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Locating Jews In A North African World

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the constellation of ethnic, linguistic, and cultic practices associated with North African populations varied enormously throughout North Africa in the second through sixth centuries C.E. North Africa's transformation under Roman rule also differed from that of Rome's other western provinces. The chapter briefly reviews North Africa's environmental and human geography. It also considers the impact of the Vandal and the Byzantine presence in North Africa after their successive invasions of the region. Nuanced interpretations of Jewish artifacts and Jewish cultural identities ultimately rely on evaluations that adjust to the distinct demographic and cultural features of North African history. The chapter extends interpretatio to assist the preliminary examination of North African Christian and Jewish devotional practices. North African Jews existed within the cultural and economic interstices of peoples of Africa, the western Mediterranean, and the Levant.

Keywords:African Christianity; Byzantine; Jewish devotional practice; Mediterranean history; North African culture; North African Jew; Roman rule



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