In this Book

summary

Relations between Jews and non-Jews in the Hellenistic-Roman period were marked by suspicion and hate, maintain most studies of that topic. But if such conjectures are true, asks Louis Feldman, how did Jews succeed in winning so many adherents, whether full-fledged proselytes or "sympathizers" who adopted one or more Jewish practices? Systematically evaluating attitudes toward Jews from the time of Alexander the Great to the fifth century A.D., Feldman finds that Judaism elicited strongly positive and not merely unfavorable responses from the non-Jewish population. Jews were a vigorous presence in the ancient world, and Judaism was strengthened substantially by the development of the Talmud. Although Jews in the Diaspora were deeply Hellenized, those who remained in Israel were able to resist the cultural inroads of Hellenism and even to initiate intellectual counterattacks.

Feldman draws on a wide variety of material, from Philo, Josephus, and other Graeco-Jewish writers through the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, the Church Councils, Church Fathers, and imperial decrees to Talmudic and Midrashic writings and inscriptions and papyri. What emerges is a rich description of a long era to which conceptions of Jewish history as uninterrupted weakness and suffering do not apply.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-2
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  1. CHAPTER 1: Contacts between Jews and Non-Jews in the Land of Israel
  2. pp. 3-44
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  1. CHAPTER 2: The Strength of Judaism in the Diaspora
  2. pp. 45-83
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  1. CHAPTER 3: Official Anti-Jewish Bigotry: The Responses of Governments to the Jews
  2. pp. 84-106
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  1. CHAPTER 4: Popular Prejudice against Jews
  2. pp. 107-122
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  1. CHAPTER 5: Prejudice against Jews among Ancient Intellectuals
  2. pp. 123-176
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  1. CHAPTER 6: The Attractions of the Jews: Their Antiquity
  2. pp. 177-200
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  1. CHAPTER 7: The Attractions of the Jews: The Cardinal Virtues
  2. pp. 201-232
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  1. CHAPTER 8: The Attractions of the Jews: The Ideal Leader, Moses
  2. pp. 233-287
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  1. CHAPTER 9: The Success of Proselytism by Jews in the Hellenistic and Early Roman Periods
  2. pp. 288-341
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  1. CHAPTER 10: The Success of Jews in Winning “Sympathizers”
  2. pp. 342-382
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  1. CHAPTER 11: Proselytism by Jews in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Centuries
  2. pp. 383-415
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  1. CHAPTER 12: Conclusion
  2. pp. 416-446
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. 447-460
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 461-586
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 587-620
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  1. Indexes
  2. pp. 621-679
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400820801
Related ISBN
9780691029276
MARC Record
OCLC
51542396
Pages
692
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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