Roman and Jewish History of Ashkelon

Roman era Ashkelon was soon rebuilt. Until the conquest of Alexander the Great, Ashkelon's inhabitants were influenced by the dominant Persian culture. It is at this archaeological layer that excavations have found dog burials. It is believed the dogs may have had a sacred role, however evidence is not conclusive. After the conquest of Alexander in the 4th Century BCE, Ashkelon was an important Hellenistic seaport. Queen Cleopatra VII used Ashkelon as her place of refuge when her brother and sister exiled her in 49 BCE. She organized an army on the site but did not need to use it due to Julius Caesar's arrival in Alexandria. [edit] Jewish era The Jews of Judea Province drove the Greeks out of the region in the Maccabean Revolt, which lasted from 167-160 CE. The Hasmonean Kingdom was then established, and Ashkelon became part of it. The Hasmonean kingdom fell in 37 BCE, and the area was placed under the rule of Herod the Great, a Jewish client king of the Roman Empire. Ashkelon may have even been his birthplace. Josephus states Ashkelon was not ceded to Herod the Great in 30 BC[4], yet he built monumental buildings there: bath houses, elaborate fountains and large colonnades.[5] The city remained loyal to Rome during the First Jewish Revolt, 66–70 CE, and in the following centuries it grew to be an important centre. It appears on a fragment of the 6th century CE Madaba Map.[Wikipedia]

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