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The Jewish Diaspora

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Chapter Summary

One of the most characteristic features of the Second Temple period is that large numbers of Jews were living in the Diaspora. The Jewish community of Egypt was the greatest of the major Jewish Disaspora centres in the Roman Empire. The Jewish community of Cyrenaica during the Hellenistic-Roman period may to a large extent be regarded as off-shoot of the Egyptian community. Many Jews of Cyrenaica distinguished themselves by their activities in Palestine. The destruction of the Temple was a source of major upheavals for the Jews of Cyrenaica no less than for the Jews of Egypt. Syria and Phoenicia were major Jewish centres throughout the period reviewed. At the same time some of the Jews of Syria also maintained close contacts with the Jews of Babylonia. The main Jewish centre in the Parthian Empire was in Babylonia, where there was an uninterrupted settlement since the Babylonian exile.

Keywords: Babylonian exile; Cyrenaica; Egyptian community; Jewish Diaspora; Parthian Empire; Roman Empire; Syria

10.1163/9789004275003_004
/content/books/b9789004275003s004
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