The dominant narrative away from marital ‘refuse,‘ and this assumes a past fantastic period of matrimony, is actually wrong” (pp

Feedback of the

Michael L. Satlow , Jewish relationship from inside the antiquity. Princeton: Princeton School Drive, 2001. xii, 431 pages ; twenty-five cm. ISBN 069100255X $.

Tawny Holm , Indiana College or university regarding Pennsylvania.

Which lighting up and you may total publication from the Satlow goes much to demonstrate you to definitely talk on the subject of ong Jews, and you can among their Religious, Roman, and you can Greek natives, because it’s now within the modern American and you may progressive Jewish community. Satlow, exactly who sees relationships since an excellent socially created, culturally based business, offers good refreshingly historic perspective for the alarmist commentary today. “The fact your commentary out of public relationship ‘crisis‘ can be so old at minimum is always to alert us to new chance we is writing about a question of rhetoric far more than simply truth. xvi-xvii). When it comes to comparing optimistic belief one modern relationship try as an alternative an improve on the bad old days of your patriarchal previous, Satlow shows that ancient Judaism is far more complicated than just many imagine, and has “one rabbinic articulation of marital ideals . . . so you’re able to competition our very own egalitarian impression” (p. xvii).

Perhaps the “one rabbinic articulation” off near-egalitarianism impresses all viewer, Satlow’s case having great diversity between the additional Jewish communities is actually well-made (the fresh new Palestinian rabbis constantly can be found in a better white as compared to Babylonian), with his book tend to for this reason end up being appealing not only to students away from Near Eastern antiquity and you will Judaism, but on the read public. The research requires a vinyl method of Jewish relationships throughout the Mediterranean Levant (specifically Palestine) and Babylonia regarding Persian months with the rabbinic several months (ca. five hundred B.C.E. so you’re able to five hundred C.E.). You can find around three very first arguments: (1) personal Jewish groups of antiquity differed regarding each other within their understanding of matrimony, constantly although not constantly conceiving marriage with respect to the historic and you can geographical perspective; (2) you’ll find nothing basically Jewish regarding the Jewish marriage up until Jews adapted lifestyle and rituals distributed to its server societies in their own idiom so you can erican marriage ceremonies now, ancient Jewish beliefs on matrimony most likely diverged significantly regarding facts, and different ancient legal prescriptions from the rabbis shouldn’t be taken while the detailed.

Satlow rightly warnings an individual concerning the characteristics of your own number 1 sources; specific symptoms have little otherwise skewed research, especially the Persian period (wherein i have only Ezra-Nehemiah throughout the Bible and you will Aramaic court documents away from Egypt) in addition to Babylonian Amoraic months two hundred-500 C.Age. (for which we do have the Babylonian Talmud, a huge origin but one that reflects a shut rabbinic community and never Babylonian Jews as a whole). Otherwise the provide also include the fresh Palestinian Talmud and you can midrashim, Jewish writings during the Greek (like the Septuagint translation of your own Hebrew Bible together with The Testament), the brand new Dead Ocean Scrolls, thrown archaeological stays and you may inscriptions, and some sources so you’re able to Jews from the non-Jewish Greek and you may Latin article writers.

Adopting the addition, where Satlow traces their arguments, contributions, method, offer, and strategy, the book try divided in to about three bits. Part We, “Thinking about marriage,” considers this new ideology, theology, and you can legal underpinnings from relationships. Area II, “Marrying,” movements about beliefs off old wedding with the fact, as much as that’s you can easily: relationships, which y), betrothal, the marriage, and also abnormal marriage ceremonies (age.grams. 2nd marriages, polygynous marriages, concubinage, and you will levirate marriages). Region III, “Being Hitched,” talks about the newest business economics away from matrimony additionally the articulation from Jewish beliefs inside the ancient literature and inscriptions. Shortly after a final section out of conclusions, in which Satlow reorganizes their results diachronically because of the months and area, the book shuts that have comprehensive avoid notes, a comprehensive bibliography, and you may around three indexes: subject, premodern supply, and modern people.