Rabbinic Literature and Roman-Byzantine Legal Compilations. / Ribary, Marton.

The Routledge Handbook of Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity. ed. / Catherine Hezser. Routledge, 2023.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



The subject of this chapter poses a methodologically unique challenge. Innocent as it may first sound, the connective “and” which stands between “rabbinic literature” and “Roman-Byzantine legal compilations” insinuates a historically significant relationship. It remains uncertain, however, whether and to what extent the surviving evidence suggests that the creators of Palestinian rabbinic texts and those responsible for the Roman Byzantine legal compilations showed any interest in each other’s affairs. At least from the Roman-Byzantine point of view, their relationship may best be characterised by ignorance and indifference. This observation has two key consequences as far as the present chapter is concerned. Firstly, the study of rabbinic literature and of Roman-Byzantine legal compilations have largely been carried out in isolation from each other and on their own terms. Secondly, the comparative study of the two corpora is more likely to produce important insights into structural and conceptual analogies than suggesting direct impact and mutual dependence. I rush to acknowledge that scholars who approach the comparative challenge from the direction of rabbinic literature still dominantly focus on identifying evidence for the exchange of ideas and institutions via direct contacts between Judaism and Rome. This chapter will present the achievement of scholars aiming at generating historical insights. At the same time, it will point towards research avenues where comparison is used as a powerful tool for describing compositional, legal, and conceptual characteristics of texts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity
EditorsCatherine Hezser
ISBN (Print)9781138241220
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Dec 2023

ID: 45060445