Yaffa (also spelled as Jaffe or Yafo), is one of the oldest continuously inhabited port cities in the world and is located on the Mediterranean coastline, to the south of modern-day Tel Aviv, Israel.
It is named in the Alliterative Morte Arthure as the home of some of the pagans in the Roman army defeated by Arthur.
According to the Middle English Sir Degrevant, Arthur’s knight Degrevant was slain there during a Crusade.
Jaffa | 0 to 16th century AD
Roman and Byzantine Period | 1st to 7th centuries AD
Jaffa was under Roman control during the early part of this period and was known as Joppa in Roman times. It served as a port city and was strategically important for trade and commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the first century AD, the biblical account of the Apostle Peter’s vision occured in Joppa, leading to the acceptance of Gentiles into the Christian faith. Joppas was part of the Byzantine Empire after the Roman period, and Christianity played a significant role in the city’s culture and history during this time.
Arab Conquests | 7th century AD
In the seventh century, during the Islamic expansion, Jaffa came under Arab control. The city continued to function as a port and trading center, and it remained culturally diverse due to its role in international trade.
Byzantine Reconquest | 10th century AD
In the tenth century, Jaffa was briefly recaptured by the Byzantine Empire during the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars, but it later returned to Arab control.
Ottoman Period | 16th century AD
By the sixteenth century, Jaffa was part of the Ottoman Empire, and it remained under Ottoman rule for several centuries. During this period, Jaffa’s importance as a port continued to grow, and it was a hub for trade and travel in the region.
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Sir Degrevant | c. 1400