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Judea   Definition

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Judea -  1. Roman name of the ancient kingdom of the Jews, Yehuda (Judah).

2. The area that roughly corresponds to a part of  that kingdom, part of which is in the southern part of the West Bank of the Jordan, including Hebron and Jericho.

In Herod's time, the Kingdom of Judea encompassed all of the area of Jewish sovereignty, including Gaza.

Major or well known towns of the Judea district in ancient times included Jerusalem, Betar, Hebron, Jericho, Tekoa and Bethlehem. 

Geographically, the Judea region includes these region: the Hebron hills, the Jerusalem saddle, the Bethel hills and the Judean desert east of Jerusalem. This last is southeast of Jerusalem and reaches  the Dead Sea. In ancient times the Judean  hills around Jerusalem were forested. The Bible records agriculture and sheep farming being practiced in the area. Animals are still grazed today, with shepherds moving them between the low ground to the hilltops (which have more rainfall) as summer approaches. Roman and Byzantine agricultural terraces are clearly visible in the Judean hills approaching Jerusalem.

Map of ancient Kingdom of Judah (Judea) Map of Roman Province of Judea
Judah - The Ancient Kingdom of Judea after division with Israel Judea - The Roman province of Judea, with capital at Caesaria.

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Synonyms and alternate spellings: Yehuda, Southern West Bank, Yehudah, Judah, Judeah

Further Information: 


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.


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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

 

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