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The pilgrimage economy of Jerusalem in the second temple period

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Chapter Summary

There have been many general studies of the economy of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple period. This chapter explores the role in the economy of mass pilgrimage and, in particular, the significance of pilgrimage from abroad. Some aspects of the pilgrimage process and its importance in later Second Temple Judaism can be derived from explicit evidence in the ancient sources, particularly the writings of Josephus and early rabbinic texts. Herod had good economic reasons to encourage pilgrimage from the Diaspora. The kingdom of Judaea, granted to him and captured for him by the Roman state, lacked more than a few capital assets. It takes time for investment in infrastructure to pay off, and it is unlikely that Herod's own finances benefited greatly from the influx of tourists he encouraged.

Keywords: Diaspora; Herod; Jerusalem; Josephus; Judaea; pilgrimage economy; Roman state; Second Temple period



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