Universität Wien FIND

060003 SE Between Home and Exile (2023S)

Judaism in Light of ancient Texts from Judea, Egypt and Mesopotamia

Continuous assessment of course work
Th 30.03. 16:00-18:00 Digital


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 09.03. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 16.03. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 23.03. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 20.04. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 27.04. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 04.05. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 11.05. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 01.06. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 15.06. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 22.06. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 29.06. 16:00 - 18:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

At least, since in 597 and 587 BCE Nebuchadnezzar II deported the upper class of the Kingdom of Judah to Mesopotamia, there significant Jewish populations exist outside the Kingdom of Judah. Both biblical and non-biblical texts provide information about how Jews coped with this exilic experience in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and elsewhere. These concepts of Jewish life, which the so-called Diaspora developed, did not only allow Jews to maintain their Jewish identity outside their own country, but gave birth to new forms of Jewish life. The constructions of Jewish identity developed in the ancient diasporai still influence Judaism today. They provided the foundation upon which rabbinic Judaism was able to develop those concepts that allowed Judaism not only to survive for 2,000 years without its own land, but to flourish and prosper during that time.

Assessment and permitted materials

Presentation, final term paper and regular and active attendance of class as well as carefully prepared translations of the Hebrew texts read in class.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

In this class, selected texts of ancient Judaism will be read and interpreted in the original. You need to be able to analyze ancient Jewish texts with out help and to interpret them critically in their historical contexts.

Examination topics

You need to demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret ancient Jewish texts in their original language within their historical context.

Reading list

Ludwig Berger, Der Menora Ring von Kaiseraugst: Jüdische Zeugnisse römischer Zeit zwischen Britannien und Pannonien (Augst: Römerstadt Augusta Raurica, 2005).
John J. Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).
Hasia R. Diner (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Jewish Diaspora (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021).
Raphael Gross et al (eds.), Im Licht der Menora: Jüdisches Leben in der römischen Provinz (Frankfurt a.M: Campus Verlag, 2014).
Richard Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia between Persia and Roman Palestine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
Joseph Mèléze Modrzejewski, The Jews of Egypt: From Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).
E. Mary Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule: From Pompey to Diocletian: A Study in Political Relations (Leiden: Brill, 1976).
Günther Stemberger, Das klassische Judentum (München: C.H. Beck, 2009).
Menachem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism (3 Bd.; Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences, 1976-1984).
Margret H. Williams, The Jews among the Greeks and Romans: A Diasporan Sourcebook (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1998).

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 22.03.2023 14:08