1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity

Edited By Catherine Hezser Copyright 2024
    568 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume focuses on the major issues and debates in the study of Jews and Judaism in late antiquity (third to seventh century C.E.), providing cutting-edge surveys of the state of scholarship, main topics and research questions, methodological approaches, and avenues for future research.

    Based on both Jewish and non-Jewish literary and material sources, this volume takes an interdisciplinary approach involving historians of ancient Judaism, scholars of rabbinic literature, archaeologists, epigraphers, art historians, and Byzantinists. Developments within Jewish society and culture are viewed within the respective regional, political, cultural, and socioeconomic contexts in which they took place. Special focus is given to the impact of the Christianization of the Roman Empire on Jews, from administrative, legal, social, and cultural points of view. The contributors examine how the confrontation with Christianity changed Jewish practices, perceptions, and organizational structures, such as, for example, the emergence of local Jewish communities around synagogues as central religious spaces. Special chapters are devoted to the eastern and western Jewish Diaspora in Late Antiquity, especially Sasanian Persia but also Roman Italy, Egypt, Syria and Arabia, North Africa, and Asia Minor, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the situation and life experiences of Jews and Judaism during this period.

    The Routledge Handbook of Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity is a critical and methodologically sophisticated survey of current scholarship aimed primarily at students and scholars of Jewish Studies, Study of Religions, Patristics, Classics, Roman and Byzantine Studies, Iranology, History of Art, and Archaeology. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Judaism and Jewish history.

    1. Introduction: Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity, Catherine HezserPART I: Jews in the Byzantine Empire; 2. From Roman Palestine to a Christian “Holy Land”, Hagith Sivan; 3. Changes in the Infrastructure and Population of Byzantine Palestine, Claudine Dauphin; 4. Jews, Judaism, and the Christianization of the Roman Empire, Seth Schwartz; 5. Jews and the Imperial Cult, Holger ZellentinPART II: Judaism and Christianity; 6. Jews and the Emergence of Christianity, Maren R. Niehoff; 7. Synagogues and Churches as the Centers of Local Communities, Alexei Sivertsev; 8. The Rabbinic Representation of Jesus and His Followers, Thierry Murcia; 9. The Church Fathers on Jews and Judaism, Burton L. Visotzky; 10. Institutionalization, “Orthodoxy”, and HierarchyHayim Lapin; PART III: Rabbis, Jurists, Philosophers, and Holy Men; 11. Rabbis and the Image of the Intellectual, Catherine Hezser; 12. Rabbis and Jurists in the Roman East, Yair Furstenberg; 13. Personal Representations of the Holy, Michael L. Satlow; 14. Attitudes Toward the Body, Catherine Hezser; 15. Travel Narratives and the Construction of Identity, Joshua LevinsonPART IV: The Creation of Rabbinic Literature; 16. From Oral Discourse to Written Documents, Reuven Kiperwasser; 17. Antiquarianism, Scholasticism, and Rabbinic Anthologies, Catherine Hezser; 18. Rabbinic Literature and Roman-Byzantine Legal Compilations, Marton Ribary; 19. Rabbinic and Patristic Interpretations of the Bible, Carol Bakhos; 20. Jewish Letter Writing in Late Antiquity, Lutz DoeringPART V: The Development of a Jewish Visual Culture; 21. Visuality in Rabbinic Judaism, Karen B. Stern; 22. The Appearance of Jewish Figural Art, Lee I. Levine; 23. Synagogue Architecture, Decoration, and Furnishings, Zeev Weiss; 24. A Shared Visual Language, Rachel Hachlili; 25. The Liturgical Performance of Identity, Ophir Münz-ManorPART VI: Rabbinic Culture in Sasanian Persia; 26. Jewish and Persian Leadership Structures, Geoffrey Herman; 27. Babylonian Jewish Communities, Simcha Gross; 28. Babylonian Judaism and Zoroastrianism, Shai Secunda; 29. Representations of Persia in the Babylonian Talmud, Jason Zion MokhtarianPART VII: The Expansion of the Jewish Diaspora; 30. Jews in Late Antique Rome, Samuele Rocca; 31. Jews in Late Antique Egypt, Rodrigo Laham Cohen; 32. Jews in Late Antique Syria and Arabia, Maurice Sartre; 33. Jews in Asia Minor, Paul Trebilco; 34. Jewish Communities in North Africa, Stéphanie É. Binder and Thomas Villey.


    Catherine Hezser is Professor of Jewish Studies at SOAS, University of London. After her Habilitation in Jewish Studies at the Free University Berlin she taught at Trinity College Dublin, University of Oslo, and SOAS, University of London, and was a research professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has published numerous books and articles on Jews and Judaism in antiquity, with a focus on social history and daily life, the Talmud Yerushalmi, and Jews within the context of Graeco-Roman and Byzantine-Christian societies.