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Scythopolis is the name that was given to the modern-day Israeli city of Bet She'an during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Those periods were when the city attained its finest hours and it is mainly this period that is Bet She'an's claim to fame and what put it on the map. Before the Hellenistic period, the city had declined in importance. The Hellenistic period saw a revival in the city but it wasn’t until the advent of the Roman's that the town rose to importance. Bet She'an was given the new name Scythopolis as part of the new administrative order and became a part of the Decapolis, Union of the Ten Cities, with the other nine towns being on the east side of the Jordan River. At that time the town became autonomous (as is indicated in the name "polis"), earning the rights to self-rule and coin minting. There was much public and private construction at the time, little of which can be seen today due to reconstruction in later periods. After an earthquake in 363 it was rebuilt and expanded. The city became an important location for a variety of peoples over the centuries, including Christians and Arabs. Modern excavations have begun to reveal the glory that was Scythopolis. Visitors to the area simply must make sure to visit the theater, great bath house, street of Palladious, the monumental building and the amphitheater. Scythopolis is a true gem and must not be missed!


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