Maps - Roman Palestine
The division of the country west of the Jordan into the three divisions of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, first occurs in the time of the Maccabees, which is also recognised by Josephus. In the time of Christ the division had become familiar and well established. But the specific boundaries are not well defined. Judes comprised substantially the territory of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, and Dan; Samaria, that of Ephraim and the half-tribe of Manasseh; and Galilee, that of the remaining tribes of Issachar, Zebulon, Asher, and Naphtali. Samaria, though less in extent, is more fertile than Judea; the mountains are covered with a richer verdure the valleys are better watered and yield a more luxuriant vegetation. Galilee surpasses both Judea and Samaria alike in the fertility of its soil and the grandeur of its scenery.
After the death of Emperor Julian II, in 363 AD, most of the Jewish settlements in the south were destroyed. The Jews remained mainly in the Galilee and in the larger cities.
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