipatris declined in importance and is referred to as "a half-ruined townlet." In the Arab period it was known by the name of Abu Fuṭrus and during the period of transition from Umayyad to Abbasid rule, it achieved prominence as one of the towns that remained loyal to the Umayyads in 750.
Antipatris is today situated close to the modern town of *Rosh ha-Ayin (Ras al-ʿAyn), 3½ mi. (5 km.) east of Petaḥ Tikvah. Its many springs serve as sources of the *Yarkon River, for which reason Ras al-ʿAyn is also identified with the Hellenistic customs-post known as Πηγαί ("The Springs"). The castle erected there by the Crusaders was similarly called Le Toron aux Fontaines Sourdes. The ruins of a Turkish fort erected in the 17th century can still be seen. Earlier excavations at the site in 1961 revealed Roman and Hellenistic remains, and a Roman mausoleum as well. Extensive excavations were conducted at the site by M. Kochavi between 1975 and 1985, revealing part of a defensive system from the Early Bronze Age, a series of palaces from the Middle Bronze Age (iia), destroyed in a conflagration in the mid-16th century b.c.e., two city walls from the Middle Bronze Age, a palace from the Late Bronze Age, remains of a Philistine settlement from the 12th century b.c.e., and Iron Age dwellings from the 10th and 8th centuries b.c.e. These excavations also brought to light important remains dating from the time of the city of Antipatris, including a street lined with shops that led to the forum, rebuilt at the time of Herod Agrippa i with the establishment of workshops instead. Following the Great Revolt the city fell into decline until the second century c.e.; the latter excavations have revealed segments of the cardo maximus street with an odeon situated at its southern end, as well as signs of a marketplace and a residential quarter. The city fell victim to a massive earthquake in the year 363 c.e.
Avi-Yonah, Geog, 65, 128ff.; Press, Ereẓ, 1 (1951), 28ff. add. bibliography: M. Kochavi, Aphek-Antipatris: Five Thousand Years of History (1989); Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea – Palaestina. Maps and Gazetteer. (1994), 63.
[Michael Avi-Yonah /
Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]