Israel and Empire

Christopher Bryan

in Render to Caesar

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195183344
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835584 | DOI:
Israel and Empire

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From 63 BC until the Jewish War of 66, Israel was under Rome’s control. Following the deposition of Herod’s son Archelaus in AD 6, there were two phases. From 6 to 39 there was direct Roman rule of Judea, while Galilee continued under Herod’s son Herod Antipas. From 44 to 66 there was direct Roman rule of Galilee and Judea. The two phases were separated by a brief period of united rule from 41 to 44 under Agrippa I, Herod the Great’s grandson. Throughout the period, there were disturbances and protests, but their extent and significance is impossible to estimate. Among possible Jewish attitudes to foreign imperium we may note: (1) acceptance of Roman rule, (2) acceptance of Roman rule, with willingness on occasion to question non-violently its actions, (3) non-violent rejection of Roman rule, and (4) violent rejection of Roman rule. Following the war of 132–135 the rabbis maintained the second option, insisting that in all things not directly contravening God’s law, the empire’s laws must be obeyed.

Keywords: Agrippa I; Archelaus; Galilee; Herod the Great; Herod Antipas; Imperium; Jewish War; Judea; Rome; Roman rule

Chapter.  5533 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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