Jews among the Greeks and Romans A Diasporan Sourcebook

ISBN-10: 0801859387

ISBN-13: 9780801859380

Edition: N/A

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As one of the few groups in the Greco-Roman world to resist cultural assimilation, the Jews remained an object of fascination throughout antiquity. Greek and Roman writers devoted much space to them, but few bothered to learn the facts about Jews, preferring to report stereotypes and rumor. Evidence does exist, however, to show what real Jews were like in antiquity and how they interacted with the Greeks and Romans, both pagan and Christian. In The Jews among the Greeks and Romans, Margaret Williams assembles, assesses, and contextualizes literary and archaeological evidence relating to Jewish communities outside the land of Israel. The sourcebook covers the period beginning with the Diaspora that resulted from the chaos of Alexander the Great's death in 323 BCE and concluding with the demise of the Jewish Patriarchate around 420 CE. This was a time which saw, first, the rapid opening up of opportunities for Jews and then, in the century after Constantine, the gradual but inexorable raising of barriers against them. Newly translated from the Greek and Latin, the documents cover a broad array of topics, including religion, customs, festivals, repression, citizenship, military service, economics, intermarriage, and conversion from Jew to Gentile and Gentile to Jew. While previous collections have concentrated on literary texts, the present volume gives prominence to papyrological and epigraphic source material. Composed in accordance with Greco-Roman epigraphic conventions but written by Jews, these texts--some only recently discovered--constitute an extraordinarily rich source of information about the values and practices of Jews in antiquity.
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Book details

List price: $30.00
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 5/28/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

The Jewish Diaspora in the Hellenistic and early Roman imperial periods
Its extent in prophecy and actuality
Reasons for the diffusion of the Jews
Evidence for Jewish mobility within the Graeco-Roman world
Statistical information about Diasporan Jews
Location of Jewish communities
Occupations of Diasporan Jews
Terminology for Diasporan communities
Life inside the Jewish Diasporan community
The synagogue as the focal point of community life
Officials and dignitaries
Community structures other than the synagogue
Community values
Distinctive Jewish practices
Jewish festivals
Divisions within the Jewish community
Diasporan Jews and the Jewish homeland
Pilgrimage to Jerusalem
Payment of ancestral dues and taxes
Offerings to the Temple by Diasporan Jews
Diasporan charitable and military aid to Palestinian Jews
Diasporan Jews and the transmission of information to Jerusalem
Immigration to Judaea of Diasporan Jews
Diasporan burials in Judaea
The Judaean authorities and the Diasporan synagogue
The Patriarchs and the Diaspora
Palestinian influence on the language of Diasporan inscriptions
Jewish interaction with Greek and Roman authorities
Jewish honours for Ptolemaic rulers
Ptolemaic and Seleucid privileges for the Jews
Jews in the service of the Seleucids and Ptolemies
Jewish honours for Roman Emperors
Privileges for Jews who were Roman citizens
Roman protection of the Jewish way of life
Jews in the service of the Roman government
Measures taken or threatened against the Jews by the Roman authorities
The Jews among the Greeks
Jews as citizens of Greek cities
Jews as councillors, magistrates and official envoys
Jewish influence upon Greek civic life
Jewish involvement in Greek cultural life
Greek cultural influences on the Jews
Intermarriage between Jews and Greeks
Friction between Jews and Greeks
Jewish relations with Christians in the Greek East
The Jews among the Romans
Jews and the Roman citizenship
Jewish involvement in local government in the West
Jewish involvement in Roman cultural and religious life
Roman cultural influence on the Jews
Jewish interaction with Christians in the Roman West
Pagans and Judaism: academic and real-life responses
Two academic views of the Jews and Judaism
Pagans sympathetic to Judaism
Pagan converts to Judaism - the proselytes
Other adherents to Judaism - instances of disputed status
Syncretist cults
Main events mentioned in this sourcebook
Select list of rulers
Egyptian months and their Julian equivalents
Glossary of selected names
Concordance of sources
Literary texts
Legal texts
Modern collections of ancient legal and literary texts
Jewish community terminology
Jewish occupations
Miscellaneous topics
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