Roman rule over the Middle East resulted in a unified political, economic and cultural area that can only be compared

Ctesiphon, ancient palace
Ctesiphon, ancient palace

to globalisation in modern times. The ban on maintaining a military capacity for the defence of their country resulted in a considerable improvement in living standards in Palestine. Herod the Great’s massive construction programme is typical of this effect.

Initially the new cultural opportunities opened up by the Romans were also eagerly used. This prosperity and cultural boom later led to Jewish nationalism, resulting in the Great Revolt that ended in disaster. In the first decades of the 1st century AD, however, this was far in the future.


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