This work relies on the results of archaeological surveys and excavations of Roman temples, shrines and temene, discovered in Israel. Unfortunately, the literary sources are curiously silent with regard to most of the constructions. Nonetheless, literary sources, archaeological-architectural analogies and circumstantial evidence do provide some additional information for the understanding of their context, architecture, functions and religious-cultic perceptions. Their remains reflect a large scale of sacred buildings or complexes in the Roman period throughout the country, evincing the veneration and worship of many and varied deities of the Graeco-Roman and Oriental pantheons. Many temples and shrines are depicted on coins or mentioned in literary and epigraphic sources. These indicate that a large number of temples/shrines, dedicated to various gods, existed in Israel in the Roman period. Thus, it may be assumed that they reflect not only the architectural reality, but also the religious-cultic atmosphere. 
It would seem that these architectural complexes had either been deliberately concealed and/or destroyed in Late Antiquity (fifth and sixth centuries CE) by order of the Christian authorities and Byzantine emperors, or converted into churches. Some of them were demolished by later generations, natural disasters, fires, conquests, etc. The chronological range of the temples/shrines and temene, discussed in this book, extends over a period of approximately 250 years, from Herod’s reign up to Severan era.

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I. Paneas/Banias-Caesarea Philippi
II. 'Omrit
III. The Temple of Baalshamin at Kedesh in upper Galilee
IV. Beth Shean/Scythopolis
V. Elijah's cave on Mt. Carmel
VI. Dor
VII. Caesarea Maritima
VIII. Samaria-Sebaste
IX. The Temple of Zeus Hypsistos at Tell er-Ras on Mt. Gerizim
X. Aelia Capitolina/Jerusalem
XI. The Temene at Elonei Mamre and Me'arat Hamachpelah (Tombs of the Patriarchs) in Hebron
XII. Varia: 1. Keren Naphtali (Khirbet Harrawi), 2. Bethsaida, 3. Hippos/Sussita, 4. Tiberias, 5. Beset, 6. Acco/Ptolemais, 7. Shuni Maiumas, 8. Aphek/Antipatris, 9. Jaffa, 10. Beth Guvrin/Eleutheropolis, 11. Ascalon/Ashkelon, 12. Gaza, 13. Elusa/Halutza
Literary Sources
List of Plates
General index


Julien Aliquot, Histara, 14/11/2011

Arthur Segal, Rivista di Archeologia, vol. 35, 13/02/2011