Artemisia of Minorca

Ross Shepard Kraemer

in Unreliable Witnesses

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199743186
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894680 | DOI:
Artemisia of Minorca

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In this chapter, Kraemer examines an account not considered in her earlier work: the Letter of Severus of Minorca on the Conversion of the Jews, which narrates the conversion of the entire Jewish population of the island in the space of one week in February, 418 C.E. Based on the text’s representation of women as the last to convert, some scholars have read it as a reliable account of Jewish women’s principled resistance to Christianity. Kraemer argues instead that Severus casts Jewish women as the last hold-outs against Christian pressure to convert, not to show us their courage and faithfulness, but rather so that he can depict Christians as models of proper gender relations (with women submissive to men, male bishops, Christ, and God), and Jews as paradigms of gender dis-order (with disobedient women, still the daughters of Eve, whose husbands are unable to control them).

Keywords: Minorca; Severus; conversion; convert; resistance; Jewish women

Chapter.  12855 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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