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Judea

Judea or Judaea was first a client kingdom, then a province, of the Roman Empire. It was formed in 63 BC from lands captured by Pompey: Syria and the land south of it as far as Egypt. It included the ancient Kingdom of Judah.

Pompey put the prince and high priest Hyrcanus in charge of the kingdom. When Pompey was defeated by Julius Caesar, Hyrcanus was succeeded by his courtier Antipater. Caesar and Antipater were killed in 44 BC, and Herod was appointed as governor (tetrarch) by Rome 41 BC. He became the outright ruler (basileus) of Judaea in 37 BC and was later known as King Herod the Great. During his reign the great port of Caesarea Maritima was built. He died in 4 BC, and his kingdom was divided among his sons. Among these was Herod Archelaus, who ruled Judea so badly from 4 BC to 6 AD that he was dismissed by the Roman emperor Augustus.

The kingdom of Judea now became part of a larger Roman province, also called Judea, until 41 AD, when the emperor Claudius made Herod Agrippa its king. Agrippa I died in 44, and the province returned to Roman control. The province was returned piecemeal to Agrippa's son Marcus Julius Agrippa between 48 and 54. During the younger Agrippa's reign the kingdom was damaged by fighting with Rome, including an invasion by Vespasian. When he died, about 100, the area returned to the Roman Empire.



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