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The Special Purim and the Reception of the Book of Esther in the Hellenistic and Early Roman Eras

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image of Journal for the Study of Judaism

The current study analyzes evidence of the reception of the book of Esther by Greek-speaking Jewish audiences of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. The author argues that the book of Esther lent itself to a common mode of cultural recontextualization suggestive of a documented medieval phenomenon known as the Special Purim. The book's inherent appeal to the social mentality of ancient Jewish civilization is demonstrated by tracing the roots of this trend back from the composition of the Hebrew Esther through its later manifestations in Judaea/Palestine and in the Greco-Roman Diaspora.


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