Byzantine Jewry: From Justinian to the Fourth Crusade by Andrew Sharf

By Andrew Sharf

This booklet describes intimately the vicissitudes of Jewish lifestyles within the jap Mediterranean quarter, exhibiting how Jews have been tormented by the political, spiritual, and fiscal turmoil of the days. Sharf deals a hyperlink among the better-known background of the Jews of the Roman Empire and that of the Greek and Turkish groups of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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Bidez and L. Parmentier (London 1898), p. 22; cf. Rampolla, p. 3 89 99 Theoph. toe (to-12); cf. F. Nau, `Deux episodes de l'histoire juive sons Theodore II', REJ 83 (1927), pp. Th. 19 (=Pharr, p. 469) cf. 12 (= Krueger, p. 61) 98 tot 102 Procopii DeAed ficiis. 12 (=Haury, p. 175) Novel i44(= Schoell and Kroll, p. 710) 41 CHAPTER III The Arab Invasions The political and social identity which the Roman east began to acquire under Justinian achieved its full form in the seventh century. The defeat of the Persians and the check to the Arabs were signs of the comprehensive political and social consolidation which gave the ruling institution its final range of secular and sacred functions.

35 It was forbidden to insist that the readings from the Pentateuch be in Hebrew from the sacred Scroll of the Law, the readings that then as always were an integral element in certain services. The Pentateuch could be read in Greek, in Latin or in any other tongue, according to the wishes of the congregation. In practice, this tongue was likely to be Greek. The vast majority of Justinian's Jewish subjects were Greek-speaking, whatever the state of their Hebrew knowledge. For the past four hundred years, there had existed an acceptable Greek translation of the scriptures though, of course, it was in no sense a substitute for the readings from the Scrolls.

59 The 28 spectators wear garments coloured according to their rank: blue for the king, the priests and the rabbis; white for the Jews of Jerusalem; red for spectators from neighbouring towns; green for the heathens. 62 It was when gladiators and clowns were replaced by chariot races that Jewish participation became acceptable, and it was then natural to endow the greatest of Jewish rulers with an institution which had become for Jews no less than for other citizens the centre of public activity in an imperial city.

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