In possibly a bad career move, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, an up-and-coming Senator once fell asleep during a lyre recital of the Emperor Nero. For offending the Emperor, he was sent to the fringe province of Judaea as Governor, just as the Jewish rebellion was taking place. He spent four or five years there in exile before the civil war that followed the death of Nero meant his own troops declared him Emperor . In the power struggle that followed, other provinces’ garrisons began to declare Vespasian Emperor and soon he returned to Rome, to sit on the Imperial throne for the remainder of his life (another 10 or so years).
Because of this story, Caerulia and I often referred to any kind of exile as “going to Judaea”.
So when she and I split up in 2002, and I left our hometown and moved interstate, to a distant land on the fringe of the nation, we just (naturally) would refer to it as Judaean exile. The state I went to, we’d refer to as Judaea, and the city got the title of “Jerusalem”.
That’s where they began – the pseudonyms for place names. Originally, they were just in emails or text messages between my ex-wife and I. Our home town (which just happens to be the national capital) was Rome, my place of exile was Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it also created the situation where the locals in “Judaea” were people we called “Jews”. So when I was in a bad mood with my new land, and having a rant against the narrow-minded tendencies of the locals, my words could easily be read by people who didn’t understand as fanatical anti-semitic tirades. Ah well, I’m kind of used to some people not understanding things I say or write.