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PATRICIUS:

  • 1. Leader of the Jews against the Romans in the fourth century. When the Jews in Palestine were severely oppressed by the Roman general Ursicinus (351) they made a desperate attempt at revolt, which soon ended in their destruction. At their head stood a man who is called in Greek sources "Patricius" and in Jewish "Natrona." The latter name has a Messianic meaning and is not individual. The Jews gained possession of the town of Sepphoris (Diocæsarea) and of a few neighboring places; but they were soon subdued by Ursicinus (Pesiḳ R. iii., end, ed. Friedmann; Socrates, "Historia Ecclesiæ," ii. 33; Sozomen, ii. 33; Aurelius Victor, in the "Life of Constantius"), Sepphoris, Tiberias, Lydda, and many other cities being destroyed by the Romans (Jerome, "Chronicon," 283d Olympiad).From a passage in the Midrash referring to these events, where it is said that Nehemiah b. Ḥushiel (again a Messianic name) died before the gates of Jerusalem in the war against Constantinople (= Byzantine empire), it may be concluded that Patricius was killed in the battle; but the whole matter has not yet been cleared up.
  • 2. The father of Patricius (; B. M. 5a; Ḥul. 64b).
  • 3. Rabbi Patricius, brother of R. Drusus. He transmitted a statement of Abba b. Abina concerning the composition of the metal called in the Bible "gold of Ophir" (Yer. Yoma 41d; Ex. R. xxxv. 1; Cant. R. iii. 17; Num. R. xii. 4; Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." iii. 527). Still later the name "Patrick" occurs in the responsa of the Geonim (Harkavy, "Studien und Mittheilungen," iv. 263, Berlin, 1885).
Bibliography:
  • Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., iv. 315, 456;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, i. 155;
  • Jost (Gesch. der Israeliten, iv. 200) contends that "Patricius" is not a proper name.
G. S. Kr.
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