Ancient polity, eastern Palestine. Frequently cited in the Old Testament and later important in the Roman Republic and Empire, it was located in what is now Syria. In New Testament times, Bashan ranked as one of the great granaries of Rome. One of its towns, Bostra (Busra al-Sham), was important to both Nabataea and Rome. Augustus made Herod the Great ruler of Bashan, and in AD 106 Trajan brought the whole Nabataean kingdom under the empire in creating the province of Arabia, with Bostra as its capital. The country went into decline in the 7th century.