Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia



Yaffa (also spelled as Jaffe or Yafo), is a port city in Israel, located on the Mediterranean coastline.

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

Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world, with archaeological evidence suggesting human habitation dating back to at least 7,500 years. The city is mentioned in ancient Egyptian sources and is associated with the biblical stories of Jonah and Solomon.

Hellenistic and Roman Period | 4th century BC – 4th century AD
Jaffa was part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire after the conquest of Alexander the Great. It came under the influence of the Ptolemies of Egypt before becoming part of the Roman Empire in the first century BC, known as Joppa by the Romans. 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. During the Roman rule, Jaffa was a vital port connecting the Holy Land to the wider Roman world.

Byzantine Period | 4th – 7th centuries
Jaffa continued to be an important port and urban center during the Byzantine period. The city played a role in the Christianization of the region, with churches and Christian communities established.

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.

Umayyad and Abbasid Periods | 7th – 9th centuries
During the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, Jaffa continued to thrive as a commercial and cultural center. It was a hub for trade, connecting the Arab-Islamic world with Europe and Asia.

Decline and Later Periods
Toward the end of the ninth century, Jaffa faced challenges, including political changes and instability in the region. In the tenth century, Jaffa was briefly recaptured by the Byzantine Empire during the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars, but it later returned to Arab control. The Crusaders later captured and controlled Jaffa during the medieval period. By the sixteenth century, Jaffa was part of the Ottoman Empire, and it remained under Ottoman rule for several centuries.

See also
Galilee | The Legend of King Arthur
Nazareth | The Legend of King Arthur

Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Sir Degrevant | c. 1400