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VIII Illustrated Biblical Tales

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Chapter Summary

The development of Jewish figurative art and archaeology in Late Antiquity is all the more surprising in the light of the previous attitude towards such art. Following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE), rabbinical attitudes began to be more tolerant, and the rabbis emphasized the latter part of the commandment: "You shall not bow down to them or serve them . . .". These changes, reflected in Talmudic literature, were the result of political, economic, and social circumstances. The archaeological data from the Land of Israel and the Diaspora in Late Antiquity (3rd to 8th centuries CE), demonstrates the extensive use of figurative motifs on wall paintings, architectural ornamentation, mosaic pavements, and other art works and objects in synagogue structures.

Keywords:architectural ornamentation; biblical tales; Jerusalem; mosaic pavement; wall painting



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