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Artistic Trends And Contact Between Jews And 'Others' In Late Antique Sepphoris: Recent Research

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Chapter Summary

Sepphoris was a major urban centre in the Lower Galilee. Architecturally, artistically, and culturally, it was not very different from the pagan cities of ancient Palestine, and its exposure to and assimilation of Graeco-Roman culture did not hinder Jewish life. This chapter compares the mosaics found in two public buildings constructed in early-5th c. C.E. Sepphoris, the Nile Festival Building and the synagogue, while arguing that these finds may imply close contact between artists working at different locations and for different communities within the city. This phenomenon demonstrates the city's distinct character in Late Antiquity and offers insight into the complexity of the cultural relationship between the Jews and other segments of that society. In order to place the two structures in their urban context, the chapter offers a brief description of the city and its architectural development from the Roman period to Late Antiquity.

Keywords: Jews; late antique Sepphoris; Nile Festival Building; synagogue



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