views updated


APOLLONIA , city on the coast of Ereẓ Israel about 9½ mi. (15 km.) N. of Jaffa. Apollonia was apparently founded by Seleucus iv (186–174 b.c.e.). It is today the ruined site of Tel Arshaf (Arsuf). Named after the Greek god Apollo Soter ("Savior"), Apollonia was also known in the Byzantine period as Sozusa ("City of the Savior," in reference to Jesus). The assumption that Apollonia was built on the site of the Canaanite city of Rishpon has not been sustained by archaeological findings. Rishpon was named after the Canaanite deity *Resheph, whom the Hellenized Canaanites presumably identified with Apollo. Apollonia is first mentioned among the cities held by Alexander *Yannai (Jos., Ant., 13:395), but it was probably captured earlier by John *Hyrcanus. In 63 b.c.e., *Pompey detached Apollonia from the territory of Judea. It was one of the cities rebuilt by the Roman governor *Gabinus. After forming part of the realms of Herod and Agrippa i, it became an independent city in the province of Judea (and later, of Syria Palaestina). In the Arab period Apollonia was known as Arsuf (= Resheph). The Crusader king Baldwin captured it in 1101 and under Crusader rule the city (then called Arsur, a corruption of Arsuf) served as a commercial center, especially for the Genoese. Taken by Saladin in 1187, it was recaptured and restored to the Crusaders four years later by Richard the Lion-Hearted. The Egyptian Mamluk sultan, Baybars, captured and destroyed the city in 1265. The remains of a Crusader fortress, castle, and port are visible on the seashore, about 2½ mi. (4 km.) northwest of Herzliyyah. South of these are the ruins of the Greco-Roman city where two Greco-Jewish inscriptions and traces of an ancient glass factory have been discovered. In the 1990s a number of people, mostly well-todo, built homes near the archeological site, under the name of Arsuf. However, the government did not formally recognize the settlement and did not approve further building in the area, which was planned as a park. In 2002 Arsuf 's population was 104.


S. Klein (ed.), Sefer ha-Yishuv, 1 (1939), s.v.; Avi-Yonah, Land, index; Beyer, in: zdpv, 59 (1936), 3–9, passim; Conder-Kitchener, 2 (1882), 136; Karmon, in: iej, 6 (1956), 33–50.

[Michael Avi-Yonah /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]