Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

The designation “Zealots” (ζηλωταί/zēlōtaí, from Gk ζηλόω/zēlóō, “to be zealous, to strive after”) for those Jews who rebelled against Roman rule in Palestine during the 1st century ce and especially during the First Jewish Revolt is encountered in the works of Flavius Josephus (Bell. II 651; IV 160f.; VII 268–270), whose Bellum Judaicum (II–VII) and Antiquitates constitute the most important sources for the Zealot movement and its ideology. The Hebrew designation qannaʾim (“zealous ones”) is attested, among other places, in b. Sanh. 82a. Their name goes back …

Cite this page
Wandrey, Irina, “Zealots”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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