Iturea

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Iturea is the Greek name of a region in the Levant during the Late Hellenistic and early Roman periods. It is mentioned only once in the Christian Bible,Luke iii. 1. while in historical sources the name of the people, the Itureans (Greek: or ), occurs. The latter are first mentioned by Eupolemus – as one of the tribes conquered by DavidEusebius, Præparatio Evangelica, ix. 30. – and subsequently by Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Josephus, and others, and they designate Itureans as an Ismaelite people. They were known to the Romans as a predatory people,Cicero, Philippics, ii. 112.Cæsar, Bellum Africanum, 20. A southern branch of the Itureans occupied the area around Galilee but were conquered by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus and forcefully converted to Judaism.Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, in Flavii Iosephi opera, ed. B. Niese, Weidmann, Berlin, 1892, book 13, 9:1

Many Christian theologians, among them Eusebius, taking into consideration the above-cited passage of Luke, place Iturea near Trachonitis; but this seems contrary to all the historical sources. According to Josephus,Ant. xiii. 11, § 3. the Iturean kingdom lay north of Galilee, and in 105 BCE Aristobulus I, having defeated the...
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