"Hippos" was a Greco-Roman city in Palestine. It was located on a flat-topped foothill of the Golan Heights 350 meters above and 2 kilometers east of the Sea of Galilee. The city also controlled a small port facility on the lake itself. Hippos was part of the Decapolis, or Ten Cities, a group of cities in Roman Palestine that were culturally tied more to Greece and Rome than to the Middle East.
From above, the plateau Hippos lies on very vaguely resembles the head and neck of a horse. This is why early Greek settlers named it after the Greek word for horse, ''Hippos''. The local Aramaic and Hebrew name, "Sussita", also means horse, and the Arabic name, "Qal'at el-Husn", means "Fortress of the Horse." Other names include the alternate spelling "Hippus" and the Latinized version of the Greek name: "Hippum".
It is possible that Mount Sussita was occupied before Hellenistic times, but the city of Hippos itself was built by Greek colonists, most likely in the mid-200s BC. During this time, Coele-Syria served as the battleground between two dynasties descending from generals of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. It is likely that Hippos, on a...