Mentioned in lists of Tutmose III and Akhenaton in the fourteenth century BC. The first Nabatean city in the 2nd century BC. The Nabatean Kingdom was destroyed by Cornelius Palma, a general of Trajan, in 106 AD, and Bosra conquered. Under the Romans, it was renamed Nova Trajana Bostra, residence of the legion III Cyrenaica and capital of the Roman province Arabia Petraea. The city flourished and became a major metropolis at the juncture of several trade routes, including the Roman road to the Red Sea. The city contains what is thought to be the best-preserved Roman theatre in the world. Every year there is a national music festival hosted in the theatre.
In Islamic times, it is noted as the birthplace of Ibn Kathir.
Today, Bostra is an incredible archaeological site, containing ruins from Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim times.