Ethnarch

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Description:
Ethnarch, 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 words (ethnos, "tribe/nation") and (archon, "leader/ruler").

Antiquity

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 and gens 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, Judea (Biblical Judah), 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......
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