Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire
The Poetics of Power in Late AntiquityUniversity of Pennsylvania Press Jewish Culture and Contexts
400 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 12 illus.
- Published: November 2013
- Published: October 2013
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In histories of ancient Jews and Judaism, the Roman Empire looms large. For all the attention to the Jewish Revolt and other conflicts, however, there has been less concern for situating Jews within Roman imperial contexts; just as Jews are frequently dismissed as atypical by scholars of Roman history, so Rome remains invisible in many studies of rabbinic and other Jewish sources written under Roman rule.
Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire brings Jewish perspectives to bear on long-standing debates concerning Romanization, Christianization, and late antiquity. Focusing on the third to sixth centuries, it draws together specialists in Jewish and Christian history, law, literature, poetry, and art. Perspectives from rabbinic and patristic sources are juxtaposed with evidence from piyyutim, documentary papyri, and synagogue and church mosaics. Through these case studies, contributors highlight paradoxes, subtleties, and ironies of Romanness and imperial power.
Contributors: William Adler, Beth A. Berkowitz, Ra'anan Boustan, Hannah M. Cotton, Natalie B. Dohrmann, Paula Fredriksen, Oded Irshai, Hayim Lapin, Joshua Levinson, Ophir Münz-Manor, Annette Yoshiko Reed, Hagith Sivan, Michael D. Swartz, Rina Talgam.
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Rethinking Romanness, Provincializing Christendom
—Annette Yoshiko Reed and Natalie B. Dohrmann
PART I. RABBIS AND OTHER ROMAN SUBELITES
Chapter 1. The Afterlives of the Torah's Ethnic Language: The Sifra and Clement on Lev 18.1-5
—Beth A. Berkowitz
Chapter 2. The Kingdom of Edessa and the Creation of a Christian Aristocracy
Chapter 3. Law and Imperial Idioms: Rabbinic Legalism in a Roman World
—Natalie B. Dohrmann
Chapter 4. The Law of Moses and the Jews: Rabbis, Ethnic Marking, and Romanization
PART II. CHRISTIANIZATION AND OTHER MODALITIES OF ROMANIZATION
Chapter 5. There Is No Place Like Home: Rabbinic Responses to the Christianization of Palestine
Chapter 6. Between Gaza and Minorca: The (Un)Making of Minorities in Late Antiquity
Chapter 7. Christian Historiographers' Reflections on Jewish-Christian Violence in Fifth-Century Alexandria
Chapter 8. Narrating Salvation: Verbal Sacrifices in Late Antique Liturgical Poetry
Chapter 9. Israelite Kingship, Christian Rome, and the Jewish Imperial Imagination: Midrashic Precursors to the Medieval "Throne of Solomon"
PART III. CONTINUITY AND RUPTURE
Chapter 10. Chains of Tradition from Avot to the Avodah Piyutim
—Michael D. Swartz
Chapter 11. Change in Continuity in Late Legal Papyri from Palaestina Tertia: Nomos Hellênikos and Ethos Rômaikon
—Hannah M. Cotton
Chapter 12. The Representation of the Temple and Jerusalem in Jewish and Christian Houses of Prayer in the Holy Land in Late Antiquity
Chapter 13. Roman Christianity and the Post-Roman West: The Social Correlates of the Contra Iudaeos Tradition
Select Bibliography of Secondary Sources
List of Contributors
"Beginning with the editors' fundamental historiographical and programmatic essay, Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire is the most important collection of studies on Jews in late antiquity I have ever seen. In fact, it is essential reading for all students of late antiquity. Especially admirable is the book's implicit argument that late antiquity was constituted not by a single seismic shift but by the slow accretion of small changes over time."—Seth Schwartz, Columbia University
"This volume opens up important new intellectual avenues for students of ancient religion and empire and will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact on multiple arenas of scholarly research. There is, simply, no work that tackles the intellectual question 'How do we integrate Judaism into the Roman Empire, and vice versa?' with such depth and breadth."—Andrew S. Jacobs, Scripps College