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The Title Ethnarch in Second Temple Period Judea

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The title Ethnarch appears in Second Temple sources in reference to four Judean rulers: Simon the Hasmonean, John Hyrcanus, Hyrcanus II, and Archelaus, son of Herod. This evidence is usually taken for granted. However, a meticulous analysis of the sources shows that we should not rely on the evidence pertaining to the early Hasmoneans (Simon and John Hyrcanus), and it rather seems that the title was first employed only by the Romans (probably Julius Caesar) for Hyrcanus II. The paper further asserts that this title exemplifies a unique perception of the Jewish people by the Romans. Additionally, the paper notes some ramifications that this understanding of the title Ethnarch and the view which it exemplifies may have on certain issues of the Second Temple period.<xref ref-type="fn" rid="FN0">*</xref>

Affiliations: 1: Department of Jewish History,The Hebrew University Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel, Email:


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