Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation


Book Details

Publisher  Wayne State University Press
Publication Date   January 1, 1988
ISBN  0814318096
Pages  444

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Historians recognize the important contribution of Roman law to the evolution of attitudes adopted by non-Jewish society toward Jews. Roman legislation on the Jews also constitutes one of the major sources for the study of Jewish history in late antiquity and in the Middle Ages. Historians, however, have been hampered to a considerable extent by the absence of a complete collection of the relevant texts. The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation provides a complete collection which deal specifically with Jews and Judaism from the second century A.D. to Justinian's codifications in the sixth century.

Editor Amnon Linder has identified, dated, and combined all extant texts in order to reconstruct, as far as possible, the original legislation. He presents each text in a critical edition with its English translation and adds a short study of its particular history, its specific context and its role in future developments. Selected bibliographies enable further study of each law.

In an extensive, two-chapter introduction, Linder discusses the texts and their various characteristics in detail. Summarizing the historical evidence within the texts, Linder describes the criteria he employs in reconstructing the 'original laws' out of 'transmitted laws.' He considers the legislative process, the dissemination of the laws, their validity and preservation, and outlines their effect on relations not only among Jews, but between Jews and non-Jews as well.

Linder's work enables historians to use a corpus of primary sources of the greatest importance which bear on the study of the Roman empire and its relations with Jews.

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