Monday, October 29, 2012

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Hegemony, Psalms 1:1-4 6, Ephesians 4:32--5:8,Luke 13:10-17, Saint Narcissus, Aelia Capitolina, Syria Palestina , Roman Empire 27 BC - 214 AD

Monday, October 29, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog:
Hegemony, Psalms 1:1-4 6, Ephesians 4:32--5:8, Luke 13:10-17, Saint Narcissus, Aelia Capitolina, Syria Palestina , Roman Empire 27 BC - 214 AD

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


October 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children! Today I call you to pray for my intentions. Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition. I call you, little children, to holiness and to live in grace. Adore my Son so that He may fill you with His peace and love for which you yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call." ~ Blessed Virgin Mary

October 02, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children; I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that He may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that He may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience His Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you."
~ Blessed Virgin Mary


Today's Word:  hegemony  he·gem·o·ny  [hi-jem-uh-nee]

Origin: 1560–70;  < Greek hēgemonía  leadership, supremacy, equivalent to hēgemon-  (stem of hēgemṓn ) leader + -ia -y3

noun, plural he·gem·o·nies.
1. leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation.
2. leadership; predominance.
3. (especially among smaller nations) aggression or expansionism by large nations in an effort to achieve world domination.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 1:1-4, 6

1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread, nor a seat in company with cynics,
2 but who delights in the law of Yahweh and murmurs his law day and night.
3 Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds.
4 How different the wicked, how different! Just like chaff blown around by the wind
6 For Yahweh watches over the path of the upright, but the path of the wicked is doomed


Today's Epistle Reading: Ephesians 4:32--5:8

32 Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
1 As God's dear children, then, take him as your pattern,
2 and follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up for us as an offering and a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.
3 Among you there must be not even a mention of sexual vice or impurity in any of its forms, or greed: this would scarcely become the holy people of God!
4 There must be no foul or salacious talk or coarse jokes -- all this is wrong for you; there should rather be thanksgiving.
5 For you can be quite certain that nobody who indulges in sexual immorality or impurity or greed -- which is worshipping a false god -- can inherit the kingdom of God.
6 Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments: it is such behaviour that draws down God's retribution on those who rebel against him.
7 Make sure that you do not throw in your lot with them.
8 You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; behave as children of light


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 13:10-17

One Sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and there before him was a woman who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that crippled her; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, 'Woman, you are freed from your disability,' and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God. But the president of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and he addressed all those present saying, 'There are six days when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the Sabbath.' But the Lord answered him and said, 'Hypocrites! Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years -- was it not right to untie this bond on the Sabbath day?' When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

• The Gospel today describes the cure of a woman who was crippled. It is a question of one of the many episodes which Luke narrates, without too much order, in describing the long journey of Jesus toward Jerusalem (Lk 9, 51 to 1928).

• Luke 13, 10-11: The situation which brings about the action of Jesus. Jesus is in the synagogue on a day of rest. He keeps the Law respecting Saturday and participating in the celebration together with his people. Luke tells us that Jesus was teaching. In the Synagogue there was a crippled woman. Luke says that she had a spirit which crippled her and prevented her from straightening up. This was a way in which the people of that time explained sicknesses. It was already eighteen years that she was in that situation. The woman does not speak, does not have a name, she does not ask to be cured, she takes no initiative. One is struck by her passivity.

• Luke 13, 12-13: Jesus cures the woman. Seeing the woman, Jesus calls her and says to her: Woman, you are freed from your disability!” The action of freeing is done by the word, addressed directly to the woman, and through the imposition of the hands. Immediately, she stands up and begins to praise the Lord. There is relation between standing up and praising the Lord. Jesus does things in such a way that the woman stands up, in such a way that she can praise God in the midst of the people meeting in the assembly. Peter’s mother-in-law, once she was cured, she stands up and serves (Mk 1, 31). To praise God is to serve the brothers!

• Luke 13, 14: The reaction of the president of the Synagogue. The President of the Synagogue became indignant seeing Jesus’ action, because he had cured on Saturday: “There are six days when work is to be done. Come and be healed in one of those days and not on the Sabbath”. In the criticism of the President of the Synagogue, people remember the word of the Law of God which said: “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You shall do no work that day”, (Ex 20, 8-10). In this reaction is the reason why the woman could not participate at that time. The dominion of conscience through the manipulation of the law of God was quite strong. And this was the way of keeping the people submitted and bent down, crippled.

• Luke 13, 15-16: The response of Jesus to the President of the Synagogue. The President condemned persons because he wanted them to observe the Law of God. What for the President of the Synagogue is observance of the Law, for Jesus is hypocrisy: "Hypocrites, is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and take it down for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie this bond on the Sabbath day?” With this example drawn from every day life, Jesus indicates the incoherence of this type of observance of the Law of God. If it is permitted to untie an ox or a donkey on Saturday to give it water, much more will it be permitted to untie a daughter of Abraham to free her from the power of evil. The true sense of the observance of the Law which pleases God is this: to liberate persons from the power of evil and to make them stand up, in order that they can render glory to God and praise him. Jesus imitates God who sustains those who are unsteady or weak and lifts those who fall (Ps 145, 14; 146, 8).

• Luke 13, 17: The reaction of the people before the action of Jesus. The teaching of Jesus confuses his enemies, but the crowds are filled with joy because of the wonderful things that Jesus is doing: “All the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked”. In Palestine, at the time of Jesus, women lived crippled, bent, and submitted to the husband, to the parents and to the religious heads of her people. This situation of submission was justified by the religion. But Jesus does not want her to continue to be crippled, bent. To choose and to liberate persons does not depend on a determinate date. It can be done every day, even on Saturday!

Personal questions
• The situation of women has changed very much since that time, or not? Which is the situation of women in society and in the Church? Is there any relation between religion and oppression of women?
• Did the crowds exult before the action of Jesus? What liberation is taking place today and is leading the crowd to exult and to give thanks to God?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem

Feast Day:  October 29
Patron Saint:  Patriarch of Jerusalem

Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem (c. 99 – c. 216) was an early patriarch of Jerusalem. He is venerated as a saint by both the Western and Eastern Churches. In the Roman Catholic Church, his feast day is celebrated on October 29, while in the Eastern Orthodox Church it is celebrated on August 7.

It is inferred that the average reign of the bishops of Jerusalem was short, as evidenced by the episcopal reigns of those who followed Saint Simeon, the second Bishop of Jerusalem, who was martyred in the year 117 by the Emperor Trajan Of Greek origin, tradition holds that Narcissus was born in the year 99 and was at least 80 when he was made the thirtieth Bishop of Jerusalem. More than a century had then elapsed since the city was destroyed by the Romans, and it had since been rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina by the Emperor Hadrian.

In the year 195, St Narcissus, together with Theophitus or Theoctistus, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, presided over a council held by the bishops of Palestine in Caesarea, and it was decreed that Easter was to be always kept on a Sunday, and not with the Jewish Passover. According to Eusebius, the holy Bishop performed many miracles. One miracle of note, as Eusebius testified, had occurred during the Easter Vigil when the saintly Bishop changed water into oil to supply all the lamps of the church.

Regardless of his sanctity, he was severely calumniated by certain members of his own flock. God made his innocence known and those who had sought to destroy St Narcissus by their lies were themselves found out to be liars and suffered for their sins. Prior to leaving Jerusalem, this holy man forgave all, and retired in seclusion for several years.

Three bishops governed the See of Jerusalem in succession during his absence. Upon his return to Jerusalem, the people unanimously sought him out and asked him to resume his episcopal duties. This he did, but owing to his extreme age and the weight of the duties then thrust upon him, he made Saint Alexander his coadjutor Bishop. St Narcissus continued to serve his flock and other churches outside his jurisdiction by his constant, fervent prayer and his earnest exhortations to the faithful for unity and peace. St Narcissus died while in prayer on his knees at the age of 117. St Alexander, who served as St Narcissus' coadjutor, wrote a letter in the year 212 that he had then reached the age of 116.


    • Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, pp. 423–424


        Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


        Today's  Snippet:  Aelia Capitolina, Syria Palestina

        The Madaba Map of 6th C. Jerusalem .
        Aelia Capitolina (Latin in full: Colonia Aelia Capitolina) was a city built by the emperor Hadrian, and occupied by a Roman colony, on the site of Jerusalem, which was in ruins since 70 AD, leading in part to the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–136.
        Aelia came from Hadrian's nomen gentile, Aelius, while Capitolina meant that the new city was dedicated to Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom a temple was built on the site of the former Jewish temple, the Temple Mount. The city was without walls, protected by a light garrison of the Tenth Legion, during the Late Roman Period. The detachment at Jerusalem, which apparently encamped all over the city’s western hill, was responsible for preventing Jews from returning to the city. Roman enforcement of this prohibition continued through the 4th century. The Latin name Aelia is the source of the Arabic term Iliyā' (إلياء), an early Islamic name for Jerusalem.
        The Madaba Map (also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map) is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East. Part of it contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. It dates to the 6th century AD.  The mosaic map depicts an area from Lebanon in the north to the Nile Delta in the south, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Eastern Desert. Among other features, it depicts the Dead Sea with two fishing boats, a variety of bridges linking the banks of the Jordan, fish swimming in the river and receding from the Dead Sea; a lion (rendered nearly unrecognisable by the insertion of random tesserae during a period of iconoclasm) hunting a gazelle in the Moab desert, palm-ringed Jericho, Bethlehem and other biblical-Christian sites. The map may partially have served to facilitate pilgrims' orientation in the Holy Land. All landscape units are labelled with explanations in Greek. A combination of folding perspective and aerial view depicts about 150 towns and villages, all of them labelled. The largest and most detailed element of the topographic depiction is Jerusalem, at the centre of the map. The mosaic clearly shows a number of significant structures in the Old City of Jerusalem: the Damascus Gate, the Lions' Gate, the Golden Gate, the Zion Gate, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the New Church of the Theotokos, the Tower of David and the Cardo Maximus. The recognisable depiction of the urban topography makes the mosaic a key source on Byzantine Jerusalem. Also unique are the detailed depictions of cities such as Neapolis, Askalon, Gaza, Pelusium and Charachmoba, all of them nearly detailed enough to be described as street map.


        Jerusalem was still in ruins from the First Jewish-Roman War in 70 AD. Josephus, a contemporary, reports that "Jerusalem ... was so thoroughly razed to the ground by those that demolished it to its foundations, that nothing was left that could ever persuade visitors that it had once been a place of habitation. When the Roman Emperor Hadrian vowed to rebuild Jerusalem from the wreckage in 130 AD, he considered reconstructing Jerusalem as a gift for the Jewish people. The Jews awaited with hope, but then after Hadrian visited Jerusalem, he decided to rebuild the city as a Roman colony which would be inhabited by his legionnaires. Hadrian's new plans included temples to the major regional deities, and certain Roman gods, in particular Jupiter Capitolinus. Jews secretly started putting aside arms from the Roman munitions workshops; soon after, a revolt broke out under Simeon ben Kosiba. This Bar Kokhba revolt, which the Romans managed to suppress, enraged Hadrian, and he came to be determined to erase Judaism from the province. Circumcision was forbidden, Iudaea province was renamed Syria Palaestina and Jews (formally all circumcised men, Arabs too) were banned from entering the city on pain of death.

        The Christian Church in Jerusalem after 135

        According to Eusebius, the Jerusalem church was scattered twice, in AD70 and AD135, with the difference that from 70-130 the bishops of Jerusalem have evidently Jewish names, whereas after 135 the bishops of Aelia Capitolina appear to be Greeks. Eusebius' evidence for continuation of a church at Aelia Capitolina is confirmed by the Bordeaux Pilgrim. The Pilgrim's reference is a basis for the Church of Zion, Jerusalem thesis of Bagatti (1976) and Testa, though the archeological evidence may suggest only a later Crusader church.

        Plan of the city

        The two pairs of main roads - the cardines (north-south) and decumani (east-west) - in Aelia Capitolina.
        The urban plan of Aelia Capitolina was that of a typical Roman town wherein main thoroughfares crisscrossed the urban grid lengthwise and widthwise. The urban grid was based on the usual central north-south road (cardo) and central east-west route (decumanus). However, as the main cardo ran up the western hill, and the Temple Mount blocked the eastward route of the main decumanus, a second pair of main roads was added; the secondary cardo ran down the Tyropoeon Valley, and the secondary decumanus ran just to the north of the temple mount. The main Hadrianic cardo terminated not far beyond its junction with the decumanus, where it reached the Roman garrison's encampment, but in the Byzantine era it was extended over the former camp to reach the southern walls of the city.

        The two cardines converged near the Damascus Gate, and a semicircular piazza covered the remaining space; in the piazza a columnar monument was constructed, hence the traditional name for the gate - Bab el-Amud (Gate of the Column). Tetrapylones were constructed at the other junctions between the main roads.

        This street pattern has been preserved through Jerusalem's later history; the western cardo is Suq Khan ez-Zeit (Olive-oil Inn Market), the southern decumanus is both the Street of the Chain and Suq el-Bazaar (Bazaar Market; called David Street by Israelis), the eastern cardo is Al-wad Road (Valley road), and the northern decumanus is now the Via Dolorosa. The original thoroughfare, flanked by rows of columns and shops, was about 73 feet (22 meters) wide (roughly the equivalent of a present-day six lane motorway), but buildings have extended onto the streets over the centuries, and the modern lanes replacing the ancient grid are now quite narrow. The substantial remains of the western cardo have now been exposed to view near the junction with Suq el-Bazaar, and remnants of one of the tetrapylones are preserved in the 19th century Franciscan chapel at the junction of the Via Dolorosa and Suq Khan ez-Zeit.

        As was standard for new Roman cities, Hadrian placed the city's main Forum at the junction of the main cardo and decumanus, now the location for the (smaller) Muristan. Adjacent to the Forum, at the junction of the same cardo, and the other decumanus, Hadrian built a large temple to the goddess Venus, which later became the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; despite 11th century destruction, which resulted in the modern Church having a much smaller footprint, several boundary walls of Hadrian's temple have been found among the archaeological remains beneath the Church. The Struthion Pool lay in the path of the northern decumanus, so Hadrian placed vaulting over it, added a large pavement on top, and turned it into a secondary Forum; the pavement can still be seen under the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.


        Province of Syria Palæstina

        Syria Palæstina was a Roman province between 135 and about 390. It was established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135. In 193, coastal Coele-Syria was split from Syria Palæstina, to form a separate Roman province. Syria Palaestina had become part of the splinter Palmyrene Empire for a brief period that lasted from 260 to 272, when it was restored to Roman central authority. Eventually the province became reorganized under the Byzantine Empire as part of the Diocese of the East, which divided it into the provinces of Syria Prima, Phoenicia, Palaestina Prima and Palaestina Secunda.

        Name origins

        The earliest numismatic evidence for the name Syria Palæstina comes from the period of emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.  Herodotus wrote in c. 450 BCE in The Histories of a 'district of Syria, called Palaistinê" (whence Palaestina, from which Palestine is derived). And in c. 40 CE, the Roman-Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria wrote of the Jews in Palestine: "Moreover Palestine and Syria too are not barren of exemplary wisdom and virtue, which countries no slight portion of that most populous nation of the Jews inhabits. There is a portion of those people called Essenes"


        In 63 BCE, Syria was incorporated into the Roman Republic as a province, following the successful campaign of Pompeius the Great against the Parthians. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE, the independent Hasmonean state of Judea expanded in territories of the collapsing Seleucid Empire, but from the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 63 BCE onwards, it increasingly fell under foreign influence. Judaea at first retained its independence, but an internal struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Persian heirs of the Hasmonean dynasty, eventually led Herod the Great to assume power in 37 BCE, making Judaea a client Kingdom of Rome. Following Herod's death the Herodian Kingdom became a Tetrarchy, partitioned among Herod's sons, but in 6 CE Roman intervention made Judaea a Roman Province.

        The capital of Roman Syria was established in Antioch from the very beginning of Roman rule, while the capital of the Judaea province was shifted to Caesarea Maritima, which, according to historian H. H. Ben-Sasson, had been the "administrative capital" of the region beginning in 6 CE.

        The Provinces of Judaea and Syria were key scense of an increasing conflict between Judaean and Hellenistic population, which exploded into full scale Jewish-Roman Wars, beginning with the Great Jewish Revolt of 66-70. Disturbances followed throughout the reigon during the Qitos War in 117-118. Between 132–135, Simon Bar Kokhba led a revolt against the Roman Empire, controlling Jerusalem and the surrounding areas for three years. He was proclaimed the Messiah by Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph. As a result, Hadrian sent Sextus Julius Severus to the region, who brutally crushed the revolt and retook the city.


        After crushing the Bar Kokhba revolt, the Roman Emperor Hadrian applied the name Syria Palestina to the entire region, that had formerly included Iudaea Province. Hadrian probably chose a name that revived the ancient name of Philistia (Palestine), combining it with that of the neighboring province of Syria, in an attempt to suppress Jewish connection to the land. However Cassius Dio, the Roman historian from whom we have the bulk of our understanding of the revolt, does not mention the change of name nor the reason behind it in his "Roman History". The city of Aelia Capitolina was built by the emperor Hadrian on the ruins of Jerusalem. The capital of the enlarged province remained in Antiochia.

        In 193, the province of Syria-Coele was split from Syria Palaestina. In the 3rd century, Syrians even reached for imperial power, with the Severan dynasty. Syria was of crucial strategic importance during the Crisis of the Third Century.

        Conflict with Sassanids and emergence of the Palmyrene Empire

        Beginning in 212, Palmyra's trade diminished as the Sassanids occupied the mouth of the Tigris and the Euphrates. In 232, the Syrian Legion rebelled against the Roman Empire, but the uprising went unsuccessful. Septimius Odaenathus, a Prince of Palmyra, was appointed by Valerian as the governor of the province of Syria Palaestina. After Valerian was captured by the Sassanids in 260, and died in captivity in Bishapur, Odaenathus campaigned as far as Ctesiphon (near modern-day Baghdad) for revenge, invading the city twice. When Odaenathus was assassinated by his nephew Maconius, his wife Septimia Zenobia took power, ruling Palmyra on the behalf of her son, Vabalathus.

        Zenobia rebelled against Roman authority with the help of Cassius Longinus and took over Bosra and lands as far to the west as Egypt, establishing the short-lived Palmyrene Empire. Next, she took Antioch and large sections of Asia Minor to the north. In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian finally restored Roman control and Palmyra was besieged and sacked, never to recover her former glory. Aurelian captured Zenobia, bringing her back to Rome. He paraded her in golden chains in the presence of the senator Marcellus Petrus Nutenus, but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years. A legionary fortress was established in Palmyra and although no longer an important trade center, it nevertheless remained an important junction of Roman roads in the Syrian desert. Diocletian expanded the city of Palmyra to harbor even more legions and walled it in to try and save it from the Sassanid threat. The Byzantine period following the Roman Empire only resulted in the building of a few churches; much of the city went to ruin.


        In c.390, Syria Palaestina was reorganised into the several administrative units: Palaestina Prima, Palaestina Secunda, and Tertia (in the 6th century), Syria Prima and Phoenice and Phoenice Lebanensis. All were included within the larger Byzantine Diocese of the East, together with the provinces of Isauria, Cilicia, Cyprus (until 536), Euphratensis, Mesopotamia, Osroene and Arabia Petraea. Palaestina Prima consisted of Judea, Samaria, the coast, and Peraea with the governor residing in Caesarea. Palaestina Secunda consisted of the Galilee, the lower Jezreel Valley, the regions east of Galilee, and the western part of the former Decapolis with the seat of government at Scythopolis. Palaestina Tertia included the Negev, southern Transjordan part of Arabia — and most of Sinai with Petra, as the usual residence of the governor. Palestina Tertia was also known as Palaestina Salutaris.


        A number of events with far-reaching consequences took place, including religious schisms, such as Christianity branching off from Judaism.

        Second Temple Judaism

        The practitioning population of the Mosaic faith at the time included the Jews, Samaritans, Nabateans and Edomeans. Among the Jews and Edomeans, the Jewish-Roman Wars created a crisis of religion, out of which the Rabbinic Judaism emerged.  Following, the Jewish-Roman Wars, many Jews left the country altogether for the Diaspora communities, and large numbers of prisoners of war are sold as slaves throughout the Empire. This changed the perception of Jerusalem as the center of faith and autonomous Jewish communities shifted from centrilized religious authority into more dispersed one.

        Roman cult

        After the Jewish–Roman wars (66–135), which Epiphanius believed the Cenacle survived, the significance of Jerusalem to Christians entered a period of decline, Jerusalem having been temporarily converted to the pagan Aelia Capitolina, but interest resumed again with the pilgrimage of Helena (the mother of Constantine the Great) to the Holy Land c. 326–28. New pagan cities were founded in Judea at Eleutheropolis (Bayt Jibrin), Diopolis (Lydd), and Nicopolis (Emmaus).

        Early Christianity

        The Romans destroyed the Jewish community of the Mother Church in Jerusalem, which had existed since the time of Jesus. Traditionally it is believed the Jerusalem Christians waited out the Jewish–Roman wars in Pella in the Decapolis.

        The line of Jewish bishops in Jerusalem, which is claimed to have started with Jesus's brother James the Righteous as its first bishop, ceased to exist, within the Empire. Hans Kung in "Islam :Past Present and Future", suggests that the Jewish Christians sought refuge in Arabia and he quotes with approval Clemen et al.:
        "This produces the paradox of truly historic significance that while Jewish Christianity was swallowed up in the Christian church, it preserved itself in Islam, and some of its most powerful impulses extend down to the present day".
        Christianity was practiced in secret and the Hellenization of Palaestina continued under Septimius Severus (193–211 CE).


        As a large province, the territory of Syria-Palaestina comprised the Levant and the western part of Mesopotamia. In Northern Levant, the mixed pagan population of Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans formed the majority, along Ismaelite Arab societies of Itureans and later also Qahtanite Ghassanids (Arab Christians), who migrated to the area of Golantis in 4th century from Yemen.

        A mix of Arameans and Assyrians were populating the western Mesopotamia, and nomad Arabs, like the Nabateans, were thriving in the Syrian Desert and south. In Southern Levant, until about 200 and despite the genocide of Jewish-Roman Wars, Jews had formed a majority of the population. Due to the decline of Jewish population, Samaritans and Greco-Romans became the dominant societies in this region by the end of the 2nd century.

        By the beginning of the Byzantine period (disestablishment of Syria-Palaestina), the Jews had still formed the majority and were living alongside Samaritans, pagan Greco-Syrians and a small Christian community." Other opinions however, put the majority population of southern Levant on Samaritans or Christian Byzantines.

        Ancient Roman Province  27 BC - 214 AD

        In Ancient Rome, a province (Latin, provincia, pl. provinciae) was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy (c. 296), largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy. The word province in modern English has its origins in the term used by the Romans.

        Provinces were generally governed by politicians of senatorial rank, usually former consuls or former praetors. A later exception was the province of Egypt, incorporated by Augustus after the death of Cleopatra: it was ruled by a governor of equestrian rank only, perhaps as a discouragement to senatorial ambition. This exception was unique, but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus' personal property, following the tradition of earlier, Hellenistic kings.

        Imperial provinces during the Principate

        The Roman Empire under Trajan in 117; Imperial provinces are shaded green, Senatorial provinces are shaded beige, and client states are shaded gray.
        In the so-called Augustan Settlement of 27 BC, which established the Roman Empire, the governance of the provinces was regulated. Octavian Caesar, having emerged from the Roman civil wars as the undisputed victor and master of the Roman state, officially laid down his powers, and in theory restored the authority of the Roman Senate. Octavian himself assumed the title "Augustus" and was given to govern, in addition to Egypt, the strategically important provinces of Gaul, Hispania and Syria (including Cilicia and Cyprus). Under Augustus, Roman provinces were classified as either senatorial or imperial, meaning that their governors were appointed by either the Senate or by the emperor. Generally, the older provinces that existed under the Republic were senatorial. Senatorial provinces were, as before under the Republic, governed by a proconsul, who was chosen by lot among the ranks of senators who were ex-consuls or ex-praetors, depending on which province was assigned. The major imperial provinces were under a legatus Augusti pro praetore, also a senator of consular or praetorian rank. Egypt and some smaller provinces where no legions were based were ruled by a procurator (praefectus in Egypt), whom the emperor selected from non-senators of equestrian rank. The status of a province could change from time to time. In AD 68, of a total 36 provinces, 11 were senatorial and 25 imperial. Of the latter, 15 were under legati and 10 under procuratores or praefecti.

        During the Principate, the number and size of provinces also changed, either through conquest or through the division of existing provinces. The larger or more heavily garrisoned provinces (for example Syria and Moesia) were subdivided into smaller provinces to prevent any single governor from holding too much power.

        List of provinces created during the Principate

        • 27 BC – Achaea separated from Macedonia, senatorial propraetorial province
        • 25 BC – Galatia, imperial propraetorial province
        • 22 BC – reorganization of Gaul following the conquests of Julius Caesar into Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Belgica, Gallia Lugdunensis, imperial propraetorial provinces
        • 15 BC – Raetia, imperial procuratorial province
        • c. 13 BC – Hispania Ulterior divided into Baetica and Lusitania (senatorial propraetorial and imperial propraetorial respectively)
        • 12 BC – Germania Magna, lost after 9 AD
        • 6 AD – Iudaea, imperial procuratorial province (renamed Syria Palaestina by Hadrian, and upgraded to proconsular province).
        • 14 – Alpes Maritimae, imperial procuratorial province
        • 18 – Cappadocia, imperial propraetorial (later proconsular) province
        • c. 20–50 – Illyricum divided into Illyricum Superior (Dalmatia) and Illyricum Inferior (Pannonia), imperial proconsular provinces
        • 40 – Mauretania Tingitana and Mauretania Caesariensis, imperial procuratorial provinces
        • c. 40 – Noricum, imperial procuratorial province
        • 43 – Britannia, imperial proconsular province
        • 43 – Lycia et Pamphylia, imperial propraetorial province
        • 46 – Thracia, imperial procuratorial province
        • c. 47 – Alpes Poeninae, imperial procuratorial province
        • 63 – Alpes Cottiae, imperial procuratorial province
        • 67 – Epirus, imperial procuratorial province
        • 72 – Commagene annexed to Syria
        • c. 84 – Germania Superior and Germania Inferior, imperial proconsular provinces
        • 85 – Moesia divided into Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior, imperial proconsular provinces
        • 105 – Arabia, imperial propraetorial province
        • 107 – Dacia, imperial proconsular province (split into Dacia Superior and Dacia Inferior between 118 and 158)
        • 107 – Pannonia divided into Pannonia Superior and Pannonia Inferior, imperial provinces (proconsular and propraetorial respectively)
        • c. 115 – Armenia, Assyria and Mesopotamia, formed by Trajan, abandoned by Hadrian in 118
        • 166 – Tres Daciae formed: Porolissensis, Apulensis and Malvensis, imperial procuratorial provinces
        • 193 – Syria divided into Syria Coele and Syria Phoenicia, imperial provinces (proconsular and propraetorial respectively)
        • 193 – Numidia separated from Africa proconsularis, imperial propraetorial province
        • c. 197 – Mesopotamia, imperial praefectorial province
        • 197 (formalized c. 212) – Britannia divided into Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior, imperial provinces (proconsular and propraetorial respectively)
        • 214 AD – Osroene


            • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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