Jerusalem And Empires: Long Term Observations

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


In this article I draw an outline for understanding the settlement oscillations in Jerusalem between the Late Bronze Age Amarna period and the First Jewish Revolt. I begin by posing a question regarding the »Jerusalem Anomaly«: located in a remote, marginal area with no natural resources, how was it that Jerusalem twice grew to become the largest city in the southern Levant? I propose that Jerusalem could reach a state of high prosperity only as a vassal serving the interests of great empires (Assyria and Rome). It could also benefit from serving local Levantine powers (Damascus and Israel). In the era discussed here Jerusalem achieved a state of prosperity as a relatively independent center of power only once – in the few decades from the days of John Hyrcanus until the takeover of the region by Pompey the Great.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalHebrew Bible and Ancient Israel
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Amarna Period
  • Assyria
  • Empires
  • Hasmoneans
  • Jerusalem
  • Judah

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc -- Periodicals


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