Judea the Roman & Greek Name for Israel -- "palestine" a Later Imperialist Imposition
We have already presented documentation that the official Roman name of the Land of Israel was Judea. This place name was actually written IVDAEA in Latin and Ioudaia in Greek [as transcribed into the Latin alphabet]. We see this name on coins & military diplomas and in manuscripts, etc. The Roman Empire used the terms Iudaea and Provincia Iudaea until it defeated the Jews in the Bar Kokhba Revolt 132-135 CE. It was only after victory in that war that Emperor Hadrian imposed the name "Syria Palaestina" on the country, replacing the name Judea, as a punishment for the Jews, by renaming their very homeland so that it would no longer seem to be theirs. This may have given a certain psychological satisfaction to some of the Roman imperialists, as if their Jewish enemies had been wiped out with the name of their country.
Of course, despite today's pervasive propaganda in favor of "palestine" and "palestinian", the real scholars are aware of the true historical names in use in ancient times. Elsa Laurenzi, a historian and specialist in classical archeology at the La Sapienza University in Rome, supplies concise definitions of relevant terms. Now we will present her definition of Iudaei; in another post we will present her definition of "palestine":
IudaeiElsa Laurenzi points out that in the Roman mind, the Jews were named after their country, Judea. She adds that Emperor Justinian introduced the term Hebrews as the official name for the Jews, although --I would add-- it had been used earlier by Pausanias and others. It is interesting that in both Italian and Russian Hebrew is used today as the proper name for Jew, of course in forms specific to each language: Ebreo in Italian and Yevrey in Russian.
The name Iudaei identifies the people of Israel in the Latin sources, both literary and legal. It derives from the place name [toponym] of their place of origin, Iudaea, and indicates a double identification, religious and ethnic. Its extensive spread is attested by the very permanence of the term "giudeo" [= Jew] in the Roman dialect [of Italian]. Only starting with the 6th century, with the issue of the Novelle [new laws] of Emperor Justinian, was the synonym Hebraei [Hebrews] established, which remained rare however up to Medieval Latin.
Il nome Iudaei identifica il popolo di Israele nelle fonti latine, tanto letterarie quanto legali; deriva dal toponimo del luogo di provenienza, la Iudaea, ed indica una doppia identificazione, religiosa ed etnica; la sua diffusione e` testimoniata dalla stessa permanenza del termine "giudeo" nel dialetto romanesco. Solo a partire dal VI secolo, con l'emanazione delle Novelle del'Imperatore Giustiniano, si afferma il sinonimo Hebraei, che rimane comunque raro fino al latino medievale. [Elsa Laurenzi, Le Catacombe ebraiche (Roma: Gangemi 2011), p 12]