Tiberias

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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.A.D. 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 SanhedrinSanhedrin
, ancient Jewish legal and religious institution in Jerusalem that appears to have exercised the functions of a court between c.63 B.C. and c.A.D. 68. The accounts of it in the Mishna do not correspond to those in Josephus or in the New Testament.
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 convened in the town, and parts of the MishnaMishna
, in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. Together with the Gemara, or Amoraic commentary on the Mishna, it comprises the Talmud.
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 and Jerusalem TalmudTalmud
[Aramaic from Heb.,=learning], in Judaism, vast compilation of the Oral Law with rabbinical elucidations, elaborations, and commentaries, in contradistinction to the Scriptures or Written Laws. The Talmud is the accepted authority for Orthodox Jews everywhere.
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 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 EmpireOttoman Empire
, vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918. Modern Turkey formed only part of the empire, but the terms "Turkey" and "Ottoman Empire" were often used
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 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. MaimonidesMaimonides
or Moses ben Maimon
, 1135–1204, Jewish scholar, physician, and philosopher, the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, b. Córdoba, Spain, d. Cairo.
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, the Jewish philosopher and physician, is buried in Tiberias. Arabic forms of the name are Tabariya and Tubariya.

Tiberias

1. a resort in N Israel, on the Sea of Galilee: an important Jewish centre after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Pop.: 40 100 (2003 est.)
2. Lake. another name for the (Sea of) Galilee
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