This book investigates the complexity, diversity, uniqueness and enduring significance of Jewish life in the Christian Roman Empire, from 312 to 634 C.E. During this period there occurred an unprecedented Jewish cultural explosion, encompassing the compilation and/or composition of such texts as the Palestinian Talmud, the main aggadic midrashim, an extensive magical/mystical literature, the revived apocalypse, a vast corpus of piyyutim and the beginnings of a practically oriented halakhic literature. Furthermore, this was the era of the florition of Jewish art, for it was only in the fourth century that a specifically Jewish iconographic language came into common use in the synagogues and catacombs, the archeological remains of almost all of which date from this period. This volume moves toward a synthesizing and contextualizing view of the Jewish cultural production of late antiquity, examining the interaction of Jews, Christians and pagans and with the emergence of new religious forms generated by such interaction.
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