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Jewish Marriage in Antiquity
     

Jewish Marriage in Antiquity

by Michael L. Satlow
 

ISBN-10: 069100255X

ISBN-13: 9780691002552

Pub. Date: 03/26/2001

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Marriage today might be a highly contested topic, but certainly no more than it was in antiquity. Ancient Jews, like their non-Jewish neighbors, grappled with what have become perennial issues of marriage, from its idealistic definitions to its many practical forms to questions of who should or should not wed. In this book, Michael Satlow offers the first in-depth

Overview

Marriage today might be a highly contested topic, but certainly no more than it was in antiquity. Ancient Jews, like their non-Jewish neighbors, grappled with what have become perennial issues of marriage, from its idealistic definitions to its many practical forms to questions of who should or should not wed. In this book, Michael Satlow offers the first in-depth synthetic study of Jewish marriage in antiquity, from ca. 500 B.C.E. to 614 C.E. Placing Jewish marriage in its cultural milieu, Satlow investigates whether there was anything essentially "Jewish" about the institution as it was discussed and practiced. Moreover, he considers the social and economic aspects of marriage as both a personal relationship and a religious bond, and explores how the Jews of antiquity negotiated the gap between marital realities and their ideals.

Focusing on the various experiences of Jews throughout the Mediterranean basin and in Babylonia, Satlow argues that different communities, even rabbinic ones, constructed their own "Jewish" marriage: they read their received traditions and rituals through the lens of a basic understanding of marriage that they shared with their non-Jewish neighbors. He also maintains that Jews idealized marriage in a way that responded to the ideals of their respective societies, mediating between such values as honor and the far messier realities of marital life. Employing Jewish and non-Jewish literary texts, papyri, inscriptions, and material artifacts, Satlow paints a vibrant portrait of ancient Judaism while sharpening and clarifying present discussions on modern marriage for Jews and non-Jews alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691002552
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/26/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
434
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Conventions ix
Preface xiii
Introduction xv
PART I: Thinking about Marriage
CHAPTER ONE: Why Marry? 3
CHAPTER TWO: Metaphor and Myth 42
CHAPTER THREE: Marriage and Law 68
PART II. Marrying
CHAPTER FOUR: Shreds of Real Marriage 93
CHAPTER FIVE: Making Match 101
CHAPTER SIX: Endogamy and Exogamy 133
CHAPTER SEVEN: Customs and Rituals of Marriage 162
CHAPTER EIGHT: Irregular Unions 182
PART III. Staying Married
CHAPTER NINE: The Economics of Marriage 199
CHAPTER TEN: The Ideal marriage 225
CONCLUSIONS 259
Notes to the Chapters 273
Bibliography 367
Subject Index 401
Index of Premodern Sources 410
Index of Modern Authors 425

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