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Chapter Summary

The non-Jewish literary sources are also beset with pitfalls. Some of the authors of the non-Jewish literary sources lived in Italy, at least for a while; others lived all over the Middle East and other countries along the Mediterranean littoral. It is thought that some of these texts made a considerable impact on Italy, particularly Rome, and naturally limited to the circles of the intelligentsia. All these authors mainly dealt with two aspects of Jews and Judaism: their history, or what passed for it, including biblical history; and contemporary views on the same topics. Christianity soon curbed their aspirations and imposed serious restrictions on their social and economic standing, chiefly for theological reasons. A controversial topic related to the culture of Italian Jews in Antiquity is Hellenism. Attempts at defining the limits of this term, particularly in regard to Jews, have left the question very much open.

Keywords: Christianity; Greek; Italy; Jewish community; Judaea; Judaism; Rome



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