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Jews in the Diaspora

Jewish right to assemble for religious reasons
By October 13, 2016 Read More →

Jewish right to assemble for religious reasons

As far as the Jews of Rome were concerned, their right to have congregations was recognized by Caesar in 46 (Ant. XIV, 215), while all associations and religious collegia were prohibited (Suet., Iul. 42, 3). This privilege, conferred on the Jewish community of Rome, served as a precedent for the protection of the Jewish right […]

Posted in: Julius Caesar
Rebuilding Walls of Jerusalem
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Rebuilding Walls of Jerusalem

Rebuilding Walls of Jerusalem, Schmita, Lydda, Jaffa, Turkey, Greece, Marc Antony Ant., XIV 202 – 210 Gaius Caesar, Imperator for the second time, has ruled that they shall pay a tax for the city of Jerusalem, Joppa excluded, every year except in the seventh year, which they call sabbatical year, because in this time they […]

Posted in: Julius Caesar
The Nation of Jews in the Roman Empire
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The Nation of Jews in the Roman Empire

Reestablishment of Jewish Rites; Schmitta; Rights of Hyrcanus Two more noteworthy elements, very indicative of the new political situation in Rome, remain here to discuss: first, Caesar’s personalisation of Romeo-Jewish relations: the roman friendship is conferred to “Hyrcanus, son of Alexander and his descendants” (supra) and not to the “nation of the Jews”, as it […]

Posted in: Julius Caesar
Jewish Soldiers
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Jewish Soldiers

Praecipueque Iudaei Ant., XIV, 127 ff.; BJ, I, 187 ff. There were a number of reasons for the sorrow evinced by the Jews of Rome at the assassination of Julius Caesar. He had been the enemy of Pompey, who had put an end to Jewish independence, sacrilegiously entered the Holy of Holies in the Temple […]

Posted in: Julius Caesar
Synagogues, Schmita, Jewish Mercenaries, Sabbath
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Synagogues, Schmita, Jewish Mercenaries, Sabbath

Julius Caesar initiated a favourable attitude towards the Jews, and was much admired in rabbinic literature. Caesar’s enmity towards Pompey (e.g. the Great), who had conquered Jerusalem and defiled the Holy of Holies, increased his popularity among the Jews. He arranged for the Roman Senate to exempt synagogues from a general ban on freedom of […]

Posted in: Julius Caesar
78 B.C.E. Purim/Ecclesiasticus
By October 11, 2016 Read More →

78 B.C.E. Purim/Ecclesiasticus

The Book of Esther, in a Greek version written in Judah, was introduced into Egypt, probably in 78/77 B.C.E., during the reign of Ptolemy Auletes, the father of the seductive Cleopatra VII. It was accompanied by a letter requesting the Egyptian Jews to join their Judaean brothers in the celebration of the Feast of Purim, […]

Posted in: Jews of Egypt
48 B.C.E. – 44 B.C.E. Julius Caesar
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48 B.C.E. – 44 B.C.E. Julius Caesar

Synagogues, Schmita, Jewish Mercenaries, Sabbath Jewish Soldiers Decrees of Julius Caesar as Emperor King Hyrcanus II of Judah The Nation of Jews in the Roman Empire Rebuilding Walls of Jerusalem Jewish right to assemble for religious reasons  

Posted in: Julius Caesar
First Century B.C.E. Synagogues
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First Century B.C.E. Synagogues

Rylands Papyrus IV 590; CPJud. I 138 The word synagoge, “congregation,” was reserved for a meeting or for the community itself. Thus, in a papyrus from the end of the first century B.C.E., we are told of a meeting (synagoge) of a Jewish association in a house of prayer (proseuche). A document dating from Diocletian’s […]

Posted in: Jews of Egypt
100 B.C.E. Synagogue Rituals
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100 B.C.E. Synagogue Rituals

Torah Reading in Synagogues in Egypt; Blessing of Priests (Birkat Kohanim); Triennial Reading of Torah Papyrus Fouad 266 We do not know when the custom of the regular reading of the Torah in the synagogue was institutionalized. The Ptolemaic papyri containing the oldest fragments of the scrolls of the Septuagint suggest that this practice was […]

Posted in: Jews of Egypt
102 B.C.E. Jewish Mercenaries in Egypt
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102 B.C.E. Jewish Mercenaries in Egypt

Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 13:354 Cleopatra III (e.g. 142 – 101) appointed two Jews, Helkias and Ananias, as commanders-in-chief of her army. They served their queen well, although in one remarkable episode they counseled her not to invade the territory of the Jewish King Alexander Jannaeus (e.g. 103 – 76 B.C.E.) because “an injustice done to […]

Posted in: Jews of Egypt