Judea (Roman province)
|Province of the Roman Empire|
|Prefects before 41, Procurators after 44|
|•||26–36 CE||Pontius Pilate|
|•||64-66 CE||Gessius Florus|
|•||117 CE||Lusius Quietus|
|•||130-132 CE||Tineius Rufus|
|King of the Jews|
|Historical era||Roman Principate|
|•||Census of Quirinius||6 CE|
|•||Crisis under Caligula||37–41 CE|
|•||Incorporation of Galilee and Peraea||44 CE|
|•||Destruction of the Second Temple||August 4, 70 CE|
|•||Governor of praetorian rank & given the 10th Legion||c.74 CE|
|•||Bar Kokhba revolt||132–135 CE 135 CE|
|Today part of|| Israel
|Before August 4, 70 is referred to as Second Temple Judaism, from which the Tannaim and Early Christianity emerged.|
The Roman province of Judea (Hebrew: יהודה, Standard Yehuda Tiberian Yehûḏāh; Arabic: يهودا; Greek: Ἰουδαία; Latin: Iūdǽa), sometimes spelled in its original Latin forms of Judæa, Judaea or Iudaea to distinguish it from the geographical region of Judea, which incorporated the regions of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, and extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel. It was named after Herod Archelaus's Tetrarchy of Judea, but the Roman province encompassed a much larger territory. The name "Judea" was derived from the Kingdom of Judah of the 6th century BCE.
Judea province was the scene of unrest at its founding in 6 CE during the Census of Quirinius and several wars were fought in its history, known as the Jewish-Roman wars. The Temple was destroyed in 70 as part of the Great Jewish Revolt resulting in the institution of the Fiscus Judaicus, and after Bar Kokhba's revolt (132–135), the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of the province to Syria Palaestina and Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, which certain scholars conclude was done in an attempt to remove the relationship of the Jewish people to the region.
Relations with Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties
The first intervention of Rome in the region dates from 63 BCE, following the end of the Third Mithridatic War, when Rome made a province of Syria. After the defeat of Mithridates VI of Pontus, Pompey (Pompey the Great) sacked Jerusalem and established Hasmonean prince Hyrcanus II as Ethnarch and High Priest, but he was denied the title of King. A later appointment by Julius Caesar was Antipater the Idumaean, also known as Antipas, as the first Roman Procurator. Herod the Great, Antipater's son, was designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate in 40 BCE. He didn't gain military control until 37 BCE. During his reign the last representatives of the Hasmoneans were eliminated, and the great port of Caesarea Maritima was built.
He died in 4 BCE, and his kingdom was divided mostly among three of his sons, who became tetrarchs ("rulers of a quarter part", or in this case rather of "thirds"). One of these tetrarchies was Judea corresponding to the territory of the historic Judea, plus Samaria and Idumea. Herod's son Herod Archelaus, ruled Judea so badly that he was dismissed in 6 CE by the Roman emperor Augustus, after an appeal from his own population. Another, Herod Antipas, ruled as tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE to 39 CE, being then dismissed by Caligula. The third tetrarch, Herod's son Philip, ruled over the northeastern part of his father's kingdom.
Judea as Roman province
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In 6 CE Archelaus' tetrachy (Judea, plus Samaria and Idumea) came under Roman direct administration. Even though Iudaea is simply derived from the Latin for Judea, many historians use it to distinguish the Roman province from the previous territory and history. Iudaea province did not initially include Galilee, Gaulanitis (the 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 Egypt and was a border province against the Parthian Empire because of the Jewish connections to Babylonia (since the Babylonian exile). The capital was at Caesarea, not Jerusalem. Quirinius became Legate (Governor) of Syria and conducted the first Roman tax census of Syria and Iudaea, which was opposed by the Zealots. Iudaea was not a Senatorial province, nor exactly an Imperial province, but instead was a "satellite of Syria" governed by a prefect who was a knight of the equestrian order (as was Roman Egypt), not a former consul or praetor of senatorial rank. Pontius Pilate, whose name was recorded in the Pilate Stone, was one of these prefects, from 26 to 36 CE. Caiaphas was one of the appointed High Priests of Herod's Temple, being appointed by the Prefect Valerius Gratus in 18. Both were deposed by the Syrian Legate Lucius Vitellius in 36 CE.
Between 41 and 44 CE, Iudaea 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, though there is no indication Iudaea 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 elevated Iudaeas's procurator whom he trusted to imperial governing status because the imperial legate of Syria was not sympathetic to the Judeans. Following Agrippa's death in 44 CE, 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.
From 70 CE until 135 CE, Iudaea'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 Empire control.
Judaea was the stage of two, possibly three major rebellions against Roman rule:
- 66–70 CE - first rebellion, ending in the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of Herod's Temple (see Great Jewish Revolt, 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 CE, that Judaea became a consular province, that is, with a governor of consular rank).
- 115–117 CE - second rebellion, called Kitos War; Judaea'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 Judaea's participation in the rebellion, nor is there any archaeological way of distinguishing destruction levels of 117 CE from those of the large Bar Kokhba revolt of just a decade and a half later.
- 132–135 CE - third rebellion, Bar Kokhba's revolt
Following the suppression of Bar Kokhba's revolt, the emperor Hadrian changed the name of the province to Syria Palaestina and Jerusalem became Aelia Capitolina which Hayim Hillel Ben-Sasson states was done to erase the historical ties of the Jewish people to the region.
Under Diocletian (284-305) the region was divided into Palaestina Prima (Judea, Samaria, Idumea, Peraea and the coastal plain with Caesarea as capital), Palaestina Secunda (Galilee, Decapolis, Golan with Beth-shean as capital) and Palaestina Tertia (the Negev with Petra as capital).
List of Governors (AD 6–135)
- 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."
- Ariel Lewin. The archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine. Getty Publications, 2005 p. 33. "It seems clear that by choosing a seemingly neutral name - one juxtaposing that of a neighboring province with the revived name of an ancient geographical entity (Palestine), already known from the writings of Herodotus - Hadrian was intending to suppress any connection between the Jewish people and that land." ISBN 0-89236-800-4
- 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, in order 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."
- Ben-Sasson, Haim Hillel (1976). A History of the Jewish People. Harvard University Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-674-39731-6. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
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 18
- 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, though, 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;
- 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 over-estimated. 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 was stationed in Judaea, namely, the legio X Fretensis, which had also taken part in the war. 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. (p. 131 at Google Books)
- H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, page 351
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