The Menorah, the Ancient Seven-armed Candelabrum: Origin, Form and Significance

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The menorah was the most important and dominant symbol in Jewish art, both in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora. The menorah was an integral part of the Temple ritual and was the most important of the Temple vessels. Its later representation served the purpose of reminding the Jews of their previous glory as well as their pride in the Temple, and expressed the longing and hope for the renewal of the Temple services and worship. Following the destruction of the Temple, the menorah took on the profound significance of the Temple. It also came to symbolize Judaism, when it was necessary to distinguish synagogues, Jewish tombs, and catacombs from Christian or pagan structures in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora . The menorah image has been found depicted in synagogues, public buildings, homes, and the funerary context throughout the Land of Israel and the Diaspora, leaving no doubt as to which are Jewish structures. The prominent position of the menorah in Jewish art emphasizes its significance.
The book is presenting the art, archaeological, historical and literary evidence for the development, form, meaning, and significance of the menorah during the Second Temple period and the Late Antiquity.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rachel Hachlili, Ph.D. in Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, is Professor at the Department of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel. She is the author of Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology in the Diaspora (Brill,1998) and Jericho, The Jewish Cemetery of the Second Temple Period Israel Antiquity Reports no.7. (Jerusalem, 1999).
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Plates
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 The Literary and Archaeological Testimony: Interpretation
I History and Origin of the Menorah 7
II Description of the Finds: The Menorah in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora 41
III The Form of the Menorah 121
IV Meaning, Interpretation, and Significance of the Menorah 171
V The Accompanying Ritual Objects 211
VI Workshops, Artists, Craftsmen, and Pattern Books 251
VII The Menorah in Other Contexts: Samaritan and Christian 263
VIII Summary and Conclusions 275
Pt. 2 Corpus
Corpus of Menoroth on Finds in Israel 285
IS1 Early menoroth 285
IS2 Free-standing Menoroth 287
IS3 Menorah on mosaic pavements 288
IS4 Menorah on lintels 293
IS5 Menorah on chancel screens 304
IS6 Menorah on capitals 307
IS7 Menorah on columns 310
IS8 Menorah on architectural elements 311
IS9 Menorah on tomb doors 317
IS10 Menorah on tombstones 318
IS11 Menorah at the necropolis of Beth She'arim 328
IS12 Menorah on bread stamps 336
IS13 Menorah graffiti 337
IS14 Menorah on pottery vessels 338
IS15 Menorah on mirror-plaques 341
IS16 Menorah on Jewellery, Amulets and Bulae 341
IS17 Menorah on pilgrim vessels 347
IS18 Miscellaneous 354
Corpus of Menoroth on Finds in the Diaspora 357
D1 Early menoroth 357
D2 Free-standing menoroth 358
D3 Menorah on mosaic pavements 358
D4 Menorah on chancel screens 360
D5 Menorah on capitals and columns 361
D6 Menorah on architectural elements 362
D7 Menorah on catacomb paintings 365
D8 Menorah on tombstones, epitaphs and tiles 368
D9 Menorah on sarcophagi 427
D10 Menorah on gold glasses 429
D11 Menorah on seals, weights and jewellery 434
D12 Miscellaneous 440
Corpus of Menoroth on Lamps Found in Israel and the Diaspora 441
L1 'Darom' clay lamps 441
L2 Beth Nattif lamps 442
L3 Beth Nattif lamps b 447
L4 Discus lamps 448
L5 Caesarea round lamp 452
L6 Alexandria type lamp 452
L7 North African type lamp 458
L8 North African variation type lamps 464
L9 Miscellaneous Lamps 466
L10 Ovoid, Slipper and other lamps 466
L11 Samaritan lamps 470
L12 Bronze lamps 476
L13 Multi-nozzle lamps 477
L14 Lamp mould 477
Abbreviations 479
Bibliography 481
Glossary 501
Index of subjects 503
Index of sources 512
Corpus, index of locations 1 515
Corpus, index of locations 2 523
Corpus, index of locations 3 535
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