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Jewish Babylonia between Persia and Roman PalestineDecoding the Literary Record$
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Richard Kalmin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195306198.001.0001

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Persian Persecutions of the Jews

Persian Persecutions of the Jews

Chapter:
(p.121) 6 Persian Persecutions of the Jews
Source:
Jewish Babylonia between Persia and Roman Palestine
Author(s):

Richard Kalmin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195306198.003.0006

This chapter attempts to exemplify the contention first presented in the introduction that significant aspects of the history of the Jews of late antiquity will have to be rewritten once the latest developments in Talmud text criticism are taken into account. Although these developments greatly complicate the historian's task, they add depth and subtlety to the historian's arguments and ensure that conclusions rest on a firmer literary foundation. Among the more significant findings will be the discovery that there is less reason than earlier scholars thought to view early Babylonian rabbis as important players in the Jewish community's interactions with the Persian government. The chapter strengthens and adds subtlety to one of the central arguments of this book: that the Babylonian Talmud tends to portray Babylonian rabbis as inward-looking, with the study house to a significant extent the sum total of their experience, even in situations where it had been the consensus of earlier scholarship that they served as the pre-eminent leaders of the Jewish community.

Keywords:   Jews late antiquity, Talmud, Babylonian rabbis, Persian government, Jews, Judaism, study house

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