Studies on Jewish communities in Asia Minor
This thesis examines the evidence for Jewish communities in Asia Minor from the third century BCE through to the third century CE and beyond. The study begins with a discussion of the founding of the Jewish communities in Asia Minor, the nature of Roman support for these communities, and their religious concerns as they are revealed by the literary sources available to us. Chapters 2 to 4 present and analyse the evidence for five particular communities - those at Sardis, Priene, Acmonia, Eumeneia and Apamea. The evidence from archaeology, inscriptions, numismatics and literary sources is discussed in an attempt to draw together the material into a coherent account of the nature of Jewish communal life in these cities. Chapters 5 to 9 are thematic studies. The prominence accorded to women in some Jewish communities and in the cities of Asia Minor is discussed in Chapter 5. In Chapter 6 the use of the title(^a)'T'taro? for Yahweh and for pagan deities is analysed, along with the supposed link between Jewish communities and Sabazios. The existence of a number of "God-worshippers" in the synagogues of Asia Minor is discussed in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 discusses the provision of water sources in the synagogues of Asia Minor and relates this to Jewish purity concerns. Chapter 9 addresses the issue of Jewish communities and local and Roman citizenship and discusses the evidence which suggests that in some places Jewish communities were well integrated into city life.Concluding remarks draw out some of the implications of this study for our view of Diaspora Jewish communities. It seems clear that in Asia Minor Jewish communities were involved in and a part of the cities in which they lived whilst also retaining their identity as Jews. We can also recognise a significant diversity of Jewish life in Asia Minor, with local factors providing a strong formative influence on these communities. Yet they all saw themselves as worthy and legitimate heirs of Old Testament faith.I confirm that no part of the material offered has previously been submitted by me for a degree in this or in any other University.