GALATIA, district in Asia Minor, which became a Roman province in 25 B.C.E. Evidence of the existence of Jews in Galatia is scanty, but it is likely that Jewish settlement began with the establishment of Jewish military colonies by Antiochus III in adjoining Phrygia and Lydia (Jos., Ant. 12:147ff.) toward the end of the third century B.C.E. Jews lived in the neighboring countries of pergamum , cappadocia (I Macc. 15:22), and bithynia (Philo, Embassy to Gaius, 281) in the second century B.C.E., and the first century C.E. Josephus tells of   an edict of Augustus published in Ancyra, capital of Galatia, granting the Jews, among other privileges, the right to practice their ancestral traditions, and to transfer funds to Jerusalem (Ant. 16:162–5). However, "Ancyra" is a correction proposed by Scaliger from a faulty text which cannot be absolutely relied upon. Clearer evidence is available from accounts of the missionary activities of the apostle Paul among the various communities in the first century (I Cor. 16:1; Acts 16:6; 18:23), in particular his Epistle to the Galatians. Jewish names in inscriptions found in the precincts of Galatia include "Esther" and "Jacob," appearing on a tomb at Germa, southwest of Ancyra (Frey, Corpus, 2 (1952), 48, no. 796) and "Levi," inscribed elsewhere (Henderson, in Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 19 (1899), 285, no. 178). The word "Galia," recurring a number of times in talmudic literature, is in some instances considered to refer to Galatia, e.g., the journey of R. Akiva to "Galia" (RH 26a). It is similarly thought that Nahum or Menahem of "Galia" came from Galatia although others identify "Galia" with France or with a settlement in Judea. (Ket. 60a: Tosef., Er. 11:10; TJ, Ber. 4:4, 8b). In II Maccabees 8:20, it is specifically mentioned that Jews fought against the Galatians at the side of Seleucid kings in Babylonia, defeating them and taking much loot, but there is no available information as to which war is referred to, or its details. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 22–23; Juster, Juifs, 1 (1914), 193; W.M. Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 2 (1897). (Lea Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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