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Cover von: Jerusalem And Empires
Israel Finkelstein

Jerusalem And Empires

Rubrik: Articles
Jahrgang 12 (2023) / Heft 1, S. 31-47 (17)
Publiziert 31.03.2023
DOI 10.1628/hebai-2023-0004
Veröffentlicht auf Englisch.
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In this article I draw an outline for understanding the settlement oscillations in Jerusalem between the Late Bronze Age Amarna period and the First Jewish Revolt. I begin by posing a question regarding the »Jerusalem Anomaly«: located in a remote, marginal area with no natural resources, how was it that Jerusalem twice grew to become the largest city in the southern Levant? I propose that Jerusalem could reach a state of high prosperity only as a vassal serving the interests of great empires (Assyria and Rome). It could also benefit from serving local Levantine powers (Damascus and Israel). In the era discussed here Jerusalem achieved a state of prosperity as a relatively independent center of power only once – in the few decades from the days of John Hyrcanus until the takeover of the region by Pompey the Great.