(jyoo dee' uh) Place name meaning, “Jewish.” In
Ezra 5:8, the Aramaic designation of a province that varied in size with changing political circumstances, but always included the city of Jerusalem and the territory immediately surrounding it. The area, formerly called Judah, was first given the name Judea following the Babylonian Exile. During the Persian period, Judea occupied a very small area. Under the Maccabees, however, the territory was expanded in size and enjoyed a period of political independence. Herod the Great, appointed over roughly the same territory by Rome, had the title king of Judea. Judea, Samaria, and Galilee were generally considered, in Roman times, to be the three main geographical divisions of Palestine. See Geography; Rome; Roman Empire.