Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world; the city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009. Located in south-western Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.7 million people. Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect; the Barada River flows through Damascus. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.
Today, it is all of the government ministries. As of 2018, Damascus has witnessed repeated conflicts and has been considered by Mercer as one of the most unfavorable places to live; the name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as / T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain, it is attested as Imerišú in Akkadian, T-m-ś-q in Egyptian, Dammaśq in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq in Biblical Hebrew. A number of Akkadian spellings are found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC: Dimasqa, Dimàsqì, Dimàsqa. Aramaic spellings of the name include an intrusive resh influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus", imported from originated from "the Qumranic Darmeśeq, Darmsûq in Syriac", meaning "a well-watered land". In Arabic, the city is called Dimašqu š-Šāmi, although this is shortened to either Dimašq or aš-Šām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey.
Aš-Šām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria". Baalshamin or Ba'al Šamem, was a Semitic sky-god in Canaan/Phoenicia and ancient Palmyra. Hence, Sham refers to. Damascus was built in a strategic site on a plateau 680 m above sea level and about 80 km inland from the Mediterranean, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon mountains, supplied with water by the Barada River, at a crossroads between trade routes: the north-south route connecting Egypt with Asia Minor, the east-west cross-desert route connecting Lebanon with the Euphrates river valley; the Anti-Lebanon mountains mark the border between Lebanon. The range has peaks of over 10,000 ft. and blocks precipitation from the Mediterranean sea, so that the region of Damascus is sometimes subject to droughts. However, in ancient times this was mitigated by the Barada River, which originates from mountain streams fed by melting snow. Damascus is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.
Maps of Roman Syria indicate that the Barada river emptied into a lake of some size east of Damascus. Today it is called Bahira Atayba, the hesitant lake, because in years of severe drought it does not exist; the modern city has an area of 105 km2, out of which 77 km2 is urban, while Jabal Qasioun occupies the rest. The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada, dry. To the south-east and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west and Imara in the north and north-west; these neighborhoods arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures. In the 19th century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city the site of the al-Salihiyah neighborhood centered on the important shrine of medieval Andalusian Sheikh and philosopher Ibn Arabi; these new neighborhoods were settled by Kurdish soldiery and Muslim refugees from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire which had fallen under Christian rule.
Thus they were known as al-Muhajirin. They lay 2–3 km north of the old city. From the late 19th century on, a modern administrative and commercial center began to spring up to the west of the old city, around the Barada, centered on the area known as al-Marjeh or the meadow. Al-Marjeh soon became the name of what was the central square of modern Damascus, with the city hall in it; the courts of justice, post office and railway station stood on higher ground to the south. A Europeanized residential quarter soon began to be built on the road leading between al-Marjeh and al-Salihiyah; the commercial and administrative center of the new city shifted northwards towards this area. In the 20th century, newer suburbs developed north of the Barada, to some extent to the south, invading the Ghouta oasis. In 1956–1957 the new neighborhood of Yarmouk bec
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
A city-state is a sovereign state described as a type of small independent country, that consists of a single city and its dependent territories. This included cities such as Rome, Athens and the Italian city-states during the Renaissance; as of 2019, only a handful of sovereign city-states exist, with some disagreement as to which are city-states. A great deal of consensus exists that the term properly applies to Singapore and Vatican City. City states are sometimes called micro-states which however includes other configurations of small countries, not to be confused with Micronations. A number of other small states share similar characteristics, therefore are sometimes cited as modern city-states—namely, Brunei, Kuwait and Malta, which each have an urban center comprising a significant proportion of the population, though all have several distinct settlements and a designated or de facto capital city. Other small states with high population densities, such as San Marino, are cited, despite lacking a large urban centre characteristic of traditional city-states.
Several non-sovereign cities enjoy a high degree of autonomy, are sometimes considered city-states. Hong Kong and Macau, along with independent members of the United Arab Emirates, most notably Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are cited as such. Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Ur. Danish historian Poul Holm has classed the Viking colonial cities in medieval Ireland, most Dublin, as city-states. In Cyprus, the Phoenician settlement of Kition was a city-state that existed from around 800 BC until the end of the 4th century BC; some of the most well-known examples of city-state culture in human history are the ancient Greek city-states and the merchant city-states of Renaissance Italy, which organised themselves as small independent centers. The success of small regional units coexisting as autonomous actors in loose geographical and cultural unity, as in Italy and Greece prevented their amalgamation into larger national units. However, such small political entities survived only for short periods because they lacked the resources to defend themselves against incursions by larger states.
Thus they gave way to larger organisations of society, including the empire and the nation-state. In the history of mainland Southeast Asia, aristocratic groups, Buddhist leaders, others organized settlements into autonomous or semi-autonomous city-states; these were referred to as mueang, were related in a tributary relationship now described as mandala or as over-lapping sovereignty, in which smaller city-states paid tribute to larger ones that paid tribute to still larger ones—until reaching the apex in cities like Ayutthaya, Bagan and others that served as centers of Southeast Asian royalty. The system existed until the 19th century. Siam, a regional power at the time, needed to define their territories for negotiation with the European powers so the Siamese government established a nation-state system, incorporated their tributary cities into their territory and abolished the mueang and the tributary system. In early Philippine history, the Barangay was a complex sociopolitical unit which scholars have considered the dominant organizational pattern among the various peoples of the Philippine archipelago.
These sociopolitical units were sometimes referred to as Barangay states, but are more properly referred to using the technical term "polity", so they are simply called "barangays." Evidence suggests a considerable degree of independence as "city states" ruled by Datu's, Rajah's and Sultan's. Early chroniclers record that the name evolved from the term balangay, which refers to a plank boat used by various cultures of the Philippine archipelago prior to the arrival of European colonizers. In the Holy Roman Empire over 80 Free Imperial Cities came to enjoy considerable autonomy in the Middle Ages and in early-modern times, buttressed by international law following the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Some, like three of the earlier Hanseatic cities - Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck - pooled their economic relations with foreign powers and were able to wield considerable diplomatic clout. Individual cities made protective alliances with other cities or with neighbouring regions, including the Hanseatic League, the Swabian League of Cities, the Décapole in the Alsace, or the Old Swiss Confederacy.
The Swiss Cantons of Zürich, Lucerne, Solothurn, Basel and Geneva originated as city-states. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, some cities – members of different confederacies – became sovereign city-states – such as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, the Free City of Frankfurt upon Main, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (180
The Arameans were an ancient Northwest Semitic Aramaic-speaking tribal confederation who emerged from the region known as Aram in the Late Bronze Age. They established a patchwork of independent Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant and seized tracts of Anatolia as well as conquering Babylonia; the Arameans never formed a unified state but had small independent kingdoms across parts of the Near East. Their political influence was confined to a number of states such as Aram Damascus, Palmyra and the Aramean Syro-Hittite states, which were absorbed into the Neo-Assyrian Empire by the 9th century BC. In the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Aramaeans, Chaldeans and indigenous Assyrians-Babylonians became indistinguishable, as these groups were culturally and ethnically absorbed into the native populace of Mesopotamia. By contrast, Imperial Aramaic came to be the lingua franca of the entire Near East and Asia Minor after King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria made it one of two official languages of the vast Neo-Assyrian Empire in the mid-8th century BC, in recognition of the mostly-Aramean speaking population in areas Assyria had conquered west of the Euphrates and the large numbers of Arameans in Mesopotamia.
This empire stretched from Cyprus and the East Mediterranean in the west to Persia and Elam in the east, from Armenia and the Caucasus in the north to Egypt and Arabia in the south. The Achaemenid Empire spread Imperial Aramaic: north to the coast of the Black Sea and eastward to the Indus Valley; this version of Aramaic, influenced by Akkadian and by Old Persian developed into the Syriac dialect of Edessa. Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, the Arameans began to adopt Christianity in place of the polytheist Aramean religion, the Levant became an important centre of Syriac Christianity, along with Assyria to the east from where the Syriac language and Syriac script emerged. Use of the Western Aramaic language has declined in the face of Arabic since the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century AD, the last vestiges of the spoken tongue in and around Maalula are in danger of extinction, although Assyrian population maintain spoken dialects of Akkadian influenced Neo-Aramaic as well as Syriac as a liturgical language.
Some Jewish communities and the Mandean people retain dialects of Aramaic. Today, an Aramean identity is held by a small number of Arabic-speaking Syriac Christians in south-central Turkey, in Syria, in the Aramean diaspora overseas. In 2014, Israel recognized the Aramean minority, an Arabic- and Aramaic-speaking Christian community; the toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at the East Semitic speaking kingdom of Ebla listing geographical names, the term Armi, the Eblaite term for nearby Idlib, occurs in the Ebla tablets. One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad mentions that he captured "Dubul, the ensí of A-ra-me", in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Other early references to a place or people of "Aram" have appeared at the archives of Mari and at Ugarit. However, there is no historical, archaeological or linguistic evidence that the Aramu, Armi or Arame were Arameans or related to them. Nomadic pastoralists have long played a prominent role in the history and economy of the Middle East, but their numbers seem to vary according to climatic conditions and the force of neighbouring states inducing permanent settlement.
The period of the Late Bronze Age seems to have coincided with increasing aridity, which weakened neighbouring states and induced transhumance pastoralists to spend longer and longer periods with their flocks. Urban settlements in The Levant diminished in size, until fully nomadic pastoralist lifestyles came to dominate much of the region; these mobile, competitive tribesmen with their sudden raids continually threatened long-distance trade and interfered with the collection of taxes and tribute. The people who had long been the prominent population within what is today Syria were the Amorites, a Canaanite speaking group of Semites who had appeared during the 25th century BC, destroying the hitherto dominant East Semitic speaking state of Ebla, founding the powerful state of Mari in the Levant, during the 19th century BC founding Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia. However, they seem to have been displaced or wholly absorbed by the appearance of a people called the Ahlamu by the 13th century BC, disappearing from history.
Ahlamû appears to be a generic term for a new wave of Semitic wanderers and nomads of varying origins who appeared during the 13th century BC across the Near East, Arabian Peninsula, Asia Minor, Egypt. The presence of the Ahlamû is attested during the Middle Assyrian Empire, which ruled many of the lands in which the Ahlamû arose, in the Babylonian city of Nippur and at Dilmun. Shalmaneser I is recorded as having defeated Shattuara, King of the Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenar
Beit She'an is a city in the Northern District of Israel which has played an important role in history due to its geographical location at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the Biblical account of the battle of the Israelites against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls of Beit She'an. In Roman times, Beit She'an was the leading city of the Decapolis. In modern times, Beit She'an serves as a regional center for the settlements in the Beit She'an Valley; the ancient city ruins are now protected within the Beit She'an National Park. Beit She'an's location has always been strategically significant, due to its position at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley controlling access from Jordan and the inland to the coast, as well as from Jerusalem and Jericho to the Galilee. Beit She'an is situated on the north -- south road which runs the length of Israel; the city stretches over an area of 7 square kilometers with a substantial national park in the north of the city.
Beit She'an has a population of 20,000. Today the town is under the administration of the Emek HaMa'ayanot Regional Council. In 1933, archaeologist G. M. FitzGerald, under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, carried out a "deep cut" on Tell el-Hisn, the large tell, or mound, of Beth She'an, in order to determine the earliest occupation of the site, his results suggest that settlement began in the Late Neolithic or Early Chalcolithic periods Occupation continued intermittently throughout the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, with a gap during the Late Chalcolithic period. Settlement seems to have resumed at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age I and continues throughout this period, is missing during Early Bronze Age II, resumes in the Early Bronze Age III. A large cemetery on the northern mound was in use from the Bronze Age to Byzantine times. Canaanite graves dating from 2000 to 1600 BCE were discovered there in 1926. After the Egyptian conquest of Beit She'an by Pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BCE, as recorded in an inscription at Karnak, the small town on the summit of the mound became the center of the Egyptian administration of the region.
The Egyptian newcomers changed the organization of the town and left a great deal of material culture behind. A large Canaanite temple excavated by the University of Pennsylvania Museum may date from about the same period as Thutmose III's conquest, though the Hebrew University excavations suggest that it dates to a period. Artifacts of potential cultic significance were found around the temple. Based on a stele found in the temple, inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs, the temple was dedicated to the god Mekal. One of the most important finds near the temple is the Lion and Dog stela in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which depicts two combat scenes between these two creatures; the Hebrew University excavations determined that this temple was built on the site of an earlier one. During the three hundred years of Egyptian rule, the population of Beit She'an appears to have been Egyptian administrative officials and military personnel; the town was rebuilt, following a new layout, during the 19th dynasty.
The Penn Museum excavations uncovered two important stelae from the period of Seti I and a monument of Rameses II. Pottery was produced locally. Other Canaanite goods locally made Egyptian-style objects; the 20th Dynasty saw the construction of large administrative buildings in Beit She'an, including "Building 1500", a small palace for the Egyptian governor. During the 20th Dynasty, invasions of the "Sea Peoples" upset Egypt's control over the Eastern Mediterranean. Though the exact circumstances are unclear, the entire site of Beit She'an was destroyed by fire around 1150 BCE; the Egyptians did not attempt to rebuild their administrative center and lost control of the region. According to the Hebrew Bible, around 1000 BCE the town became part of the larger Israelite kingdom under the rule of David and Solomon. 1 Kings 4:12 refers to Beit She'an as part of the kingdom of Solomon, though the historical accuracy of this list is debated. An Iron Age I Canaanite city was constructed on the site of the Egyptian center shortly after its destruction.
The Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel under Tiglath-Pileser III brought about the destruction of Beit She'an by fire. Minimal reoccupation occurred until the Hellenistic period. According to the Hebrew Bible, around 1100 BCE Canaanite Beit She'an was conquered by the Philistines, who used it as a base of operations for further penetrations into Israel proper. During a subsequent battle against King Saul at nearby Mount Gilboa in 1004 BC, the Philistines prevailed and Saul together with three of his sons, Jonathan and Malchishua, died in battle. 1 Samuel 31:10 states that "the victorious Philistines hung the body of King Saul on the walls of Beit She'an". King David was able to capture Beit Shea'an in a series of brilliant military campaigns that expelled the Philistines from the area, pushing them back to their southern coastal strongholds; the Hellenistic period saw the reoccupation of the site of Beit She'an under the new name "Scythopolis" named after the Scythian mercenaries who settled there as veterans.
Little is known about the Hellenistic city, but during the 3rd century BCE a large temple was constructed on the
Coele-Syria, Coele Syria, Coelesyria rendered as Coelosyria and Celesyria, otherwise Hollow Syria, was a region of Syria in classical antiquity. It derived from the Aramaic for all of the region of Syria but more was applied to the Beqaa Valley between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges; the area now forms part of the modern nations of Syria. It is accepted that the term Coele is a transcription of Aramaic kul, meaning "all, the entire", such that the term identified all of Syria; the word "Coele", which means "hollow" in Koine Greek, is thought to have come about via a folk etymology referring to the "hollow" Beqaa Valley between Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. However, the term Coele-Syria was used in a wider sense to indicate "all Syria" or "all Syria except Phoenicia", by the writers; the first and only official use of the term was during the period of Seleucid rule of the region, between c. 200 BCE and 64 BCE. During this period, the term "Coele Syria and Phoenicia" or "Coele Syria" was used in a narrower sense to refer to the former Ptolemaic territory which the Seleucids now controlled, being the area south of the river Eleutherus.
This usage was adopted by the Books of the Maccabees. However, Greek writers such as Agatharchides and Polemon of Athens used the term Palestine to refer to the region during this period, a term given circa 450 BCE by Herodotus. During the Roman Period c.350 CE, Eunapius wrote that the capital of Coele-Syria was the Seleucid city of Antioch, north of the Eleutherus. According to Polybius, a former officer of the Ptolemaic Empire named Ptolemy Thrasea, having fought in the 217 BCE Battle of Raphia, defected to the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great. Antiochus gave him the title "Strategos and Archiereus of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia"; some scholars speculate that this title may have been used by the Ptolemies, but no direct evidence exists to support this. The region was disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty during the Syrian Wars. Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy first occupied Coele-Syria in 318 BC. However, when Ptolemy joined the coalition against Antigonus I Monophthalmus in 313 BC, he withdrew from Coele-Syria.
In 312 BC Seleucus I Nicator, defeated Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza which again allowed Ptolemy to occupy Coele-Syria. Though he was again to pull out after only a few months, after Demetrius had won a battle over his general and Antigonus entered Syria in force up to Antigonuses, this brief success had enabled Seleucus to make a dash for Babylonia which Seleucus secured. In 302 BC, Ptolemy joined a new coalition against Antigonus and reoccupied Coele-Syria, but withdrew on hearing a false report that Antigonus had won a victory, he was only to return when Antigonus had been defeated at Ipsus in 301 BC. Coele-Syria was assigned to Seleucus, by the victors of Ipsus, as Ptolemy had added nothing to the victory. Though, given Ptolemy's track record, he was unlikely to organize a serious defense of Coele-Syria, Seleucus acquiesced in Ptolemy's occupation because Seleucus remembered how it had been with Ptolemy's help he had reestablished himself in Babylonia; the Seleucids were not to be so understanding, resulting in the century of Syrian Wars between the Ptolemies and Seleucids.
The Battle of Panium in 200 BC, during the Fifth Syrian War, was the final decisive battle between the two sides in ending Ptolemaic control over the region. The 171–168 BC conflicts over Coele-Syria, between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Ptolemy VI Philometor, are discussed in Livy’s The History of Rome from its Foundation. Seleucid control over the area of Judea began diminishing with the eruption of the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BC. With Seleucid troops being involved in warfare on the Parthian front, Judea succeeded in securing its independence by 140 BC. Despite attempts of Seleucid rulers to regain territories, the conquests of Pompey in 64 BC were a decisive blow to them, Syria became part of the Roman Republic. Under the Macedonian kings, Upper Syria was divided into four parts which were named after their capitals. In the Roman Pompeian era, the province was divided into nine districts. Judging from Arrian and The Anabasis of Alexander, the historians of Alexander the Great, as well as more ancient authors, gave the name of Syria to all the country comprehended between the Tigris and the Mediterranean.
The part to the east of the Euphrates, afterwards named Mesopotamia was called "Syria between the rivers. Yet, it was comprehended as the whole country as far as Egypt. Circa 323 BCE Laomedon of Mytilene takes control of Coele-Syria. Circa 323 BCE The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax lists several cities on the Palestinian coast that are incorporated into Coele-Syria. In the Wars of the Diadochi, Coele-Syria came under the control of Antigonus I Monophthalmus. In 301 BCE, Ptolemy I Soter exploited events surrounding the Battle of Ipsus to take control of the region; the victors at Ipsus finalized the breakup of Alexander's empire. Coele-Syria was allocated to Ptolemy's former ally Seleucus I Nicator, who—having been aided by Ptolemy—took no military action to gai
Judea or Judæa is the ancient Hebrew and Israelite biblical, the exonymic Roman/English, the modern-day name of the mountainous southern part of the region of Palestine. The name originates from the Hebrew name Yehudah, a son of the Jewish patriarch Jacob/Israel, Yehudah's progeny forming the biblical Israelite tribe of Judah and the associated Kingdom of Judah, which the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia dates from 934 until 586 BCE; the name of the region continued to be incorporated through the Babylonian conquest, Persian and Roman periods as Yehud, Yehud Medinata, Hasmonean Judea, Herodian Judea and Roman Judea, respectively. As a consequence of the Bar Kokhba revolt, in 135 CE the region was renamed and merged with Roman Syria to form Syria Palaestina by the victorious Roman Emperor Hadrian. A large part of Judea was included in Jordanian West Bank between 1948 and 1967; the term Judea as a geographical term was revived by the Israeli government in the 20th century as part of the Israeli administrative district name Judea and Samaria Area for the territory referred to as the West Bank.
The name Judea is a Greek and Roman adaptation of the name "Judah", which encompassed the territory of the Israelite tribe of that name and of the ancient Kingdom of Judah. Nimrud Tablet K.3751, dated c.733 BCE, is the earliest known record of the name Judah. Judea was sometimes used as the name including parts beyond the river Jordan. In 200 CE Sextus Julius Africanus, cited by Eusebius, described "Nazara" as a village in Judea."Judea" was a name used by English speakers for the hilly internal part of Palestine until the Jordanian rule of the area in 1948. For example, the borders of the two states to be established according to the UN's 1947 partition scheme were described using the terms "Judea" and "Samaria" and in its reports to the League of Nations Mandatory Committee, as in 1937, the geographical terms employed were "Samaria and Judea". Jordan called the area ad-difa’a al-gharbiya. "Yehuda" is the Hebrew term used for the area in modern Israel since the region was captured and occupied by Israel in 1967.
The classical Roman-Jewish historian Josephus wrote: In the limits of Samaria and Judea lies the village Anuath, named Borceos. This is the northern boundary of Judea; the southern parts of Judea, if they be measured lengthways, are bounded by a village adjoining to the confines of Arabia. However, its breadth is extended from the river Jordan to Joppa; the city Jerusalem is situated in the middle. Nor indeed is Judea destitute of such delights as come from the sea, since its maritime places extend as far as Ptolemais: it was parted into eleven portions, of which the royal city Jerusalem was the supreme, presided over all the neighboring country, as the head does over the body; as to the other cities that were inferior to it, they presided over their several toparchies. This country begins at Mount Libanus, the fountains of Jordan, reaches breadthways to the lake of Tiberias, its inhabitants are a mixture of Syrians. And thus have I, with all possible brevity, described the country of Judea, those that lie round about it.
Judea is a mountainous region, part of, considered a desert. It varies in height, rising to an altitude of 1,020 m in the south at Mount Hebron, 30 km southwest of Jerusalem, descending to as much as 400 m below sea level in the east of the region, it varies in rainfall, starting with about 400–500 millimetres in the western hills, rising to 600 millimetres around western Jerusalem, falling back to 400 millimetres in eastern Jerusalem and dropping to around 100 millimetres in the eastern parts, due to a rainshadow effect. The climate, moves between Mediterranean in the west and desert climate in the east, with a strip of steppe climate in the middle. Major urban areas in the region include Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Hebron. Geographers divide Judea into several regions: the Hebron hills, the Jerusalem saddle, the Bethel hills and the Judean desert east of Jerusalem, which descends in a series of steps to the Dead Sea; the hills are distinct for their anticline structure. In ancient times the hills 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 as summer approaches, while the slopes are still layered with centuries-old stone terracing. The Jewish Revolt against the Romans ended in the devastation of vast areas of the Judaean countryside. Mount Hazor marks the geographical boundary between Samaria to Judea to its south; the early history of Judah is uncertain.