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Generically, a Galilean is an inhabitant of Galilee. The New Testament notes that the Apostle Peter's accent gave him away as a Galilean (Matthew 26:73 and Mark 14:70). The Galilean dialect referred to in the New Testament was a form of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic spoken by people in Galilee from the late Second Temple period (530 BCE) through the Apostolic Age (c. 100 CE). Later the term was used to refer to the early Christians by Roman emperors Julian and Marcus Aurelius, among others.
The Galilee up until the time of JesusEdit
After some early expeditions to Galilee to save the Jews there from attack, the Hasmonean rulers conquered Galilee and added it to their kingdom.
The Pharisaic scholars of Judaism, centered in Jerusalem and Judea, found the Galileans to be insufficiently concerned about the details of Jewish observance – for example, the rules of Sabbath rest. The Talmud says that Yohanan ben Zakkai, a great Pharisee of the first century, was assigned to a post in Galilee during his training. In eighteen years he was asked only two questions of Jewish law, causing him to lament "O Galilee, O Galilee, in the end you shall be filled with wrongdoers!"
The Pharisaic criticism of Galileans is mirrored in the New Testament, in which Galilean religious passion is compared favorably against the minute concerns of Judean legal scholars, see for example Woes of the Pharisees. This was the heart of a friendly "crosstown" rivalry existing between Galilean Zealots and Judean Pharisees.
Unlike the Judeans and the Idumean, the Galileans survived until nowadays in the village of Peki'in, until 500 years ago, Peki'in had a Jewish majority and Galilean Jews had presence in many villages such as Kafr Yassif, Biriyya, Alma, and more.
Galileans (or Galilæans) were also the members of a fanatical sect (Zealots), followers of Judas of Galilee, who fiercely resented the taxation of the Romans, and whose violence contributed to induce the Romans to vow the extermination of the whole Galilean race.