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Fellow Seminar

28 June 2018

Dr. Alexander Panayotov will present his research proposal on the topic: "Jews and Samaritans in Early Byzantium" on 28 June 2018 (Thursday) at 16:30h.

Abstract:

The purpose of my presentation is to provide an overview of the epigraphic, archaeological nd literary sources concerning Jewish life in the Balkans and the Aegean between the fourth and the first half of the seventh century. I aim to establish the place the Jews occupied in the stratigraphy of Byzantine society and how the social and political changes in this society influenced their communal life and identity. I will analyse information from inscriptions, excavated synagogues, cemeteries and moveable artefacts, literary sources and documentary materials including Roman and Byzantine legislation. My analysis will focus on the communal organisation and leadership of the Jewish community, the social status, professions and cultural concerns of its members including religious feasts and burial practices. This will allow me to further suggest the possible ways the Jews approached the new political and religious realities in early Byzantium - from the traditional Roman policy of protection of Jewish privileges to the reaction against Judaism and Jewish religious influence among Christians under Justinian I (527‐565) and the forcible baptism of Jews under Heraclius (610‐644).

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