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In Ancient Rome, a province (Latin, provincia, pl.provinciae) was the basic, and until the Tetrachy (circa 296), largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of the Italian peninsula. The word province in modern English has its origins in the term used by the Romans.

Provinces were generally governed by politicians of senatorial rank, usually former consuls or former praetors. A later exception was the province of Egypt, incorporated by Augustus after the death of Cleopatra: it was ruled by a governor of equestrian rank only, perhaps as a discouragement to senatorial ambition. This exception was unique, but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus' personal property, following the tradition of later Hellenistic kings. The province of Iudaea was created in 6 AD. It was an imperial procuratorial province that was renamed Syria Palastina by Emperor Hadrian, and upgraded to a proconsular province and after Bar Kokhba's revolt (132 - 135 AD) it was renamed Palestina.

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