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144 SHOFAR Spring 2000 Vol. 18, No.3 century, good citizenship became more and more closely identified with correct beliefa situation that had not existed earlier. Partly in order to establish their own identity, Christian leaders began to distinguish their "Hebrew" spiritual ancestors from currentday Jews. Now accused ofbeing murderers, Jews faced a revival of the earlier literary ridicule of their laws and customs. Moreover, the autonomy of the large cities disappeared, so that Christian emperors began to intervene directly when conflicts between Jewish and gentile inhabitants arose. Jews became increasingly 'an alien presence, legally tolerated but restricted in numerous ways. The main value ofthis remarkable book lies in its utility as a reference. Most of its main lines ofanalysis and conclusions--eoncerning Jewish-Roman relations, the acta pro Iudaies, growing anti-Judaism in the Church fathers, and the anti-Jewish programs of a Christian Rome, even the suggestive parallels with Nazism-are already familiar enough in broad outline, though in isolated studies. Nor is Noethlichs' featured methodological counterbalance to the admittedly more commonjudeo-centric bias (by looking at matters from the Roman side), laudable though it is, all that rare: one thinks of the many classicists, especially in the U.K. (Fergus Millar, Martin Goodman, Tessa Rajak) and the U.S. (Erich Gruen), who work on aspects ofJewish history with serious attention to the Roman perspective, What is rare in this study is its sheer scope, in combination with a crispness ofstyle and reasoning that is hard to find elsewhere. The author penetrates the primary and secondary sources for about a 700-year period, all within 140 pages of analysis. He displays an admirable ability to remain focused on the central issues. He quickly surveys all of the relevant evidence and establishes a position. Yet he is neither aggressive in stretching evidence to fit hypotheses nor radically agnostic. The 70 pages of notes provide solid documentation and, frequently, discursive supplements to points made economically in the text. All ofthis makes the book a very useful reference for a crucial period in Western, Jewish, and Christian history. Steve Mason Programmes in Classics and Religious Studies York University, Toronto Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora from Alexander to Hadrian (323 B.C.E.-II7 C.E., by John M. G. Barclay. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1996. 522 pp. $49.95. Barclay, Lecturer in Biblical Studies at the University ofGlasgow, ventures to provide a comprehensive survey ofJewish life in the Mediterranean Diaspora in the Hellenistic and early Roman period. An introductory chapter (a) raises the question ofhow Jewish Book Reviews 145 identity in the Diaspora was expressed and maintained; (b) assesses the current state of research; and (c) explains the study's restriction to five Diaspora centers where sufficient evidence exists for a profile ofJewish life: Egypt, Cyrenaica, Syria, Asia, and Rome. Part One (Chapters 2-7) deals with the Egyptian Diaspora, where primary sources are most abundant. Part Two (Chapters 8-13) combines the other four Diaspora locations because ofthe relative paucity ofdata outside Egypt, though it does treat these centers separately before offering a synthesis. In Part Three (Chapter 14) Barclay draws general conclusions about the ethnic bond, social and symbolic resources, and practical distinctions that bound Diaspora Jews together and enabled them to maintain coherent and enduring communities. Among the greatest strengths ofthis book is its heavy reliance on primary sources. Barclay is adept in analyzing the diverse literary, papyrological, and epigraphic materials. He provides an especially useful introduction to thirteen Diasporaauthors and their works. One could wish that he had included more ofthe literary works which, by his own estimate, "almost certainly do belong to the Diaspora" (p. 12); yet what he does cover he covers well. One surprising feature of his treatment of the literature is the placement of Pseudo-Phocylides "outside Egypt." This decision follows from his criterion that any work which cannot be assigned to Egypt with certainty is assumed to have originated elsewhere (p. 12). An Alexandrian provenance for the Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides is by no means certain, but it remains the most likely hypothesis and is at least as likely as the Egyptian setting of other works which Barclay locates there. Barclay achieves a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 144-146
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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