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2 Jewish Settlements and Their Demography

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Chapter Summary

The principal Jewish settlement in Italy in Antiquity was Rome. This chapter describes Augustus and the Jews of Rome at the beginning of the first century CE. Philo of Alexandria placed the chief concentration of Roman Jews in the Trastevere neighbourhood, on the right/west side of the Tiber. The places which enlarge the number of Jewish settlements include: Caucania (near Ragusa, no longer in existence), Cittadella Maccari (Pachino), Erice, Lilibeo (a promontory near Marsala), Mozia, Taormina and Termini Imerese, Valle dell'Ipari (near modern Vittoria), and perhaps one or two other places. Jewish settlements in Italy from Rome northward were fewer than those in the south. This situation endured for 1,500 years, until the end of the Middle Ages. The choice of Jewish residence in the North appears to be linked to some extent to the location of seats of government, such as Milan, Ravenna and Aquileia.

Keywords: Augustus; demography; Jewish settlements; Jews; Philo of Alexandria; Rome



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