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The Jewish Community (1)

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Chapter Summary

The documentation of Antiquity provides only one or two isolated references to the Sicilian Jewish community. The first reliable information on a synagogue in Sicily goes back to the Byzantine era, to the days of Pope Gregory I. The Jews in Moslem lands, including, one must assume, Sicily, enjoyed a large measure of autonomy, first and foremost in religious affairs, and deriving directly or indirectly there from, in communal, jurisdictional, and similar internal matters. Under the three regimes that followed the Arab domination of Sicily, our information on the internal life of the Jews in Sicily is also scant and fragmentary. In addition to the few notices on synagogues and cemeteries just mentioned, reference is made to the continued functioning of the legal machinery of the Palermitan community.

Keywords: Arab; Byzantine; Jewish community; Palermitan community; Sicily



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