Greco-Roman Culture and the Galilee of Jesus
Greco-Roman Culture and the Galilee of Jesus, a book-length investigation of this topic, challenges the conventional scholarly view that first-century Galilee was thoroughly Hellenised. Examining architecture, inscriptions, coins and art from Alexander the Great's conquest until the early fourth century CE, Chancey argues that the extent of Greco-Roman culture in the time of Jesus has often been greatly exaggerated. Antipas's reign in the early first century was indeed a time of transition, but the more dramatic shifts in Galilee's cultural climate happened in the second century, after the arrival of a large Roman garrison. Much of Galilee's Hellenisation should thus be understood within the context of its Romanisation. Any attempt to understand the Galilean setting of Jesus must recognise the significance of the region's historical development as well as how Galilee fits into the larger context of the Roman East.
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This is a really exciting article about the world that Jesus was born in. "The only colony in roman East at the time (of the Roman colonization) was Berytus (Beirut), planted by August in 15 or 14 BCE." Thus we find Augustus' presence in the region at the time Jesus was conceived. Augustus may have sired Jesus just as his grand uncle, Julius, sired Cesarian through Cleopatra. Probably the Roman king-gods used their sperm to proliferate the Roman culture in their provinces. The article is vibrant and well referenced. I use this reference in my article, "Jesus' Father Was Augustus Ceasar!"
Galilees early encounter with Hellenism
The Roman army in Palestine
The introduction of GrecoRoman architecture
The transformation of the landscape in the second and third centuries CE
The use of Greek in Jesus Galilee
The coinage of Galilee
GrecoRoman art and the shifting limits of acceptability