By Catherine Hezser
This ebook is the 1st accomplished research of Jewish attitudes in the direction of slavery in Hellenistic and Roman occasions. opposed to the conventional opinion that once the Babylonian Exile Jews kept away from making use of slaves, Catherine Hezser exhibits that slavery remained an important phenomenon of old Jewish lifestyle and generated a discourse which resembled Graeco-Roman and early Christian perspectives whereas while conserving in particular Jewish nuances. Hezser examines the influence of household slavery at the historic Jewish family and on kin relationships. She discusses the perceived benefits of slaves over different varieties of exertions and evaluates their position in the historical Jewish financial system. the traditional Jewish event of slavery turns out to were so pervasive that slave pictures additionally entered theological discourse. Like their Graeco-Roman and Christian opposite numbers, historical Jewish intellectuals didn't recommend the abolition of slavery, yet they used the biblical culture and their very own decisions to ameliorate the established order.
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Additional info for Jewish Slavery in Antiquity
9. 2, issued by Constantine II, cf. the discussion in Linder, Jews, 144–7. After threatening the Jewish owner with capital punishment, this text adds at the end: ‘while that same slave shall be given liberty in recompense’. The addition was probably made by Justinian’s editors. Another law promulgated by Constantine II concerns Christian women employed in weaving establishments (C. Th. 16. 8. 6). These women do not seem to have been owned by Jews as slaves, though; the texts rather seem to deal with marital relationships between Jews and Christian women which would involve the women’s integration into the Jewish household and their conversion to Judaism.
Things which they press against [or: use as a seat] are [deemed] unclean. And [what is the rule] concerning their wine [that is, wine made by them]? In the case of adults it is prohibited, and in the case of minors it is permitted. And who is [considered] an adult? Anyone who remembers and recognizes idolatry and its service. And who is [considered] a minor? Everyone who does not recognize idolatry and its service. R. Yose says: The assumption [that he is] a slave of an Israelite [applies] even if they are uncircumcised?
70 Finley’s sociological approach has been taken up by a number of other scholars of slavery in the English-speaking world. 72 Even if slaves were used in agriculture less frequently than in Italy, however, they may have played an important role in other sectors of society in the provinces as well. 75 Even at times and places where slaves did not have a 68 See Finley, Economy, 117. 69 Arnaldo Momigliano, ‘Moses Finley on Slavery’, Slavery and Abolition, 8 (1987), 2. 70 Ibid. 5. 71 Hopkins, Conquerors, 99.