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ALEXANDER THE ZEALOT:

One of the chiefs of the political party of Zealots about the year 50 of the common era. Led by him and his colleague Eleazar, an armed body of Jews fell upon the city of Samaria, pitilessly massacring old men, women, and children of the Samaritans, and burning their villages. The motive for this sanguinary deed was revenge for the murder, in the Samaritan village of Gema (Ginæa), of a number of Galilean Jews who were on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Roman governor Cumanus immediately went in pursuit of the Zealots; but Alexander seems to have escaped unharmed, while many of his followers were either slain or carried to Rome. See also Cumanus, Felix, Zealots.

Bibliography:
  • Josephus, Ant. xx. 6, §§ 1-3;
  • idem, B. J. ii. 12, §§ 3-7;
  • Schürer, Gesch. i. 476;
  • Grätz, Gesch. d. Juden, 2d ed., ii. 323.
L. G.
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