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Rabbinic Texts and the History of Late-Roman Palestine$
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Martin Goodman and Philip Alexander

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264744

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264744.001.0001

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Rabbinic Literature and the History of Judaism in Late Antiquity: Challenges, Methodologies and New Approaches

Rabbinic Literature and the History of Judaism in Late Antiquity: Challenges, Methodologies and New Approaches

Chapter:
(p.319) 18 Rabbinic Literature and the History of Judaism in Late Antiquity: Challenges, Methodologies and New Approaches
Source:
Rabbinic Texts and the History of Late-Roman Palestine
Author(s):

MOSHE LAVEE

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264744.003.0019

This chapter examines the methodologies, new approaches, and challenges in the use of rabbinic literature to study the history of Judaism in late antiquity. It provides some examples that demonstrate some of the issues concerning the applicability of rabbinic literature to the study of Judaism in late-Roman Palestine. It concludes that rabbinic literature can serve as a historical source, especially when read indirectly and through the lens of well-defined theoretical frameworks, and when perceived as a rabbinic cultural product that reflects delicate, sophisticated and hardly recoverable relationships between text and reality.

Keywords:   rabbinic literature, Judaism, history, late antiquity, late-Roman Palestine, historical source, cultural product

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