Chapter

Literary Structures and Historical Reconstruction: The Example of an Amoraic Midrash (Leviticus Rabbah)

ALEXANDER SAMELY

in Rabbinic Texts and the History of Late-Roman Palestine

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264744
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734663 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264744.003.0012

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Literary Structures and Historical Reconstruction: The Example of an Amoraic Midrash (Leviticus Rabbah)

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This chapter examines historical reconstruction and literary structures of rabbinic texts using the Leviticus Rabbah as an example. It explains that Leviticus Rabbah is a commentary on the Book of Leviticus which now forms part of Midrash Rabbah. It proposes ten theses about the special problems which the literary structures of rabbinic texts pose for the historian and analyses a section of the amoraic work of Leviticus Rabbah to describe some of those literary structures. The findings suggest that it is impossible to explain how the textuality of rabbinic sources worked and that many rabbinic works fill the same functional position in a text more than once.

Keywords: Leviticus Rabbah; historical reconstruction; literary structure; rabbinic texts; Midrash Rabbah; Leviticus; amoraic work; textuality; functional position

Chapter.  12824 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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