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(both: īdyo͞omē`ə), mountainous country, called also Mt. Seir. According to the Book of Genesis, it was given to EsauEsau
[Heb.,=hairy], in the Bible, son of Isaac, who sold his birthright to his younger twin, Jacob, for lentil stew and who was tricked by Jacob out of his father's blessing. Also known as Edom [Heb.,=ruddy], the disinherited Esau settled on Mt.
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, also called Edom, and his descendants. It extended along the eastern border of the Arabah valley, from the Dead Sea to Elat. Edomite history was marked by continuous hostility and warfare with Jews, Assyrians, and Syrians. At the end of the 2d cent. B.C., they were subdued by Hasmonaean priest-king John Hyrcanus I, forcibly circumcised, and merged with the Jews. HerodHerod,
dynasty reigning in Palestine at the time of Jesus. As a dynasty the Herods depended largely on the power of Rome. They are usually blamed for the state of virtual anarchy in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian era.

Antipater (fl. c.65 B.C.
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 the Great was Idumaean. The Romans grouped Idumaea with Judaea and Samaria in one procuratorship. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Idumaea was included in Arabia Petraea.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Greek, Idumaea), an ancient country in Southwest Asia, south of Palestine, between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba; named for the Edomites.

In the second half of the second millennium B.C., the land was settled by the Edomites, who united to form a state in the late second millennium B.C. In the 11th century B.C., Edom was subjugated by the tribes of Israel. It paid a tribute to Assyria from the ninth to seventh centuries and to the neo-Babylonian kingdom in the seventh and sixth centuries. Together with the Babylonians, the Edomites laid seige to Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and destroyed the city. By the late sixth century they governed part of southern Palestine.

When the Nabataean kingdom was formed in the late third century B.C., much of Edom was incorporated into it. With part of southern Palestine (capital, Hebron), western Edom became the independent kingdom of Idumaea. In the late second century B.C., Idumaea was conquered by a Judean king of the Hasmonean dynasty, and the population was converted to Judaism.

Together with Judea, Idumaea was subjugated by Rome in 63 B.C. and became a Roman protectorate. King Herod I was an Idumaean. In 106 A.D., a large part of Idumaea was incorporated into the Roman province of Arabia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
'What does "Idumaean" mean?' the old crone sitting next to me turns to ask, pointing to her program notes [...]].
(32) In exactly the way that Freud describes, as Duncan struggles to put a name to the 'child of Idumaean Night' 'other ones--substitute names--enter [his] consciousness', 'we recognize them at once, indeed, as incorrect, but they keep on returning and force themselves on us with great persistence' (GW, p.
153) The 'tide moving up from the depths of [him] comes in and recedes' amid a trail of images, 'phantom[s] begotten of Idumaean Night' who are not children but desirable men (p.
New texts continued to be composed in Akkadian, Old Egyptian and Phoenician down to the end of the Hellenistic period (31 B.C.E.), and in the case of Old Egyptian well beyond this date.(28) If we can trust a hostile testimony quoted in a papyrus of the third century C.E., Idumaeans in Egypt continued to use their ancestral language in their temples almost four centuries after their homeland had been conquered by the Judaeans.(29) Akkadian, hieroglyphic and Phoenician writing, too, are found especially, though not exclusively, in temples.
Andre Lemaire has proposed that the listings represent a local Idumaean chronology, and that consequently the "Alexander" dates are to be connected with the reign of Alexander III, with Alexander's first regnal year representing his arrival on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.
Even if the Idumaean ostraca are dated according to Macedonian regnal years, this provides no sound basis for dating those citing Antigonus.
Hellenistic Idumaean music culture resulted from a long tradition with Iron Age roots, but reached its high-point in the Hellenistic and early Roman periods of the third to first centuries B.c.
Mohr, 1990 and idem., Jews, Idumaeans, and Ancient Arabs, Tubingen: J.C.B.
(8.) On the absorption of the Idumaeans and Ituraeans see Kasher, Jews, Idumaeans, and Ancient Arabs.
The introductory essay by the editor argues, reasonably, that the oddities of the Jews in the Graeco-Roman world were no greater than those of many other distinctive ethnic groups, such as Idumaeans or Celts.
Gioras had 10,000 men, John of Gischala 6,000, while the actual Zealots were only 2,400 strong; in addition there were 5,000 Idumaeans. From these figures it emerges that 6,000 Pharisees were a force to be reckoned with, who could indeed exert influence.