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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: March 2008

2 - The Diaspora from 66 to c. 235 ce

Summary
This chapter describes cultural differences and Roman administrative boundaries that distinguished the Jewish communities of Egypt from those in Cyrenaica. Recent works on Diaspora Judaism have said little about western North Africa. The physical remains for the period 66-235 CE are meager compared to the richness of evidence from Egypt and Cyrenaica. The earliest extant synagogue, at Hammam-Lif, dates from the late fourth or early fifth century. Evidence for Jewish communities in Asia Minor begins in the third century BCE and continues through the sixth century CE and beyond. Sources preserved by Josephus attest to the role of individual Babylonian Jews in local politics before 70. For the years 70-235, the issue of Jewish self-government in Babylonia is reduced to the question of whether one can find evidence of the exilarchate in this era. Relatively ample evidence is available on the Babylonian Exilarch from the amoraic through Islamic eras.
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The Cambridge History of Judaism
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055130
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521772488
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