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Economic Life in Palestine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Talmudic material, and exclusively on information dated to the first century C.E. It mainly deals with the part played by agricultural production in the life of first-century Palestine. Palestine shares the climatic and physical characteristics of all the Mediterranean countries: it consists of a limestone mountain massif and a limited maritime plain; the soil cover of the massif consists chiefly of the residues of the limestones and chalks in dissolution, and the plainlands soils, of the transported material washed down from the uplands. When one turns to examine the agricultural economy of Judaea in the first century, the first question must be, what was the settlement distribution over the countryside, or, to use the agrarian historian's expression, the settlement pattern? The chapter considers the terms applied by rabbinic literature to the rural settlements.

Keywords: first-century Palestine life; Judaea agricultural economy; Mediterranean countries physical characteristics; rural settlements; Talmudic material



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