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Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? : Reciprocity and Solidarity in Ancient Judaism.

By: Schwartz, Seth.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2012Copyright date: ©2010Description: 1 online resource (226 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781400830985.Subject(s): Bible. -- O.T. -- Apocrypha. -- Ecclesiasticus -- Criticism, interpretation, etc | Jews -- History -- 168 B.C.-135 A.D | Jews -- Identity -- History -- To 1500 | Jews -- Palestine -- Politics and government | Jews -- Social life and customs -- To 70 A.D | Judaism -- History -- Post-exilic period, 586 B.C.-210 A.D | Talmud Yerushalmi -- Criticism, interpretation, etcGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? : Reciprocity and Solidarity in Ancient JudaismDDC classification: 933 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
COVER -- TITLE -- COPYRIGHT -- CONTENTS -- ACKNOWLEDGMENTS -- CHAPTER ONE: Reciprocity and Solidarity -- CHAPTER TWO: The Problem with Mediterraneanism -- CHAPTER THREE: A God of Reciprocity: Torah and Social Relations in the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira -- CHAPTER FOUR: Josephus: Honor, Memory, Benefaction -- CHAPTER FIVE: Roman Values and the Palestinian Rabbis -- CHAPTER SIX: Conclusion: Were the Ancient Jews a Mediterranean Society? -- APPENDIX ONE: Ben Sira on the Social Hierarchy -- APPENDIX TWO: Josephus on Memory and Benefaction -- ABBREVIATIONS -- BIBLIOGRAPHY -- INDEX -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- Q -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W -- X -- Y -- Z.
Summary: How well integrated were Jews in the Mediterranean society controlled by ancient Rome? The Torah's laws seem to constitute a rejection of the reciprocity-based social dependency and emphasis on honor that were customary in the ancient Mediterranean world. But were Jews really a people apart, and outside of this broadly shared culture? Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? argues that Jewish social relations in antiquity were animated by a core tension between biblical solidarity and exchange-based social values such as patronage, vassalage, formal friendship, and debt slavery. Seth Schwartz's examinations of the Wisdom of Ben Sira, the writings of Josephus, and the Palestinian Talmud reveal that Jews were more deeply implicated in Roman and Mediterranean bonds of reciprocity and honor than is commonly assumed. Schwartz demonstrates how Ben Sira juxtaposes exhortations to biblical piety with hard-headed and seemingly contradictory advice about coping with the dangers of social relations with non-Jews; how Josephus describes Jews as essentially countercultural; yet how the Talmudic rabbis assume Jews have completely internalized Roman norms at the same time as the rabbis seek to arouse resistance to those norms, even if it is only symbolic. Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? is the first comprehensive exploration of Jewish social integration in the Roman world, one that poses challenging new questions about the very nature of Mediterranean culture.
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COVER -- TITLE -- COPYRIGHT -- CONTENTS -- ACKNOWLEDGMENTS -- CHAPTER ONE: Reciprocity and Solidarity -- CHAPTER TWO: The Problem with Mediterraneanism -- CHAPTER THREE: A God of Reciprocity: Torah and Social Relations in the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira -- CHAPTER FOUR: Josephus: Honor, Memory, Benefaction -- CHAPTER FIVE: Roman Values and the Palestinian Rabbis -- CHAPTER SIX: Conclusion: Were the Ancient Jews a Mediterranean Society? -- APPENDIX ONE: Ben Sira on the Social Hierarchy -- APPENDIX TWO: Josephus on Memory and Benefaction -- ABBREVIATIONS -- BIBLIOGRAPHY -- INDEX -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- Q -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W -- X -- Y -- Z.

How well integrated were Jews in the Mediterranean society controlled by ancient Rome? The Torah's laws seem to constitute a rejection of the reciprocity-based social dependency and emphasis on honor that were customary in the ancient Mediterranean world. But were Jews really a people apart, and outside of this broadly shared culture? Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? argues that Jewish social relations in antiquity were animated by a core tension between biblical solidarity and exchange-based social values such as patronage, vassalage, formal friendship, and debt slavery. Seth Schwartz's examinations of the Wisdom of Ben Sira, the writings of Josephus, and the Palestinian Talmud reveal that Jews were more deeply implicated in Roman and Mediterranean bonds of reciprocity and honor than is commonly assumed. Schwartz demonstrates how Ben Sira juxtaposes exhortations to biblical piety with hard-headed and seemingly contradictory advice about coping with the dangers of social relations with non-Jews; how Josephus describes Jews as essentially countercultural; yet how the Talmudic rabbis assume Jews have completely internalized Roman norms at the same time as the rabbis seek to arouse resistance to those norms, even if it is only symbolic. Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? is the first comprehensive exploration of Jewish social integration in the Roman world, one that poses challenging new questions about the very nature of Mediterranean culture.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Schwartz (Jewish Theological Seminary, NYC) has a cogent voice worthy of profound attention in any dialogue concerning Jewish relations with the Hellenistic-Roman world. The present work effectively constitutes a sequel to Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. (CH, Jul'02, 39-6592). The answer to the title question is "usually." Schwartz examines a range of Hellenistic-Roman texts to tease out the exhortations and advice of thoroughly Jewish authors as to the necessity and means of social and, to a certain extent, political integration into and accommodation with the wider Greco-Roman world. Schwartz offers a close, very revealing analysis of the Hellenistic Jewish author Jesus Ben Sira and a refreshingly unorthodox discussion of that literary trickster Josephus. His analysis of Talmudic texts is persuasive, especially in his convincing demonstration that while rabbis urged Jewish purity, their audience was not consistently observant. Schwartz comments shrewdly on the physical evidence for the Roman presence and Jewish acceptance thereof in Syro-Palestina. The author is, however, sometimes too trusting in other scholars' use of literary and (especially) epigraphic materials. Helpful bibliography and index; useful appendixes on "Ben Sira and the Social Hierarchy" and related texts from Josephus's Jewish Antiquities. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries. P. B. Harvey Jr. Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Seth Schwartz is the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization and professor of religion at Columbia University. He is the author of Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 BCE to 640 CE (Princeton) and Josephus and Judaean Politics .

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