Isolated in the Empire? Localism and Roman legislation on Judaism in Asia Minor and Alexandria

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Isolated in the Empire? Localism and Roman legislation on Judaism in Asia Minor and Alexandria

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Isolated in the Empire? Localism and Roman legislation on Judaism in Asia Minor and Alexandria
Author: Janssen, Karen P.S.
Issue Date: 2015
Keywords: Roman law
ancient Judaism
localized approach
Alexandria
Asia Minor
Jewish history
Abstract: The legal and political position of the Jewish population of the Imperium Romanum is an oft-debated and exceedingly complex topic. After all, the attitude of the Roman state towards its Jewish subjects varied substantially over the course of the Judeo-Roman relationship, ranging from explicit legal advancement in the form of honours and exemption from military service to open military conflict in the form of three Judeo-Roman wars. A number of scholars have attempted to resolve the apparently contradictory evidence, and form a generalized picture of ‘the’ attitude of ‘the’ Roman state towards ‘the’ Jews. While their descriptions of this Roman attitude vary strongly, they overwhelmingly assume that centralized Roman policy was ultimately what determined the experience of Jews throughout the Empire. This thesis will discuss how local circumstances influenced the legal and political treatment of the Jews in the Roman Empire, focussing on the case studies of Alexandria and Asia Minor. By studying the inception, contents and implementation of Roman legislation on Judaism, this thesis will argue that local factors were of fundamental importance to each of these three phases, and that intervention of the central government occurred primarily to deal with extraordinary circumstances. Thus, while local and interregional events were often connected, the existence of a single, coherent Roman policy towards Jews throughout the Empire ultimately cannot be proven.
Supervisor: Zangenberg, Jürgen K.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research master)
Specialisation: Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Classics)
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/34490
 

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