Photographs by Dinu, Sandu, and Radu Mendrea
The regions that compose the current state of Israel and the emerging state of Palestine have yielded a wealth of fascinating archaeological evidence, from the Dead Sea Scrolls found in a cave in 1947 by a Bedouin searching for a lost sheep, to the remains of Roman camps and King Herod's luxurious palaces at the besieged city of Masada.
The book begins with introductions to the complicated and turbulent history of the region, in which a series of invaders, including Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, and Macedonians, conquered and ruled over its people. The long reign of the Romans in the area is given particular attention—a reign that produced the infamous client-rulers Herod the Great and Pontius Pilate, as well as two Jewish revolts against their Roman overlords, both of which met with brutal suppression.
The author also analyzes eighteen ancient city-sites, including the familiar, such as Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and the less well known, such as Herodion, with its extravagant palace-fortress, and Scythopolis, with its Roman temples and baths. This book provides an enlightening overview of a region that continues to capture the attention of the world.
Ariel Lewin is an instructor in Roman history at the University of Basilicata, Pontenza, Italy, and the author of The Roman Imperial City in the East.
8 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches
240 color illustrations
14 building plans
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum