Jews in the Greco-Roman World

History 100.002

Fall 2013
107 Mulford
Day & Time: 
MW 4-530P

Under both Greek and Roman empires Jews lived both in Palestine and throughout the Mediterranean in Diaspora. This course will study the variety of Jewish experiences--their cultures, societies, political systems, and religion--from Alexander the Great's conquests until the formation of Rabbinic Judaism (from around 330 BCE to 200 CE). Special attention will go to Jewish literature such as the so-called apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls and New Testament, the Hasmonean kingdom, and traces of the daily life of Diaspora communities. Study of the Jews under Greeks and Romans will both tell us much about the past of a still-thriving ethnic group and offers an exemplary case of how a minority group survived and sometimes thrived under a series of powerful empires.

Course Books

The History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World by Schäfer, Peter Routledge. ISBN: 041530587X Required
Diaspora: Jews Amidst Greeks and Romans by Gruen, Erich Harvard. ISBN: 0674016068 Required
Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From Alexander to Trajan by Barclay, John UC Press. ISBN: 0520218434 Required
The Jewish War by Flavius Josephus Penguin. ISBN: 0140444203 Required
HarperCollins Study Bible by Attridge, Harold HarperCollins. ISBN: 0060786841 Optional