The use and making of icons entered Kievan Rus' following its conversion to Orthodox Christianity in AD 988. As a general rule, these icons followed models and formulas hallowed by Byzantine art, led from the capital in Constantinople; as time passed, the Russians widened the vocabulary of types and styles far beyond anything found elsewhere in the Orthodox world. The personal and creative traditions of Western European religious art were lacking in Russia before the 17th century, when Russian icon painting became influenced by religious paintings and engravings from both Protestant and Catholic Europe. In the mid-17th-century changes in liturgy and practice instituted by Patriarch Nikon resulted in a split in the Russian Orthodox Church; the traditionalists, the persecuted "Old Ritualists" or "Old Believers", continued the traditional stylization of icons, while the State Church modified its practice. From that time icons began to be painted not only in the traditional stylized and non-realistic mode, but in a mixture of Russian stylization and Western European realism, in a Western European manner much like that of Catholic religious art of the time.
These types of icons, while found in Russian Orthodox churches, are sometimes found in various sui juris rites of the Catholic Church. Russian icons are paintings on wood small, though some in churches and monasteries may be much larger; some Russian icons were made of copper. Many religious homes in Russia have icons hanging on the wall in the krasny ugol, the "red" or "beautiful" corner. There is elaborate religious symbolism associated with icons. In Russian churches, the nave is separated from the sanctuary by an iconostasis, or icon-screen, a wall of icons with double doors in the centre. Russians sometimes speak of an icon as having been "written", because in the Russian language the same word means both to paint and to write. Icons are considered to be the Gospel in paint, therefore careful attention is paid to ensure that the Gospel is faithfully and conveyed. Icons considered miraculous were said to "appear." The "appearance" of an icon is its miraculous discovery. "A true icon is one that has'appeared', a gift from above, one opening the way to the Prototype and able to perform miracles".
Some of the most venerated but whole icons considered to be products of miraculous thaumaturge are those known by the name of the town associated with them, such as the Vladimir, the Smolensk, the Kazan and the Częstochowa images, all of the Virgin Mary referred to by Orthodox Christians as the Theotokos, the Birth-Giver of God. The preeminent Russian icon painter was Andrei Rublev, "glorified" by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1988, his most famous work is The Old Testament Trinity. Russians commissioned icons for private use, adding figures of specific saints for whom they or members of their family were named gathered around the icon's central figure. Icons were clad in metal covers of gilt or silvered metal of ornate workmanship, which were sometimes enameled, filigreed, or set with artificial, semiprecious or precious stones and pearls. Pairs of icons of Jesus and Mary were given as wedding presents to newly married couples. There are far more varieties of icons of the Virgin Mary in Russian icon painting and religious use than of any other figure.
Icons of Mary most depict her with the child Jesus in her arms. Because icons in Orthodoxy must follow traditional standards and are copies, Orthodoxy never developed the reputation of the individual artist as Western Christianity did, the names of the finest icon painters are recognized except by some Eastern Orthodox or art historians. Icon painting was and is a conservative art, in many cases considered a craft, in which the painter is merely a tool for replication; the painter considered himself a humble servant of God. That is why in the 19th and early 20th centuries, icon painting in Russia went into a great decline with the arrival of machine lithography on paper and tin, which could produce icons in great quantity and much more cheaply than the workshops of painters. Today large numbers of paper icons are purchased by Orthodox rather than more expensive painted panels; as the painter did not intend to glorify himself, it was not deemed necessary to sign an icon. Icons were the work of many hands, not of a single artisan.
Nonetheless some icons are signed with name of the painter, as well as the date and place. A peculiarity of dates written on icons is that many are dated from the "Creation of the World", which in Eastern Orthodoxy was believed to have taken place on September 1 in the year 5,509 before the birth of Jesus. During the Soviet era in Russia, former village icon painters in Palekh and Kholuy transferred their techniques to laquerware, which they decorated with ornate depictions of Russian fairy tales and other non-religious scenes; this transition from religious to secular subjects gave rise, in the mid-1920, to
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy and capital of the province of the same name. In 2016, Mantua became Italian Capital of Culture. In 2017, Mantua was the European Capital of Gastronomy, included in the Eastern Lombardy District. In 2007, Mantua's centro storico and Sabbioneta were declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic and musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole. Mantua is noted for its significant role in the history of opera, it is the place where the composer Monteverdi premiered his opera L'Orfeo and where Romeo was banished in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It is the nearest town to the birthplace of the Roman poet Virgil, commemorated by a statue at the lakeside park "Piazza Virgiliana". Mantua is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes, created during the 12th century, as the city's defence system; these lakes receive water from the Mincio River, a tributary of the Po River which descends from Lake Garda.
The three lakes are called Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, Lago Inferiore. A fourth lake, Lake Pajolo, which once served as a defensive water ring around the city, dried up at the end of the 18th century; the area and its environs are important not only in naturalistic terms, but anthropologically and historically. These dated, without interruption, from Neolithic times to the Bronze Age and the Gallic phases, ended with Roman residential settlements, which could be traced to the 3rd century AD. In 2017, Legambiente ranked Mantua as the best Italian city for the quality of the life and environment. Mantua was an island settlement, first established about the year 2000 BC on the banks of River Mincio, which flows from Lake Garda to the Adriatic Sea. In the 6th century BC, Mantua was an Etruscan village which, in the Etruscan tradition, was re-founded by Ocnus; the name may derive from the Etruscan god Mantus. After being conquered by the Cenomani, a Gallic tribe, Mantua was subsequently fought between the first and second Punic wars against the Romans, who attributed its name to Manto, a daughter of Tiresias.
This territory was populated by veteran soldiers of Augustus. Mantua's most famous ancient citizen is the poet Virgil, or Publius Vergilius Maro, born in the year 70 BC at a village near the city, now known as Virgilio. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire at the hands of Odoacer in 476 AD, Mantua was, along with the rest of Italy, conquered by the Ostrogoths, it was retaken by the Eastern Roman Empire in the middle of the 6th century following the Gothic war but was subsequently lost again to the Lombards. They were in turn conquered by Charlemagne in 774, thus incorporating Mantua into the Frankish Empire. Partitions of the empire in the Treaties of Verdun and Prüm led to Mantua passing to Middle Francia in 843 the Kingdom of Italy in 855. In 962 Italy was invaded by King Otto I of Germany, Mantua thus became a vassal of the newly formed Holy Roman Empire. In the 11th century, Mantua became a possession of Boniface of marquis of Tuscany; the last ruler of that family was the countess Matilda of Canossa, according to legend, ordered the construction of the precious Rotonda di San Lorenzo in 1082.
The Rotonda still exists today and was renovated in 2013. After the death of Matilda of Canossa, Mantua became a free commune and strenuously defended itself from the influence of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1198, Alberto Pitentino altered the course of River Mincio, creating what the Mantuans call "the four lakes" to reinforce the city's natural protection. Three of these lakes still remain today and the fourth one, which ran through the centre of town, was reclaimed during the 18th century. Podesteria Rule From 1215, the city was ruled under the podesteria of the Gallic-Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli. During the struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, Pinamonte Bonacolsi took advantage of the chaotic situation to seize power of the podesteria in 1273, he was declared the Captain General of the People. The Bonacolsi family ruled Mantua for the next two generations and made it more prosperous and artistically beautiful. On August 16, 1328, Luigi Gonzaga, an official in Bonacolsi's podesteria, his family staged a public revolt in Mantua and forced a coup d'état on the last Bonacolsi ruler, Rinaldo.
Ludovico Gonzaga, Podestà of Mantua since 1318, was duly elected Captain General of the People. The Gonzagas renovated the city in the 14th century. During the Italian Renaissance, the Gonzaga family softened their despotic rule and further raised the level of culture and refinement in Mantua. Mantua became a significant center of humanism. Marquis Gianfrancesco Gonzaga had brought Vittorino da Feltre to Mantua in 1423 to open his famous humanist school, the Casa Giocosa. Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua, married Fra
Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities; the Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. The church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, according to tradition, it is sometimes referred to as the Armenian Orthodox Gregorian Church. The latter is not preferred by the church itself, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, St. Gregory the Illuminator as the first official governor of the church, it is simply known as the Armenian Church. The Armenian Church believes in apostolic succession through the apostles Thaddeus. According to legend, the latter of the two apostles is said to have cured Abgar V of Edessa of leprosy with the Image of Edessa, leading to his conversion in 30 AD. Thaddaeus was commissioned by Abgar to proselytize throughout Armenia, where he converted the king Sanatruk's daughter, martyred alongside Thaddeus when Sanatruk fell into apostasy.
After this, Bartholomew came to Armenia, bringing a portrait of the Virgin Mary, which he placed in a nunnery he founded over a former temple of Anahit. Bartholomew converted the sister of Sanatruk, who once again martyred a female relative and the apostle who converted her. Both apostles ordained native bishops before their execution, some other Armenians had been ordained outside of Armenia by James the Just. Scholars including Bart Ehrman, Han Drijvers, W. Bauer dismiss the conversion of Abgar V as fiction. According to Eusebius and Tertullian, Armenian Christians were persecuted by kings Axidares, Khosrov I, Tiridates III, the last of whom was converted to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator. Ancient Armenia's adoption of Christianity as a state religion has been referred to by Nina Garsoïan as "probably the most crucial step in its history." This conversion distinguished it from its Iranian and Mazdean roots and protected it from further Parthian influence. According to Mary Boyce, the acceptance of Christianity by the Arsacid-Armenian rulers was in defiance of the Sassanids.
When King Tiridates III made Christianity the state religion of Armenia between 301 and 314, it was not an new religion there. It had penetrated the country from at least the third century, may have been present earlier. Tiridates declared Gregory to be the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church and sent him to Caesarea to be consecrated. Upon his return, Gregory tore down shrines to idols, built churches and monasteries, ordained many priests and bishops. While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat, Gregory had a vision of Christ descending to the earth and striking it with a hammer. From that spot arose a great Christian temple with a huge cross, he was convinced. With the king's help he did so in accordance with his vision, renaming the city Etchmiadzin, which means "the place of the descent of the Only-Begotten"; the Armenian Church participated in the larger Christian world and its Catholicos was represented at the First Council of Nicea. In 353, King Papas appointed Catholicos Husik without first sending him to Caesarea for commissioning before Rome had any plans for a universal Roman church.
Its Catholicos was still represented at the First Council of Constantinople. Christianity was strengthened in Armenia in the 5th century by the translation of the Bible into the Armenian language by the native theologian and scholar, Saint Mesrop Mashtots. Before the 5th century, Armenians had a spoken language. Thus, the Bible and Liturgy were written in Syriac rather than Armenian; the Catholicos Sahak commissioned Mesrop to create the Armenian alphabet, which he completed in 406. Subsequently, the Bible and Liturgy were written in the new script; the translation of the Bible, along with works of history and philosophy, caused a flowering of Armenian literature and a broader cultural renaissance. Although unable to attend the Council of Ephesus, Catholicos Isaac Parthiev sent a message agreeing with its decisions. However, non doctrinal elements in the Council of Chalcedon caused certain problems to arise. At the First Council of Dvin in 506 the synod of the Armenian and Caucasian Albanian bishops were assembled during the reign of Catholicos Babken I.
The participation of the Catholicoi of Georgia and Albania were set to make clear the position of the churches concerning the Council of Chalcedon. The "Book of Epistles" mentions that 20 bishops, 14 laymen, many nakharars participated in the council; the involvement in the council discussion of different level of lay persons seemed to be a general rule in Armenia. A century the 3rd Council of Dvin was convened during the reign of Catholicos Abraham I of Aghbatank and Prince Smbat Bagratuni, with clergymen and laymen participating; the Georgian Church disagreed with the Armenian Church, having approved the christology of Chalcedon. This council was convened to clarify the relationship between the Georgian churches. After the Council, Catholicos Abraham wrote an encyclical letter addressed to the people, blaming Kurion and his adherents for the schism; the Council never set up canons. Despite this, the Albanian Church remained under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church while in co
Herod Antipater, known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch and is referred to as both "Herod the Tetrarch" and "King Herod" in the New Testament although he never held the title of king. He is known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. After being recognized by Augustus upon the death of his father, Herod the Great, subsequent ethnarch rule by his brother, Herod Archelaus, Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea as a client state of the Roman Empire, he was responsible for building projects at Sepphoris and Betharamphtha, more important for the construction of his capital Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Named in honor of his patron, the emperor Tiberius, the city became a center of rabbinic learning. Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis, the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea, in favour of Herodias, married to his half-brother Herod II.
According to the New Testament Gospels, it was John the Baptist's condemnation of this arrangement that led Antipas to have him arrested. Besides provoking his conflict with the Baptiser, the tetrarch's divorce added a personal grievance to previous disputes with Aretas over territory on the border of Perea and Nabatea; the result was a war. In 39 AD Antipas was accused by his nephew Agrippa I of conspiracy against the new Roman emperor Caligula, who sent him into exile in Gaul. Accompanied there by Herodias, he died at an unknown date; the Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was first brought before Pontius Pilate for trial, since Pilate was the governor of Roman Judea, which encompassed Jerusalem where Jesus was arrested. Pilate handed him over to Antipas, in whose territory Jesus had been most active, but Antipas sent him back to Pilate's court. Antipas was a son of Herod the Great, who had become king of Judea, Malthace, from Samaria, his date of birth is unknown but was before 20 BC. Antipas, his full brother Archelaus and his half-brother Philip were educated in Rome.
Antipas was not Herod's first choice of heir. That honor fell to Herod's sons by the Hasmonean princess Mariamne, it was only after they were executed, Herod's oldest son Antipater was convicted of trying to poison his father, that the now elderly Herod fell back on his youngest son Antipas, revising his will to make him heir. During his illness in 4 BC, Herod had yet another change of heart about the succession. According to the final version of his will, Antipas' elder brother Archelaus was now to become king of Judea and Samaria, while Antipas would rule Galilee and Perea with the lesser title of tetrarch. Philip was to receive Gaulanitis, Batanaea and Auranitis; because of Judea's status as a Roman client kingdom, Herod's plans for the succession had to be ratified by Augustus. The three heirs therefore travelled to Rome to make their claims, Antipas arguing he ought to inherit the whole kingdom and the others maintaining that Herod's final will ought to be honored. Despite qualified support for Antipas from Herodian family members in Rome, who favoured direct Roman rule of Judea but considered Antipas preferable to his brother, Augustus confirmed the division of territory set out by Herod in his final will.
Archelaus had, however. In 6 AD, Archelaus was replaced with a prefect; as a result, Antipas would govern Perea for the next forty-two years. The two territories were separated by the region of the Decapolis, with Galilee to the north and Perea to the south. Threats to stability in both areas would have been clear to Antipas. While he had been making his case to Augustus in Rome, dissidents led by Judas son of Hezekiah had attacked the palace of Sepphoris in Galilee, seizing money as well as weapons which they used to terrorize the area. In a counterattack ordered by Quinctilius Varus, Roman governor of Syria, Sepphoris was destroyed by fire and its inhabitants sold as slaves. Perea, bordered on the kingdom of Nabatea, which had long had uneasy relations with Romans and Jews. Part of Antipas' solution was to follow in his father's footsteps as a builder, he rebuilt and fortified Sepphoris, while adding a wall to Betharamphtha in Perea. The latter city was renamed Livias after Augustus' wife Livia, Julias after his daughter.
However, the tetrarch's most noted construction was his capital on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee – Tiberias, so named to honor his patron Tiberius, who had succeeded Augustus as emperor in 14 AD. Residents could bathe nearby at the warm springs of Emmaus, by the time of the First Jewish-Roman War the city's own buildings included a stadium, a royal palace and a sanctuary for prayer, it gave its name to the sea and became a center of rabbinic learning. However, pious Jews at first refused to live in it because it was built atop a graveyard and therefore a source of ritual impurity. At other times Antipas was more sensitive to Jewish tradition, his coins carried no images, which would have violated Jewish prescriptions
Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine foresees it as its seat of power. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times and recaptured 44 times, attacked 52 times; the part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named as "Urusalim" on ancient Egyptian tablets meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period. During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE, in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.
In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian and Muslim Quarters; the Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. In 2011, the population numbered 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, Christians 14,000 and 9,000 were not classified by religion. According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city was attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times; the holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Medina. In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran; as a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres, the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. A city called Rušalim in the execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is but not universally, identified as Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba.
The name "Jerusalem" is variously etymologized to mean "foundation of the god Shalem". Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived; the name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", "Abode of Peace", "dwelling of peace", alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city sat on two hills; the form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of "Yireh" and "Shalem" the two names were un
Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius from AD 26/27 to 36/37. He is known for adjudicating on the crucifixion of Jesus. Among the sources for Pilate's life are an inscription known as the Pilate Stone, which confirms his historicity and establishes his title as prefect. Based on these sources, it appears that Pilate was an equestrian of the Pontii family, succeeded Valerius Gratus as prefect of Judaea in AD 26. Once in his post he offended the religious sensibilities of his subjects, leading to harsh criticism from Philo. Josephus wrote around AD 93 that after harshly suppressing a Samaritan movement, Pilate was deposed by Lucius Vitellius and sent to Rome, where he arrived just after the death of Tiberius, which occurred on 16 March, 37. In Judea, Pilate was replaced by Marcellus. Christian religious sources about Pilate include the four canonical gospels. In all four canonical gospel accounts, Pilate lobbies for Jesus to be spared his eventual fate of execution, acquiesces only when the crowd refuses to relent.
He thus seeks to avoid personal responsibility for the death of Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, Pilate washes his hands to show that he is not responsible for the execution of Jesus and reluctantly sends him to his death; the Gospel of Mark, depicting Jesus as innocent of plotting against the Roman Empire, portrays Pilate as reluctant to execute him. In the Gospel of Luke, not only does Pilate agree that Jesus had not conspired against Rome, but Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee finds nothing treasonable in Jesus' actions. In the Gospel of John, Pilate states "I find no guilt in him", he asks the Jews if Jesus should be released from custody. Scholars have long debated; the wider significance and context of the Pilate Stone, an artifact discovered in 1961 and bearing a preserved inscription that names Pontius Pilate and his title, is debated by scholars. One of the few pieces of physical, archaeological evidence that confirms the existence of Pilate is the Latin inscription found on a limestone block relating Pilate's tribute to Tiberius.
The artifact, sometimes known as the Pilate Stone, was discovered in 1961 by an archaeological team led by Antonio Frova. It was found as a reused block within a staircase located in a semicircular structure behind the stage house of the Roman theatre at Caesarea, the city that served as Rome's administrative centre in the province of Judaea. Roman governors were based in Caesarea and only visited Jerusalem on special occasions, or in times of unrest; the artifact is a fragment of the dedicatory inscriptions of a building a temple, constructed in honour of the emperor Tiberius, dating to 26–36 AD. The dedication states that Pilate was prefect of Judaea, read praefectus Iudaeae; the early governors of Judaea were of prefect rank, the were of procurator rank, beginning with Cuspius Fadus in 44 AD. The artifact is housed in the Israel Museum, while a replica stands at Caesarea; the remaining text states: S TIBERIÉUM NTIUS PILATUS ECTUS IUDAE EThe translation from Latin to English for the inscription states: To the Divine Augusti Tiberieum...
Pontius Pilate...prefect of Judea...made dedicated In November 2018, it was reported that archaeologists in Israel had discovered a thin copper-alloy sealing ring that might be related to Pilate. The ring had been unearthed 50 years earlier by Professor Gideon Foerster during excavations at the Herodium fortress in the Judean Desert, but its Greek inscription, which reads ΠΙΛΑΤΟ, "for Pilate", was only discovered by using modern reflectance transformation imaging photography technology. Researchers commented that the cheap ring would not be worn by a person of Pilate's position, that the inscription would rather indicate that it was worn by a clerk sending goods to the governor; the inscription surrounds the image of a common Jewish motif in Judaea at that time. Altogether, it seems possible that the ring would have belonged to somebody in Pilate's administration, either Jewish or pagan. Pilatus was an unusual name in first-century Judaea, which makes at least some connection to the governor quite likely.
In chronicling the history of the Roman administrators in Judaea, ancient Jewish writers Philo and Josephus describe some of the other events and incidents that took place during Pilate's tenure. Both report that Pilate caused near-insurrections among the Jews because of his insensitivity to Jewish customs. Josephus notes that while Pilate's predecessors had respected Jewish customs by removing all images and effigies on their standards when entering Jerusalem, Pilate allowed his soldiers to bring them into the city at night; when the citizens of Jerusalem discovered these the following day, they appealed to Pilate to remove the ensigns of Caesar from the city. After five days of deliberation, Pilate had his soldiers surround the demonstrators, threatening them with death, which they were willing to accept rather than submit to desecration of Mosaic law. Pilate removed the images. Philo describes a similar incident in which Pilate was chastened by Emperor Tiberius after antagonizing the Jews by setting up gold-coated shields in Herod's Palace in Jerusalem.
The shields were ostensibly to honor Tiberius, this time did not contain e