Jewish Identity at the Limus: The Jews of Dura Europos between Rome and Persia.
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Jewish identity in the Greco-Roman world has been a subject of sustained concern in recent years. The question of “Who was a Jew?” has interested both historians working within the traditions of Judaic studies struggling in the present to define their own communal identities and historians of early Christianity attempting to understand the composition of the “New Israel”—both in antiquity and in their own faith communities.Scholars of classical art have also entered the discussion, often bringing their own complex ancient-modern identity issues to the table. The synagogue of Dura Europos, an ancient city overlooking the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, is an excellent locus within which to investigate the nature of Jewish identity in the third century. The Dura Europos synagogue presents evidence for the complicated “hybrid” identity of a small Jewish community on the limus, the borderline where the Roman and Sassanian Persian empires—and peoples—met and mingled. The Dura synagogue does indeed “complicate, undermine, and give nuance to conventional dichotomies such as self/other, Greek/barbarian, and Jew/ gentile,” the charge of this volume.
Fine, Steven (2011). Jewish Identity at the Limus: The Jews of Dura Europos between Rome and Persia. (pp.289-306 ). Los Angeles : Getty Research Institute.
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