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Hi!
I'm reading the war of the Jews and something is surprising me: the huge number of greeks existing in Herod kingdom. Were they really half of the population, or the term greek is a generic one meaning all those who weren't Jews and believers in their faith (like pagan)?
Thakns for any reply.
there were many cities there like dekapolis (ten cities) and many more then that.I 'll see my sources but from what i remember they were alot.
Greek had became a term describing every gentile, including jews who had adopted the greek way of life.

A good example would be Lucianos. A syrian most probably but for all accounts a true Greek in spirit if not in blood. That was very common in the eastern med during Hellenistic and later on Roman times.
Greeks with a number of hellenized phoenicians and other locals mostly.
Ok. By the way, "the war of jews", answered one of my doubts, if the legions stationed in the oriental provinces were or latin or local recruitment. They were definitively locals (Joseph says they were Syrians and they could understand Aramaic).
I think that the opposition between Jews and Greeks is a false one. For the author of 1 Maccabees and later authors (e.g., Paul and Josephus), there is a difference between themselves (the orthodox Jews) and the rest (who are all considered pagan, or -in Josephus' case- brigands, terrorists, bandits).

King Herod the Great is an interesting case. He would be:
- Judaean: as king of Judah
- Jerusalemite: his official citizenship
- Roman: the citizenship he received
- Greek: by language
- Idumaean: by birth
- Phoenician: by descent
- Jew: according to his religion

His Jewishness is often denied in our sources, which are usually sympathetic to Phariseism and accept its claim that one can only become Jew through maternal descent, an opinion that was not shared by everyone.
Herod would be probably considered a Judean by the romans and an idumean by the Jews. Even the lasts hasmoneams had greek names and they were definitively Jews.
The finds in the Bar Kochba caves indicate hellenized dress and custom. I'm afraid that if you had a first century "Greek" (which probably meant hellenized Sryians )and Jew standing next to each other it would be nearly impossible to tell them apart.

As evidenced by Josephus' assimilation into Flavian politics, it probably wasn't too much of a change.

Travis