Academic journal article Shofar

Ancient World and Archaeology

Academic journal article Shofar

Ancient World and Archaeology

Article excerpt

Ancient World and Archaeology

Integrating Jewish Women into Second Temple History, by Tal Ilan. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. 300 pp. ISBN 3-16-147107-5.

Most studies about women, Jewish and other, are usually confined to the domestic sphere. In this book Tal Ilan seeks to discover women in public places and at the main events of Second Temple Judaism. The primary principle guiding her work is that if by chance women are mentioned in sources, they should not be treated as a means for explaining the event but rather as an end in themselves. Thus sources showing women as remote or obscure turn out to yield much relevant material. Ilan investigates women's association with the Pharisees and other sects and analyzes women's role in the wirtings of Josephus, Ben Sira, and other important sources. She also presents new insights into famous women.

The Jewish Manumission Inscriptions of the Bosporus Kingdom: Release in the Prayerhouse, by E. Leigh Gibson. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. 201 pp. ISBN 3-16-147041-9.

E. Leigh Gibson analyzes a little-known group of Greek inscriptions that record the manumission of slaves in synagogues located on the hellenized north shore of the Black Sea in the first three centuries of the common era. Through a comparison of this corpus with manumission inscriptions from elsewhere in the Greco-Roman world and an analysis of Greco-Roman Judaism's own interaction with slavery, she assesses the degree to which the Black Sea Jewish community adopted classical traditions of manumissions. In so doing, she tests the assumption that these Jewish communities developed idiosyncratic slave practices under the influence of biblical injunctions regarding Israelite ownership of slaves. …

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