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Hatred For And Attraction To The Jews In Classical Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the subject of anti-Semitism especially in the light of what a very important writer in a very important recent work does with this evidence. It discusses the work of Peter Schäfer's Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World. The book is the first comprehensive study of ancient anti-Semitism since the Holocaust; and the fact that it is written by a non-Jew who is clearly the outstanding German scholar in the field of rabbinic and allied literature makes it particularly significant. Professor Schäfer remarks that the picture of anti-Semitism in Rome "is more complex than in Egypt and Greece. Beginning with Cicero and Seneca, and reaching its climax with Juvenal and Tacitus, there is an ambivalence between hate and fear, criticism and respect, attraction and repulsion, which responds to the peculiar combination of exclusivenss and yet success that characterizes Judaism in the eyes of Roman authors"..

Keywords: anti-Semitism; attraction; hate; Jews; Judaism; Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World; Peter Schäfer; rabbinic literature; Rome



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