|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, and extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Judea. It was named after the Tetrarchy of Judaea, but the Roman province encompassed a much larger territory. The name "Judaea" was derived from the Iron Age Kingdom of Judah.
The Roman Republic invaded the region in 63 BCE, first taking control of Syria, and then intervening in the Hasmonean Civil War. The struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian factions in Judea eventually led to the installation of Herod the Great as King of the Jews and consolidation of the Herodian kingdom as a vassal Judean state of Rome. Following Herod's death in 4 BCE, the Herodian Tetrarchy was created, with the kingdom divided between his sons Herod Archelaus as ethnarch, Herod Antipas and Philip as tetrarchs in inheritance, and his sister Salome I briefly ruled a toparchy of Jamnia. Herod Archelaus was deposed in 6 CE, and Judaea came under direct Roman rule.
This transition of Judaea from a semi-autonomous kingdom into a Roman province immediately brought a great deal of tensions and a Jewish uprising by Judas of Galilee erupted right away as a response to the Census of Quirinius. Jews of the province were divided into several sects, sometimes warring among themselves: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots. The first century BCE and first century CE saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders. The rabbinic sages known as the Tannaim contributed to what would become the Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism. The crucifixion of Jesus took place circa 30–33 CE, and his earliest followers had formed an apocalyptic messianic sect which later developed into Christianity.
Growing dissatisfaction with Roman rule eventually led to the Jewish-Roman Wars. The suppression of these revolts caused a wide-scale destruction, a very high toll of life and enslavement. The First Jewish-Roman War (66-73 CE) resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple, bringing an end to the Second Temple period in Jewish History. Following the war, the Fiscus Judaicus was instituted. Two generations later, the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136 CE) erupted. Judea's countryside was devastated, and many were killed, displaced or sold into slavery. At around the time of the revolt, the province of Judaea was renamed Syria Palaestina, alongside the renaming of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina. According to a scholarly view, the aim of renaming Judea was to disassociate the Jewish people from the land, though other explanations have also been suggested, including an alternative theory contemplating that the renaming efforts preceded and helped to precipitate the rebellion.
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.
|History of Israel|
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.
Because of his failure to properly rule Judea, Archelaus was removed from his post by Emperor Augustus in 6 CE, while Judea, Samaria and Idumea came under direct Roman administration.
|History of Palestine|
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.
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.
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.
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:
Under Diocletian (284–305) the region was divided into three provinces:
Main article: Roman administration of Judaea (AD 6–135)
|Name||Reign||Length of rule||Category|
|Marcus Ambivulus||9–12||3||Roman Prefect|
|Annius Rufus||12–15||3||Roman Prefect|
|Valerius Gratus||15–26 (?)||11||Roman Prefect|
|Pontius Pilate||26–36 (?)||10||Roman Prefect|
|Marcellus||36–37||1||Roman Prefect or caretaker|
|Agrippa I (autonomous king)||41–44||3||King of Judaea|
|Cuspius Fadus||44–46||2||Roman Procurator|
|Tiberius Julius Alexander||46–48||2||Roman Procurator|
|Ventidius Cumanus||48–52||4||Roman Procurator|
|Marcus Antonius Felix||52–60||8||Roman Procurator|
|Porcius Festus||60–62||2||Roman Procurator|
|Lucceius Albinus||62–64||2||Roman Procurator|
|Gessius Florus||64–66||2||Roman Procurator|
|Marcus Antonius Julianus||66–70 (dates uncertain)||4||Roman Procurator|
|Sextus Vettulenus Cerialis||70–71||1||Roman Legate|
|Sextus Lucilius Bassus||71–72||1||Roman Legate|
|Lucius Flavius Silva||72–81||9||Roman Legate|
|Marcus Salvidienus||80–85||5||Roman Legate|
|Gnaeus Pompeius Longinus||c.86||1||Roman Legate|
|Sextus Hermentidius Campanus||c.93||1||Roman Legate|
|Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes||99–102||3||Roman Legate|
|Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus||102–104||2||Roman Legate|
|Quintus Pompeius Falco||105–107||2||Roman Legate|
|Lusius Quietus||117–120||3||Roman Legate|
|Gargilius Antiquus||c. 124–?||1||Roman Prefect|
|Quintus Tineius Rufus||130–132/3||3||Roman Legate|
|Sextus Julius Severus||c. 133/4–135||1||Roman Legate|
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
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.
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.
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.
...if there is any fact of Jesus' life that has been established by a broad consensus, it is the fact of Jesus' crucifixion.
[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.