Judaea (Roman province)
|Province of the Roman Empire|
|6 CE–135 CE|
|Prefects before 41, Procurators after 44|
• 6–9 CE
• 26–36 CE
• 64–66 CE
• 117 CE
• 130–132 CE
|King of the Jews|
|Historical era||Roman Principate|
|c. 30/33 CE|
• Crisis under Caligula
• Governor of praetorian rank and given the 10th Legion
|c. 74 CE|
|132–135 CE 135 CE|
|Before 4 August 70 is referred to as Second Temple Judaism, from which the Tannaim and Early Christianity emerged.|
Judaea (Latin: Iudaea, [juːˈdae̯.a]; Ancient Greek: Ἰουδαία, romanized: Ioudaíā, [i.uˈdɛ.a]) was a Roman province which incorporated the regions of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea from 6 CE, extending over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Judea. The name "Judaea", like Judea, was derived from the Iron Age Kingdom of Judah, but the Roman province encompassed a much larger territory.
With the transition to full Roman province, Judaea became subject to direct Roman rule, replacing a system of semi-autonomous vassalage that had existed since the Roman Republic conquest of the region in 63 BCE. The change was enacted by the Roman emperor Augustus after an appeal by the populace against the ill-rule of Herod Archelaus. With the onset of direct rule, the official census instituted by Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, the governor of Roman Syria, nevertheless caused tensions and led to an uprising by Judas of Galilee. In other notable events in the period, the crucifixion of Jesus in 30–33 CE led to the emergence of the Jewish Christian groups that later developed into Christianity, while in 37 CE, Emperor Caligula ordered the erection of a statue of himself in the Jewish temple, an episode known as the Caligula Crisis.
Growing discontent at Roman rule led to the First Jewish–Roman War in 66-73 CE and ultimately the Siege of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple in 70 CE, bringing an end to the Second Temple period. Following the war, the Fiscus Judaicus was instituted and sixty years later, the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136 CE) erupted, devastating much of Judea's countryside and populace. At around the time of the revolt, the province was merged with Galilee into an enlarged Syria Palaestina province, and the partially rebuilt Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina and made an official Roman colony.
The first intervention of Rome in the region dates from 63 BCE, following the end of the Third Mithridatic War, when Rome established the province of Syria. After the defeat of Mithridates VI of Pontus, Pompey sacked Jerusalem and installed the Hasmonean prince Hyrcanus II as Ethnarch and High Priest, but not as king. Some years later Julius Caesar appointed Antipater the Idumaean, also known as Antipas, as the first Roman Procurator. Antipater's son Herod was designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate in 40 BCE but he did not gain military control until 37 BCE. During his reign the last representatives of the Hasmoneans were eliminated, and the huge port of Caesarea Maritima was built.
Herod died in 4 BCE, and his kingdom was divided among three of his sons, two of whom (Philip and Herod Antipas) became tetrarchs ('rulers of a quarter part'). The third son, Archelaus, became an ethnarch and ruled over half of his father's kingdom. One of these principalities was Judea, corresponding to the territory of the historic Judea, plus Samaria and Idumea.
Archelaus ruled Judea so badly that he was dismissed in 6 CE by the Roman emperor Augustus, after an appeal from his own population. Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE, was dismissed by Emperor Caligula in 39 CE. Herod's son Philip ruled the northeastern part of his father's kingdom.
Judea as Roman province(s)
|History of Israel|
Revolt and removal of Herod Archelaus
Following the death of Herod the Great, the Herodian Kingdom of Judea was divided into the Herodian Tetrarchy, jointly ruled by Herod's sons and sister: Herod Archelaus (who ruled Judea, Samaria and Idumea), Herod Philip (who ruled Batanea, Trachonitis as well as Auranitis), Herod Antipas (who ruled Galilee and Perea) and Salome I (who briefly ruled Jamnia).
A messianic revolt erupted in Judea in 4 BCE because of Archelaus's incompetence; the revolt was brutally crushed by the Legate of Syria, Publius Quinctilius Varus, who occupied Jerusalem and crucified 2000 Jewish rebels.
|History of Palestine|
Under a prefect (6-41)
The Judean province did not initially include Galilee, Gaulanitis (today's Golan), nor Peraea or the Decapolis. Its revenue was of little importance to the Roman treasury, but it controlled the land and coastal sea routes to the "bread basket" of Egypt and was a buffer against the Parthian Empire. The capital was moved from Jerusalem to Caesarea Maritima.
Augustus appointed Publius Sulpicius Quirinius to the post of Legate of Syria and he conducted the first Roman tax census of Syria and Judea in 6 CE, which triggered the revolt of Judas of Galilee; the revolt was quickly crushed by Quirinius.
Judea was not a senatorial province, nor an imperial province, but instead was a "satellite of Syria" governed by a prefect who was a knight of the Equestrian Order (as was that of Roman Egypt), not a former consul or praetor of senatorial rank. Quirinius appointed Coponius as first prefect of Judea.
Still, Jews living in the province maintained some form of independence and could judge offenders by their own laws, including capital offenses, until c. 28 CE. Judea in the early Roman period was divided into five administrative districts with centers in Jerusalem, Gadara, Amathus, Jericho, and Sepphoris.
In 30-33 CE, Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, at the request of the Jewish authorities, had Jesus of Nazareth crucified on the charge of sedition, an act that led to the birth of Christianity. In 36 CE another messianic revolt erupted near Mount Gerizim, under the lead of a Samaritan, and was quickly crushed by Pilate; the Samaritans complained against Pilate's brutality to the Legate of Syria Lucius Vitellius the Elder, who removed Pilate from his post and sent him to Rome to account, replacing him with an acting prefect called Marcellus.
In 37 CE, Emperor Caligula ordered the erection of a statue of himself in the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem, a demand in conflict with Jewish monotheism. The Legate of Syria, Publius Petronius, fearing civil war if the order was carried out, delayed implementing it for nearly a year. King Herod Agrippa I finally convinced Caligula to reverse the order. Caligula later issued a second order to have his statue erected in the Temple of Jerusalem, but he was murdered before the statue reached Jerusalem and his successor Claudius rescinded the order. The "Crisis under Caligula" has been proposed as the first open break between Rome and the Jews.
Autonomy under Herod Agrippa (41–44)
Between 41 and 44 CE, Judea regained its nominal autonomy, when Herod Agrippa was made King of the Jews by the emperor Claudius, thus in a sense restoring the Herodian dynasty, although there is no indication that Judea ceased to be a Roman province simply because it no longer had a prefect. Claudius had decided to allow, across the empire, procurators, who had been personal agents to the Emperor often serving as provincial tax and finance ministers, to be elevated to governing magistrates with full state authority to keep the peace. He may have elevated Judea's procurator to imperial governing status because the imperial legate of Syria was not sympathetic to the Judeans.
Under a procurator (44–66)
Following Agrippa's death in 44, the province returned to direct Roman control, incorporating Agrippa's personal territories of Galilee and Peraea, under a row of procurators. Nevertheless, Agrippa's son, Agrippa II was designated King of the Jews in 48. He was the seventh and last of the Herodians.
Between the years 66-70 follows the Great Revolt.
Under a legate (70–132)
From 70 until 135 Judea's rebelliousness required a governing Roman legate capable of commanding legions. Because Agrippa II maintained loyalty to the Empire, the Kingdom was retained until he died, either in 93/94 or 100, when the area returned to complete, undivided Roman control.
Judaea was the stage of two, possibly three, major Jewish–Roman wars:
- 66–70 CE– First Jewish–Roman War, resulting in the siege of Jerusalem, the destruction of Herod's Temple and ending with the siege of Masada in 73–74 (see Josephus). Before the war Judaea was a Roman province of the third category, that is, under the administration of a procurator of equestrian rank and under the overall control of the governor of Syria. After the war it became an independent Roman province with the official name of Judaea and under the administration of a governor of praetorian rank, and was therefore moved up into the second category (it was only later, in about 120, that Judaea became a consular province, that is, with a governor of consular rank).
- 115–117 – the Kitos War (Second Jewish-Roman War); Judea's role in it is disputed though, as it played itself out mainly in the Jewish diaspora and there are no fully trustworthy sources on Judea's participation in the rebellion, nor is there any archaeological way of distinguishing destruction levels of 117 CE from those of the major Bar Kokhba revolt of just a decade and a half later.
- 132–135 – Bar Kokhba's revolt (Third Jewish-Roman War). At around the time of the revolt, the province of Judaea was renamed Syria Palaestina, alongside the renaming of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina. One scholarly view the aim of renaming Judea was to disassociate the Jewish people from the land, though other explanations have also been proposed, and an alternative theory is that the renaming efforts preceded and helped precipitate the rebellion. The renaming did not prevent the Jewish people from referring to the country in their writings as either "Yehudah" (Hebrew: יהודה) or "The Land of Israel" (Hebrew: ארץ ישראל).
Division into three provinces (135)
- Palaestina Prima (Judea, Samaria, Idumea, Peraea and the coastal plain, with Caesarea Maritima as capital)
- Palaestina Secunda (Galilee, Decapolis and Golan, with Beth-Shean as capital)
- Palaestina Tertia (the Negev desert, with Petra as capital).
List of governors (6–135 CE)
- Westwood, Ursula (1 April 2017). "A History of the Jewish War, AD 66–74". Journal of Jewish Studies. 68 (1): 189–193. doi:10.18647/3311/jjs-2017. ISSN 0022-2097.
- Taylor, J. E. (15 November 2012). The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199554485.
These texts, combined with the relics of those who hid in caves along the western side of the Dead Sea, tells us a great deal. What is clear from the evidence of both skeletal remains and artefacts is that the Roman assault on the Jewish population of the Dead Sea was so severe and comprehensive that no one came to retrieve precious legal documents, or bury the dead. Up until this date the Bar Kokhba documents indicate that towns, villages and ports where Jews lived were busy with industry and activity. Afterwards there is an eerie silence, and the archaeological record testifies to little Jewish presence until the Byzantine era, in En Gedi. This picture coheres with what we have already determined in Part I of this study, that the crucial date for what can only be described as genocide, and the devastation of Jews and Judaism within central Judea, was 135 CE and not, as usually assumed, 70 CE, despite the siege of Jerusalem and the Temple's destruction
- Werner Eck, "Sklaven und Freigelassene von Römern in Iudaea und den angrenzenden Provinzen," Novum Testamentum 55 (2013): 1–21
- Raviv, Dvir; Ben David, Chaim (2021). "Cassius Dio's figures for the demographic consequences of the Bar Kokhba War: Exaggeration or reliable account?". Journal of Roman Archaeology. 34 (2): 585–607. doi:10.1017/S1047759421000271. ISSN 1047-7594. S2CID 245512193.
Scholars have long doubted the historical accuracy of Cassius Dio's account of the consequences of the Bar Kokhba War (Roman History 69.14). According to this text, considered the most reliable literary source for the Second Jewish Revolt, the war encompassed all of Judea: the Romans destroyed 985 villages and 50 fortresses, and killed 580,000 rebels. This article reassesses Cassius Dio's figures by drawing on new evidence from excavations and surveys in Judea, Transjordan, and the Galilee. Three research methods are combined: an ethno-archaeological comparison with the settlement picture in the Ottoman Period, comparison with similar settlement studies in the Galilee, and an evaluation of settled sites from the Middle Roman Period (70–136CE). The study demonstrates the potential contribution of the archaeological record to this issue and supports the view of Cassius Dio's demographic data as a reliable account, which he based on contemporaneous documentation.
- Mor, Menahem (18 April 2016). The Second Jewish Revolt. BRILL. pp. 483–484. doi:10.1163/9789004314634. ISBN 978-90-04-31463-4.
Land confiscation in Judaea was part of the suppression of the revolt policy of the Romans and punishment for the rebels. But the very claim that the sikarikon laws were annulled for settlement purposes seems to indicate that Jews continued to reside in Judaea even after the Second Revolt. There is no doubt that this area suffered the severest damage from the suppression of the revolt. Settlements in Judaea, such as Herodion and Bethar, had already been destroyed during the course of the revolt, and Jews were expelled from the districts of Gophna, Herodion, and Aqraba. However, it should not be claimed that the region of Judaea was completely destroyed. Jews continued to live in areas such as Lod (Lydda), south of the Hebron Mountain, and the coastal regions. In other areas of the Land of Israel that did not have any direct connection with the Second Revolt, no settlement changes can be identified as resulting from it.
- Jewish War 1.14.4: Mark Antony "... then resolved to get him made king of the Jews ... told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign."
- "Founded in the years 22-10 or 9 B.C. by Herod the Great, close to the ruins of a small Phoenician naval station named Strato's Tower (Stratonos Pyrgos, Turns Stratonis), which flourished during the 3d to 1st c. B.C. This small harbor was situated on the N part of the site. Herod dedicated the new town and its port (limen Sebastos) to Caesar Augustus. During the Early Roman period Caesarea was the seat of the Roman procurators of the province of Judea. Vespasian, proclaimed emperor at Caesarea, raised it to the rank of Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta, and later Alexander Severus raised it to the rank of Metropolis Provinciae Syriae Palestinae." A. Negev, "CAESAREA MARITIMA Palestine, Israel" in: Richard Stillwell et al. (eds.), The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1976).
- Josephus, De Bello Judaico (Wars of the Jews) 2.6.3; Antiquities 17.11.4 (17.317).
- Josephus, Antiquities 17.188–189, War 1.664.
- Josephus, The Jewish War, Book 2, Chapter 56
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17, Chapters 271-272
- Malamat, Abraham; Tadmor, Hayim (1976). A History of the Jewish People. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-39731-6.
When Archelaus was deposed from the ethnarchy in 6 CE, Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea were converted into a Roman province under the name Iudaea.
- A History of the Jewish People, H. H. Ben-Sasson editor, 1976, page 247: "When Judea was converted into a Roman province [in 6 CE, page 246], Jerusalem ceased to be the administrative capital of the country. The Romans moved the governmental residence and military headquarters to Caesarea. The centre of government was thus removed from Jerusalem, and the administration became increasingly based on inhabitants of the Hellenistic cities (Sebaste, Caesarea and others)."
- "Josephus, Antiquities Book XVIII". earlyjewishwritings.com.
- H. H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish Peoples, page 247–248: "Consequently, the province of Judea may be regarded as a satellite of Syria, although, in view of the measure of independence left to its governor in domestic affairs, it would be wrong to say that in the Julio-Claudian era Judea was legally part of the province of Syria."
- Josephus, Antiquities 17.355 & 18.1–2;
- Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 8b; ibid, Sanhedrin 41a; ibid, Shabbat 15a; Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 1:1 (1b)
- Gabba, Emilio (2008). "The social, economic and political history of Palestine 63 bce – ce 70". In William David Davies; Louis Finkelstein; William Horbury (eds.). The Cambridge History of Judaism: The early Roman period. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-521-24377-3.
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3
- Tacitus, Annals, Book 15, Chapter 44
- Eddy, Paul Rhodes; Boyd, Gregory A. (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-8010-3114-4.
...if there is any fact of Jesus' life that has been established by a broad consensus, it is the fact of Jesus' crucifixion.
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 4, Paragraphs 1-2
- Philo of Alexandria, On the Embassy to Gaius XXX.203.
- Philo of Alexandria, On the Embassy to Gaius XVI.115.
- Philo of Alexandria, On the Embassy to Gaius XXXI.213.
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.8.1.
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.8.
- H. H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, The Crisis Under Gaius Caligula, pages 254–256: "The reign of Gaius Caligula (37–41) witnessed the first open break between the Jews and the Julio-Claudian empire. Until then – if one accepts Sejanus' heyday and the trouble caused by the census after Archelaus' banishment – there was usually an atmosphere of understanding between the Jews and the empire ... These relations deteriorated seriously during Caligula's reign, and, though after his death the peace was outwardly re-established, considerable bitterness remained on both sides. ... Caligula ordered that a golden statue of himself be set up in the Temple in Jerusalem. ... Only Caligula's death, at the hands of Roman conspirators (41), prevented the outbreak of a Jewish–Roman war that might well have spread to the entire East."
- Tac. A.12.60
- Schäfer, Peter (2 September 2003). The History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World: The Jews of Palestine from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest. Routledge. p. 131. ISBN 1-134-40316-X.
[From 74 to 123 CE] The consequences of the first great war of the Jews against Rome were extremely far-reaching and their significance for the future history of Judaism can hardly be overestimated. The immediate political consequences were drastic. As has already been mentioned, before the war Judaea was a Roman province of the third category, that is, under the administration of a procurator of equestrian rank and under the overall control of the governor of Syria. After the war it became an independent Roman province with the official name of Judaea and under the administration of a governor of praetorian rank, and was therefore moved up into the second category (it was only later, in about 120 CE, that Judaea became a consular province, that is, with a governor of consular rank). This new status of the province also implies that a standing legion, the legio X Fretensis, was stationed in Judaea. The headquarters of the 10th legion was the totally destroyed Jerusalem; the governor resided with parts of the 10th legion in Caesarea (Maritima), which Vespasian had converted into a Roman colony.
- H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, page 334: "In an effort to wipe out all memory of the bond between the Jews and the land, Hadrian changed the name of the province from Iudaea to Syria-Palestina, a name that became common in non-Jewish literature."
- Jacobson 2001, p. 44–45:"Hadrian officially renamed Judea Syria Palaestina after his Roman armies suppressed the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (the Second Jewish Revolt) in 135 C.E.; this is commonly viewed as a move intended to sever the connection of the Jews to their historical homeland. However, that Jewish writers such as Philo, in particular, and Josephus, who flourished while Judea was still formally in existence, used the name Palestine for the Land of Israel in their Greek works, suggests that this interpretation of history is mistaken. Hadrian's choice of Syria Palaestina may be more correctly seen as a rationalization of the name of the new province, in accordance with its area being far larger than geographical Judea. Indeed, Syria Palaestina had an ancient pedigree that was intimately linked with the area of greater Israel." sfn error: no target: CITEREFJacobson2001 (help)
- Ronald Syme suggested the name change preceded the revolt; he writes "Hadrian was in those parts in 129 and 130. He abolished the name of Jerusalem, refounding the place as a colony, Aelia Capitolina. That helped to provoke the rebellion. The supersession of the ethnical term by the geographical may also reflect Hadrian's decided opinions about Jews." Syme, Ronald (1962). "The Wrong Marcius Turbo". The Journal of Roman Studies. 52 (1–2): 87–96. doi:10.2307/297879. ISSN 0075-4358. JSTOR 297879. S2CID 154240558. (page 90)
- The Mishnah (ed. Herbert Danby), Oxford University Press: Oxford 1933, s.v. Tractate Shebiit 9:2; compiled by Rabbi Judah the Prince in 189 CE.
- See p. 1 in: Feldman, Louis (1990). "Some Observations on the Name of Palestine". Hebrew Union College Annual. 61: 1–23. JSTOR 23508170.
- The Mishnah (ed. Herbert Danby), Oxford University Press: Oxford 1933, s.v. Tractate Kelim 1:6
- H. H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, page 351
- "Ancient Inscription Identifies Gargilius Antiques as Roman Ruler on Eve of Bar Kochva Revolt".