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עבד/ΔΟΥΛΟΣ—Terms and social status in the meeting of hebrew biblical and hellenistic-roman culture

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Chapter Summary

Although the Jews of the Second Temple Period possessed divinely sanctioned laws that included regulations about servitude and enslavement, of both Hebrews and foreigners, they lived in a world where slavery played a role different from and greater than that of their biblical predecessors. This chapter investigates the extent to which Second Temple Jewish literature uses the language of Hellenistic-Roman slave systems, and reflects the socio-cultural realities of slavery in the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean rather than those of ancient Israel. It looks at both of the foregoing problems, because they are connected in important ways. The chapter then focuses on two primary questions: (1) What was the social experience of Jews with slavery in the Greco-Roman world? and (2) How might that experience affect our understanding of the use of language for slavery in Jewish sources?.

Keywords: Greco-Roman world; Hebrew biblical; Hellenistic-Roman culture; Second Temple Jewish literature



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