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Rabbinic Insights On The Decline And Forthcoming Fall Of The Roman Empire

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Chapter Summary

Though the Roman Empire is commonly said to have fallen in 476, in the search for causes it is the third and fourth centuries in particular on which scholars have centered their attention. This chapter first discusses the rabbinic comments on the strength of the Roman Empire. It then talks about the predictions of the fall of Rome, and the causes of Roman decline. It ends with a discussion on the struggle between Rome and Persia. Inasmuch as the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire were the two most powerful states during the third century and in constant struggle with each other, the views of the rabbis as to which of the two would prevail are of great interest, especially since many of the rabbis lived in both of the states at various times.

Keywords: Persia; rabbinic comments; Roman decline; Roman Empire



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