A History of the Jews in Babylonia: The Parthian Period

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Meet the Author

Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Preface to Second Printing, Revised xvi
Chronology xix
List of Abbrevations xxii
I From Mithridates I to Orodes II, Ca. 140-40 b.c.e. 1
i. Babylonia 1
ii. Survival of Babylonian Civilization 3
iii. Greeks in Babylonia 6
iv. Jews in Babylonia 10
v. Parthians in Babylonia 15
vi. Parthians and Jews 23
vii. Summary 31
II From Phraates IV to Vologases I, Ca. 40 b.c.e. to 79 c.e. 34
i. Herod and Babylonian Jewry 34
ii. Hillel 39
iii. Zamaris 41
iv. Babylonian Jewry and Jerusalem 44
v. Judah ben Bathyra in Nisibis 46
vi. Nehemiah of Bet Deli in Nehardea 52
vii. Jewish Self-Government in First-Century Babylonia 53
viii. The Conversion of Adiabene 61
ix. Babylonian Jewry and the War of 66-73 67
x. Summary 70
III From Pacorus II to Artabanus V, Ca. 80-227 c.e. 74
i. Babylonian Jewry and Parthian Foreign Policy 74
ii. The Revolt Against Trajan. Babylonian Jewry and Bar Kokhba's War 76
iii. Rabbi Nathan and Preparations for the Invasion of Vologases III 79
iv. The Third and Fourth "Jewish Wars Against Rome," Ca. 161-165 and 193-197 86
v. Rabbi Judah the Prince and Ardavan V, Ca. 215-216 88
vi. Babylonian Jews in International Commerce 94
vii. Babylonian Jews and Parthian Culture 100
viii. Jewish Self-Government in Second-Century Babylonia: To the Time of Rabbi Judah the Prince 103
ix. Exilarch and Patriarch at the End of the Second Century 107
x. Summary 119
IV The Tannaitic Movement in Babylonia, 70-226 c.e. 122
i. Hananiah the Nephew of Rabbi Joshua in Nehar Pekod 122
ii. Rabbi Judah ben Bathyra (II) in Nisibis 130
iii. The Students of Rabbi Akiba in Nisibis 134
iv. R. Josiah and R. Jonathan, Students of R. Ishmael, and R. Nathan in Huzal 137
v. Babylonian Tannaitic Contemporaries of Rabbi Judah the Prince 144
vi. Babylonian Judaism at the End of the Tannaitic Period: Schools, Courts, Curriculum 156
vii. Summary 172
Appendix
I Seleucid, Parthian, and Roman Rulers 178
II Christianity East of the Euphrates 180
III Classical Views of Tannaitic Judaism in Babylonia and a New Hypothesis 184
IV On Rav's Ordination 188
V Tannaim and the Davidic Line 190
VI Literary Remnants of Huzal, Ca. 135-150 c.e. 192
VII The Problem of Joseph the Babylonian 201
Bibliography 204
Index of Talmud Passages Cited 227
Index 233
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