This study explores the real" as against the ideal" social, political, and religious status of women in Palestinian Judaism of Hellenistic and Roman Periods. This investigation concludes that extreme religious groups in Judaism of the period influenced other groups, classes, and factions to tighten their control of women. They also encouraged an understanding of ideal relationships between men and women, represented in the literature and the legal codes of the time, that required increasing chastity. Despite this, the lives of real women and their relationships to men continued to be varied and nuanced.This book integrates both Jewish and Early Christian sources together with a feminist critique. It is the most comprehensive work of this sort published thus far and offers a vast repository of relevant material, as well as a fresh interpretation.
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