, pronounced , the anglicized form of ethnarches
() refers generally to political leadership over a common ethnic group or homogeneous kingdom. The word is derived from the Greek
, "tribe/nation") and (archon
The title first appears in the Hellenistic Middle East
, possibly in Judea
. It was used in the region even after it fell under the dominion of Rome, and until the early Roman Empire
, to refer to rulers of vassal kingdoms who did not rise to the level of kings
. The Romans used the terms natio
for a people as a genetic and cultural entity, regardless of political statehood.
The best-known is probably Herod Archelaus
, son of Herod the Great
, who was ethnarch of Samaria
), and Idumea (Biblical Edom
), from the death of his father in 4 BC to AD 6. This region is known as the Tetrarchy of Judea
. His brother Philip received the north-east of the realm and was styled Tetrarch
(circa 'ruler of a quarter'); and Galilee was given to Herod Antipas
, who bore the same title. Consequently, Archelaus' title singled him out as the senior ruler, higher in rank than the tetrarchs and the chief of the Jewish nation; these three sovereignties were in a sense reunited under Herod Agrippa
from AD 41 to 44.
Previously, Hyrcanus II
, one of the later Hasmonean
rulers of Judea, had also held the title of ethnarch, as well as that of......