The Jews in the Roman Empire: Legal Problems, from Herod to Justinian, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Jews in the Roman Empire

Legal Problems, from Herod to Justinian, 1st Edition

By Alfredo Mordechai Rabello


384 pages

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Hardback: 9780860786627
pub: 2000-06-16
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The focus of this book is on the legal status of the Jews within the Roman Empire and the changes that it underwent when the empire became Christian. Conflicts between Roman and Jewish jurisdiction form an important theme, while particular studies deal with questions of conversion, the observance of the Sabbath and Festivals, Hadrian's decree prohibiting circumcision, and with the treatment given to the Samaritans. In the field of family law, Professor Rabello deals with the issues of the patria potestas, family courts, marriage and divorce, and it is in these areas, he holds, that a basic understanding can be found of how the early Catholic Church treated Jews and Judaism.


'… an excellent initiative…' Revue des Etudes Juives 'Whatever language he employs, be it English, French or Italian, Rabello writes with a pleasing clarity and an easy authority. Classicists and ancient historians will learn much from the papers collected here about the legal status of the Jews in the Roman empire, a subject that for far too long has remained far too difficult to access.' Latomus

Table of Contents

Contents: Civil justice in Palestine from 63 BCE to 70 CE; Herod’s domestic court? The judgment of death for Herod’s sons; The ’Lex de Templo Hierosolymitano’, prohibiting Gentiles from entering Jerusalem’s Sanctuary; The situation of the Jews in Roman Spain; The ban on circumcision as a cause of Bar Kokhbah’s rebellion; On the relations between Diocletian and the Jews; La première loi de Théodose II, C.Th.XVI, 8, 18, et la fête de Pourim; L’observance des fêtes juives dans l’Empire romain; Divorce of Jews in the Roman Empire; Il problema dei matrimoni fra Ebrei e Cristiani nella legislazione imperiale e in quella della Chiesa (IV-VI secolo); The Samaritans in Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis; Jewish and Roman jurisdiction; Civil Jewish jurisdiction in the days of Emperor Justinian (527-565): Codex Justinianus 1.9.8; The attitude of Rome towards conversions to Judaism (atheism, circumcision, proselytism); A tribute to Jean Juster; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General