Trachonitis, Traconitis

TRACHONITIS, TRACONITIS (trăk-ō-nī'tĭs, Gr. Trachōnitis, rough region). A volcanic region SE of Damascus. It has been identified by inscriptions and is mentioned in Luke.3.1 as the tetrarchy of Philip. The “Rough Region” is still known to the Arabs as “the Refuge” or “the fortress of Allah.” It has been likened to “a tempest in stone” or a black, petrified sea. The “region of Argob” (Deut.3.4), part of the realm of Og of Bashan, probably included this wild, infertile area. Josephus, writing in the first century, speaks of the predatory nature of the people of Traconitis (Antiq. 16.9.1; 10.1). Trajan in a.d. 106 made it part of the new province of Arabia, based on Bosra.