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One Temple And Many Synagogues: On Religion And State In Herodian Judaea And Augustan Rome

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Chapter Summary

The reign of Herod, who was neither a priest nor a Roman, looks as if it were a neatly intermediate step between the Hasmonaean period, when Judaea was ruled by high priests, and the Roman period, when it was ruled by non-Jews. Herods main contribution to the religion/state issue in Judaea seems rather to have been elsewhere, and one despite himself. Namely, his expansion and renovation of the Temple, which turned it into something quite massive and impressive, exacerbated the contradiction between the continued existence of that which the Bible and Jewish tradition considered to be the House of God, i.e., the palace of the true King of the Judaea, on the one hand, and Roman rule, on the other.

Keywords: Hasmonaean period; Herodian Judaea; Rome



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