- Tessa Rajak
Samaria was from the early *Seleucid period the name of an administrative district in Palestine, alongside *Judaea, and, later, *Galilee, and lying between the two. The inhabitants (see samaritans) were mainly of mixed race. Their religion was a form of Judaism even if they temporarily accepted from *Antiochus (4) IV a pagan cult on their sacred mountain, Gerizim, and they became increasingly detached from Jewry. The city of Samaria was resettled by *Alexander (3) the Great with Macedonian colonists, while nearby Shechem remained in the hands of native Samaritans. John Hyrcanus destroyed Samaria (see hasmoneans); A. *Gabinius (2) detached it again from Jewish territory (see jews); and *Herod (1) rebuilt it as a major city, Sebaste. His loyal Sebastene cohorts played an important role in the control of the Jews until the first Revolt.
- Jewish Studies