Late Antique (Roman and Byzantine) History

Hayim Lapin

in Jewish Studies

ISBN: 9780199840731
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Late Antique (Roman and Byzantine) History

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This bibliography surveys the span from the middle of the 2nd century to the first half of the 7th century. Already before the 2nd century, the number of Jews in the Diaspora probably exceeded the number in Palestine. During the time under review, the significance and apparently the geographic scope of the Diaspora grew. The geographic range covered is thus from Spain to Iraq. Not all periods and regions in this long time span and range are equally well documented, and some matters have attracted greater scholarly attention than others. Discussion of the rabbis greatly exceeds their numerical significance in Antiquity, for instance. This is due not only to their lasting importance (Jewish denominations in the 21st century trace their origins to the rabbinic movements of Palestine and Babylonia) but also to the volume and richness of rabbinic material. Similarly, the impact of the Christianization of the Roman Empire and the changing status of Jews in Late Antiquity and the history of Jews in Palestine have received considerable attention. By contrast, the late 2nd and the 3rd centuries, especially in the Mediterranean Diaspora, are underdocumented and understudied. The sections in this article aim at both representing the field and providing readers with the resources to gain a somewhat fuller view of the period under discussion. To that end, Geographies and Populations includes sections on the geographic regions covered. Jews as Roman Citizens and Subjects deals with material and issues not included in Roman codes and offers some material on the 3rd century. Society and Culture includes material on gender and draws attention to both rabbinic and nonrabbinic material. Because rabbis feature so prominently in other sections, The Rabbinic Movement is largely limited to a brief finding aid for rabbinic texts and to references to the history of the rabbinic movement as such.

Article.  9334 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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