Roman governor of Syria about 6 C.E., with whose name are associated events and problems of great importance. After the banishment of Archelaus in the year 6, a date confirmed by Dio Cassius (lv. 27), Judea came under the direct administration of the Romans, and was incorporated with the province of Syria. It thus becomes clear why the emperor Augustus should have ordered the ex-consul Quirinius (Greek, Κυρήνιος) to Syria to levy an assessment (Josephus, "Ant." xvii. 13, § 5). At the same time Coponius was sent as procurator of Judea; but Quirinius went thither also, since the levying of the tax on the entire province was his special duty (ib. xviii. 1, § 1).

The assessment caused great dissatisfaction among the Jews (ib.), and open revolt was prevented only by the efforts of the high priest Joazar (ib. 2, § 1). The levying of this assessment resulted, moreover, in the revolt of Judas the Galilean and in the formation of the party of the Zealots (Josephus, "B. J." vii. 8, § 1; Lucas, in Acts v. 37). Josephus mentions the assessment in another passage also ("Ant." xx. 5, § 2).

  • The literature is given in Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., i. 508-543, the following works being especially important:
  • T. Mommsen, Res Gestœ Divi Augusti, 1st ed., p. 121 (2d ed., pp. 175 et seq.);
  • Keim, Gesch. Jesu, 3d ed., pp. 101 et seq., Zurich, 1873;
  • Strauss, Das Leben Jesu, 11th ed., i. 57, ii. 24, Bonn, 1895;
  • Edersheim, Life of Jesus the Messiah, i. 182, London 1883;
  • Haverfield, in The Classical Review, 1900.
S. S. Kr.
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