scholars from various disciplines attempt a complete description of the region in Hellenistic and Roman times. Nowhere is this tendency more in evidence than when historical Jesus studies and Galilean studies become intertwined. Ever since Albert Schweitzer exposed the anachronistic concerns of many of the nineteenth-century liberal lives of Jesus,6 it has become increasingly evident that objectivity is often asserted but rarely fully achieved, as various proposals for the ministry of Jesus are advanced.7

Gerhard Lenski's description of advanced agrarian empires from a social scientific perspective has been highly influential in many recent studies, providing, as it does, a model for understanding social stratification in advanced agrarian empires such as that of Rome. In such societies agriculture is the main industrial occupation and the management of labour is directed towards achieving a surplus rather than mere subsistence.8 This exercise of modelling through an ideal type must, however, always take account of local factors. In first-century Palestine the evidence of two major revolts, both of which had a social as well as a religious component, has convinced many scholars of the need to supplement the Lenski model with another approach which highlights the causes of social conflict and the strategies adopted by elites for its management.9

Cultural identity

Discussion of the ethnicity of the Galilean population during the first century ce is concerned with the identity of the dominant strand in the ethnic mix of the region by examining traces of cultural and religious affiliations, comprising Israelite, Judaean, Iturean and even Babylonian elements. Certain claims can be ruled out as highly unlikely on the basis of our present knowledge of the situation. Thus, the argument for a pagan Galilee is poorly supported by the literary evidence and receives no confirmation from the archaeological explorations.10 Nor is there any real evidence of a lasting Iturean presence in the region, even though they may have infiltrated upper Galilee briefly before the arrival of the Hasmoneans. There are several problems with the idea of Galilean Israelites also. It is difficult to imagine a largely peasant population having maintained a separate Yahwistic/Israelite identity over the centuries

6 Schweitzer, Quest of the historical Jesus.

7 Cf. Freyne, 'Archaeology and the historical Jesus' and 'Galilean questions'.

8 Lenski, Power and privilege.

9 Horsley, Sociology and the Jesus movement, is critical of Theissen's use of a functionalist approach in his application of sociological models to the study of early Christianity. Cf. Theissen, Sociology ofearly Palestinian Christianity, as well as his Social reality.

10 Betz, 'Jesus and the Cynics', 453-75; Freyne, Galilee from Alexander, 101-45.

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