Review Article

Review Article: Ancient Galilee and the realities of the Roman Empire

Markus Cromhout
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1203 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1203 | © 2012 Markus Cromhout | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 December 2011 | Published: 05 November 2012


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Abstract

This review article summarises and delivers comment on Religion, ethnicity and identity in Ancient Galilee: A region in transition, edited by Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin and published by Mohr Siebeck in 2007. The majority of the articles in this volume testify of a ‘Jewish’ or rather Judean Galilee in the 1st century. It was a region that had cultural, economic, social, political and religious contact with surrounding areas and was thoroughly integrated into the realities of the Roman Empire. Whilst interregional contact and trade occurred freely, resistance and conflict occurred due to the proximity of ‘the Other’ that threatened the cultural and religio-political sensitivities of the Galileans. The Galileans also had strong attachments to aspects of their Judean identity, as evidenced by their enhanced musical culture, conservative epigraphic habit, participation in the revolt and the following of cultural practices also found in Judea. Based on this collection of articles, there are a few areas that need further investigation: how and when did the region fall under Hasmonean control and what was the exact nature of the local population at that time? At the time of Antipas, were Galilean peasants generally experiencing harsh economic conditions, or did his rule allow for economic participation to flourish? The exact context of Jesus’ ministry, therefore, is still a matter to be decided and invites further investigation.

Keywords

Galilee; identity; ethnicity; religion; Judaea

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