Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B. C. E to 640 C. E.

ISBN-10: 0691117810
ISBN-13: 9780691117812
Edition: 2002
Authors: Seth Schwartz
List price: $45.00 Buy it from $30.60
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Description: This provocative new history of Palestinian Jewish society in antiquity marks the first comprehensive effort to gauge the effects of imperial domination on this people. Probing more than eight centuries of Persian, Greek, and Roman rule, Seth  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 2/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

This provocative new history of Palestinian Jewish society in antiquity marks the first comprehensive effort to gauge the effects of imperial domination on this people. Probing more than eight centuries of Persian, Greek, and Roman rule, Seth Schwartz reaches some startling conclusions--foremost among them that the Christianization of the Roman Empire generated the most fundamental features of medieval and modern Jewish life. Schwartz begins by arguing that the distinctiveness of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and early Roman periods was the product of generally prevailing imperial tolerance. From around 70 C.E. to the mid-fourth century, with failed revolts and the alluring cultural norms of the High Roman Empire, Judaism all but disintegrated. However, late in the Roman Empire, the Christianized state played a decisive role in ''re-Judaizing'' the Jews. The state gradually excluded them from society while supporting their leaders and recognizing their local communities. It was thus in Late Antiquity that the synagogue-centered community became prevalent among the Jews, that there re-emerged a distinctively Jewish art and literature--laying the foundations for Judaism as we know it today. Through masterful scholarship set in rich detail, this book challenges traditional views rooted in romantic notions about Jewish fortitude. Integrating material relics and literature while setting the Jews in their eastern Mediterranean context, it addresses the complex and varied consequences of imperialism on this vast period of Jewish history more ambitiously than ever before.Imperialism in Jewish Societywill be widely read and much debated.

Seth Schwartz is the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization and professor of religion at Columbia University. He is the author of "Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 BCE to 640 CE" (Princeton) and "Josephus and Judaean Politics".

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
The Jews of Palestine to 70 C.E.
Politics and Society
Religion and Society before 70 C.E.
Jews in Palestine From 135 to 350
Rabbis and Patriarchs on the Margins
Jews or Pagans? The Jews and the Greco-Roman Cities of Palestine
The Rabbis and Urban Culture
Synagogue and Community From 350 to 640
Christianization
A Landscape Transformed
Origins and Diffusion of the Synagogue
Judaization
The Synagogue and the Ideology of Community
Conclusion
Selected Bibliography
Index

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