publicaio8m - Diaspora: Jews amidst Greeks and Romans ebook


شنبه 19 شهریور 1390

Diaspora: Jews amidst Greeks and Romans ebook

نویسنده: Dane Noble   

Diaspora: Jews amidst Greeks and Romans

Author: Erich S. Gruen
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2004
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 400
Isbn10 Code: 0674007506
Isbn13 Code: 9780674007505

From Library Journal Gruen (history and classics, Berkeley) explores four centuries of Jewish life within the dominant classical civilization, from Alexander the Great's conquest of the Near East to the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 C.E. He begins with an investigation of "the conspicuous absence of a philosophy of Diaspora" and attempts very capably to identify the traces of the concept among Jews under Roman rule. He looks at the cultures of the Jews living in Rome, Asia, and Alexandria, finding very vibrant communities in all three places. In exploring Jewish views of the Diaspora, Gruen offers up two chapters on Diaspora humor, one about the way biblical tales were retold and the lessons they could convey and the other about creating fanciful yet didactic stories. Then the author looks at the evidence about the Jewish image of the Greeks and Romans, a subject usually investigated from the opposite viewpoint. This leads into his final chapter on the Jewish view of the homeland during the period, a view not much different from today's. Gruen admits that his work is far from exhaustive, but it is certainly substantial, fascinating, and scholarly. Recommend for all large academic libraries. Clay Williams, Hunter Coll. Lib., New York Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. Review Eloquently, learnedly, persuasively, Gruen invites the reader of his new book to consider familiar evidence from the Jewish past from a new--one might say a non-diaspora--perspective. His point is simple, but its historical implications are profound. As he observes, in the nearly four hundred years that stretch between Alexander the Great...and the emperor Nero...Jews could be found in large numbers, and in well-established communities, throughout the Mediterranean. Neither military compulsion nor the vicissitudes of captivity had brought most of them to those places. To state the point a little differently: the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 C.E. did not cause the second diaspora. Many ancient Jews--probably most ancient Jews--had by that point lived outside the land of Israel for centuries. They did so, evidently, because they wanted to do so. (Paula Fredriksen New Republic 20021206) Mr. Gruen, a specialist in the history of the Hellenistic period and author of the magisterial volume The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome, explores the complex and often ambiguous place of Jewish communities in the classical world and the ways in which Jewish literary culture grew and flourished in this diaspora. He argues forcefully that Greece and Rome were not the unrelenting oppressors that Jewish tradition makes them out to be. (Mark Miller Washington Times ) Rather than seeing Jews as passive or as mere victims of hostile forces, Gruen presents a complex picture of large and dynamic communities unafraid to assert their Jewish identity while interacting with other groups in Rome, Alexandria, and Asia Minor...This is a rich, novel, and accessible approach to the realities of one of history's most important diasporas. (B. Weinstein Choice ) [Gruen's] book reminds us that, remarkably, there was a time in history when there was no anti-Semitism. Its virulent strain only broke out in the terrible race riot in Alexandria of 38 CE, when the Romans were already ruling the city and the Jews and the Egyptians were vying for their favor--and their jobs. Gruen's fine book is obviously the labor of a lifetime. (Erich Segal Times Literary Supplement ) Gruen's greatest contribution is that he sees the events...of Jewish history and the literature produced by Hellenistic Jews against the backdrop of events of contemporary non-Jewish history and culture...I have seldom read a book on such a controversial topic that is so full of common sense--and so readable. (Louis Feldman American Journal of Philology )

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