Galilean Regionalism as a Factor in Historical Reconstruction

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Cambridge Core - Church History - Class and Power in Roman Palestine - by Anthony Keddie
As one moves from west to east, both Galilee and Judaea follow a similar pattern in geomorphic terms, coastal plain, central hill country, rift valley and the uplands of Transjordan. Galilee was recognised as a Jewish territory, together with Judaea in the south and Perea across the Jordan. These sub-regions were soon incorporated into the kingdom of Herod the Great, and were expected to make their contribution to the honouring of his Roman patron, Augustus. In the past twenty-five years, no region of ancient Palestine has received more attention than Galilee, because of Jewish and Christian interest in the career of Jesus and the emergence of rabbinic Judaism there after the revolt of Bar Kochba. In addition to the study of the literary evidence, mainly Josephus' works, the gospels, and the rabbinic writings, the focus has been on archaeology, both at key sites like Sepphoris and in surveys of various subregions. © Cambridge University Press 2006 and Cambridge University Press, 2008.
The possibility that the religion of Jews in Galilee differed markedly from that of their compatriots in Judaea has been of considerable interest to modern scholars for two reasons. First, any such distinction, if it existed, might have profound implications for the career and teaching of Jesus and for the development of the early Church. Secondly, understanding of any distinctive practices and beliefs in Galilee before ce 135 might throw light on the development of Judaism after that date, for in the middle and late second century ce, following the expulsion of all Jews from the area around Jerusalem, the main centres of rabbinic learning were to be found in Galilee. REASONS TO EXPECT A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO AREAS No literary evidence survives from Galilee to suggest that the inhabitants thought of themselves as Galileans rather than simply as Jews, and the detailed narrative set in Galilee by Josephus, the only contemporary author known to have been well acquainted with the region, singularly fails to mention anything special about the Judaism practised there. However, later rabbinic texts preserve traditions that religious life differed from that in the south. © Cambridge University Press 1999 and Cambridge University Press, 2008.
An extensive local provenience study of common pottery from Roman Galilee and Golan was carried out, employing neutron activation analysis. This pottery was then examined by binocular microscopy, xeroradiography and thin-section analysis and the results compared with the grouping by neutron activation analysis in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the former techniques for classifying these ceramic fabrics. It was found that xeroradiography alone would have led to the incorrect categorization of the pottery corpus, even at the level of major fabric groups. Thin-section analysts, on the other hand, was seen to be an effective means for sorting the collection into major fabric categories that comport with those defined by neutron activation analysis. In some cases, the description of micromorphological subgroups, comparable to the compositional subgroups distinguished by neutron activation analysis, was also possible. This discriminating classification by thin-section analysis was achieved by study of both the pottery matrix and its mineral composition. A description of this dual approach and its importance for pottery classification is presented.
Building on the earlier studies of ancient fishing by Rostovtzeff and Wuellner, this article examines fishing as a sub-system within the political economy and the domestic economy of first-century Galilee. I employ a model of embedded economics to articulate the relationships between the various players in the sub-system: the Roman emperors; Herod Antipas; the tax administrators; the brokers, tax collectors, and toll collectors; the fishing families; the hired laborers; the suppliers of raw goods and other products; fish processors; and shippers and carters. This model is developed in order to provide a more focussed frame of reference for the interpretation of the Jesus tradition (metaphors and narratives) and the location of Jesus' activity and network recruitment in Galilean fishing villages.
A recently developed high-precision X-ray fluorescence (XRF) method, applied for the first time to the study of archaeological pottery, determines the abundances of 13 trace and four major elements from one X-ray spectrum acquired over a 1000 second counting interval. For replicate archaeological samples, the short-term and long-term measurement precisions were close to 1% for the ten elements measured with highest precision. These are comparable to the best results achieved on replicates of clay and pottery standards, and obsidian, using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). High-precision XRF analysis, however, does not require a nuclear facility, and is markedly preferable to INAA in terms of the ease of both sample preparation and analytical procedure. Consequently, element abundance data can usually be provided by a single analyst within a few hours after the start of sample preparation. The accuracy of the method, determined by comparison with data of other workers on eight standard reference materials, averaged 2.4% for the ten best-agreeing elements. The effectiveness of the method for determining pottery provenance is demonstrated for a difficult problem, in which high-precision XRF analysis successfully distinguished the products of two nearby pottery manufacturers in Roman Galilee (Shikhin and Nahif) that had not been clearly differentiated by INAA. The greater effectiveness of high-precision XRF than INAA in this provenance study is a result of the different array of elements measured, and the higher precision obtained for certain elements, by XRF. These results suggest that high precision XRF has potential broad applicability for pottery provenance studies.
It has long been the common opinion that the Zealots were the party founded by Judas the Galilean — so Graetz and Jost, for instance, writing in the middle of the past century. Derenbourg, it is true, observed that the term ”Zealots” was not applied to the opponents of the Romans before the revolt, but when he came to the events of the revolt he made a descendant of Judas, Menahem, the leader of the Zealots and so apparently assumed the connection of the party with Judas. Schürer's adherence canonized the common opinion, and also the common description of the Sicarii as a more fanatical fraction of the party — though the sources contain nothing to suggest that the party had split before the Sicarii appeared. Hence, with only minor variations, Eduard Meyer, Bousset, Baron, and Yadin's account of the Zealots in Masada, to name only the largest studies.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Duke University, 1973. Bibliography: l. 306-326. Photocopy.
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