The Jews of Egypt: From Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian


Professor Joseph Meleze Modrzejewski, a papyrologist as well as a historian, uses the clear light of scientific analysis to illuminate the reality underlying our image of the past. The biblical account and Jewish and pagan literary texts are juxtaposed with the discoveries of a century of archaeological and papyrological research that unearthed the edicts of emperors as well as the humble correspondence of common people, inscriptions on shells in Aramaic and on tombstones in Greek. The author comments when necessary but, for the most part, lets the documents speak for themselves. In a tantalizing epilogue, Modrzejewski takes a long, probing, and provocative look at a turning point in Western civilization: the brief but crucial episode when budding Christianity and the Alexandrian Jews parted company.


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