03.05.29 20 B.C. Treaty Established between Rome and Parthia; Rebellion near Nazareth
The Romans and Parthians established a treaty that set the Euphrates River as the boundary between the two empires. While the Euphrates was hundreds of miles to the east of Jerusalem, there was nothing other than a massive desert between the river and the Holy City. The Jewish enclave was, in effect, the real Roman eastern frontier and Herod was always concerned about a Parthian invasion or overthrow.
While Rome and Parthia were discussing peace, a revolt broke out in Galilee, only three miles from Nazareth in Sepphoris which was led by a Zealot named Judas ben Ezechias. According to Josephus, the news of the uprising spread quickly, and just as quickly the Roman legate of Syria, Quintilius Varus, sent the Roman army into Galilee. At the same time Aretas, king of Arabia, sent infantry and cavalry to assist the Romans. Together they not only crushed the Jewish rebellion and sold many Jews into slavery, but not until the city was burned.
. At this time Sepphoris was the capital city of the District of Galilee. Later the capital was moved to the new city of Tiberias along the Sea of Galilee.
. Josephus, Antiquities 17.10.5.
. Batey, Jesus and the Forgotten City. 53-54, 76.