Sepphoris (Greek Σέπφωρις; Hebrew צִפּוֹרִי: important city in Roman Galilee and one of the main centers of early Rabbinical Judaism, modern Tzipori.
- Sepphoris means "bird town", perhaps because it was situated on the summit of a hill, like a bird sitting on a perch. The town is not mentioned in the Bible but Iron Age ceramics prove that it was occupied during the kingdom of Israel. It must have been a small village. The first known architectural remains date back to the fourth century BCE.
- Between Akko (Ptolemais) and the Lake of Galilee; fortified in the age of Alexander Jannaeus
- After the Roman conquest of 63 BCE, the Hasmonaean kingdom was divided into five districts; Sepphoris was one of the capitals
- Since 37 BCE part of the kingdom of Herod the Great (r.40-c.5 BCE)
- In the crisis years after Herod's death, the city was attacked by Judas, son of Hezekia, who seized an arsenalnote[Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 17.271-272.] and invoked the wrath of the Syrian governor Varus. Sepphoris was sacked and rebuilt by Herod's son Herod Antipas as a Roman city, which explains why the town sided with Rome in the great Jewish War of 66-70.
- 20 CE: As royal residence replaced by Tiberias, but still an important city.
- 66-70: Pro-Roman
- In the second century renamed Diocaesarea ("city of Zeus and the emperor")
- 132-136: Revolt of Bar Kochba. Refugees from Judaea settle in Galilee.
- c.200: The Sanhedrin moves its seat to Sepphoris.
- Early third century CE: House of the Dionysus Mosaic (perhaps the home of Yehuda ha-Nasi, the compiler of the Mishnah)
- Important center of rabbinical learning, although the Sanhedrin will eventually move to Tiberias
- 351-352: Revolt
- 363: Earthquake; eclipsed by Nazareth
- First half fifth century: synagogue; there is a Christian community as well