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The Organization of the Jewish Communities in the Diaspora

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Chapter Summary

The traditional Jewish communal representation in Judaea formed the chief model for the Diaspora centres, although undoubtedly various modifications took place in them in the course of time. The distinction between executive and council was by no means always maintained; at Berenice, for instance, there were at first seven, later more archons, who comprised, it would appear, the entire council. In each Roman synagogue it is doubtful whether there was more than one annual archon, but the evidence on the point is indecisive. It is clear from Philo that Roman Jewry enjoyed a fully organized life in the time of Augustus, and there is no reason to believe that this state of affairs had not already existed by the fifties of the first century B.C.E., when Cicero faced a Jewish audience while he was conducting the defence of Valerius Flaccus.

Keywords: Augustus; Diaspora; first century; Jewish Communities; Judaea; Valerius Flaccus



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