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Babatha’s Orchard
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Babatha’s Orchard: The Yadin Papyri and an Ancient Jewish Family Tale Retold

Philip F. Esler

Abstract

In 1961 archaeologists discovered a family archive of legal papyri in a cave near the Dead Sea where their owner, the Jewish woman Babatha, had hidden them in 135 CE at the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt. This book analyses the oldest four of these papyri to argue that underlying them is a hitherto undetected and surprising train of events concerning how Babatha’s father, Shim‘on, purchased a date-palm orchard in Maoza on the southern shore of the Dead Sea in 99 CE that he later gave to Babatha. The central features of the story, untold for two millennia, relate to how a high Nabatean official h ... More

Keywords: archival ethnography, Babatha, ethnic relations, legal papyri, Nabatea, Nabatean Aramaic, Nabatean women, Nabateans, nomadism, peasant economics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198767169
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767169.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip F. Esler, author
Portland Chair of New Testament Studies, University of Gloucestershire