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Thread: Jews remained in Palestine in the 5th century of the common era

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Jews remained in Palestine in the 5th century of the common era

    See:
    https://phys.org/news/2018-07-discov...lues-life.html
    That Palestine was not denuded of Jews following their rebellions against the Romans has long been known, contrary to the implication of this article, although this is nice proof of it.

    "The discoveries indicate villagers flourished under early fifth century Christian rule, contradicting a widespread view that Jewish settlement in the region declined during that period. The large size and decoration of the Huqoq synagogue point to an unexpected level of prosperity."

    The fact that this particular village was prosperous doesn't mean that the entire area remained so.

    The following is less well known, although this isn't the only known example:
    "
    "The mosaics decorating the floor of the Huqoq synagogue revolutionize our understanding of Judaism in this period," said Magness. "Ancient Jewish art is often thought to be aniconic, or lacking images. But these mosaics, colorful and filled with figured scenes, attest to a rich visual culture as well as to the dynamism and diversity of Judaism in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods."

    Along the north aisle, mosaics are divided into two rows of panels containing figures and objects with Hebrew inscriptions. One panel labeled "a pole between two" depicts a biblical scene from Numbers 13:23. The images show two spies sent by Moses to explore Canaan carrying a pole with a cluster of grapes. Another panel referencing Isaiah 11:6 includes the inscription "a small child shall lead them." The panel shows a youth leading an animal on a rope. A fragmentary Hebrew inscription concluding with the phrase "Amen selah," meaning "Amen forever," was uncovered at the north end of the east aisle.
    During this eighth dig, the team also continued to expose a rare discovery in ancient synagogues: columns covered in colorful, painted plaster still intact after nearly 1,600 years."

    As with Christianity, there were different sects, with different beliefs during late antiquity.
    [IMG][/IMG]


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    Doesn't this tend to support the Shlomo Sand thesis that Jewish peasants and small villagers remained in Palestine down to the present age, and that the exile of the Jews after 70 AD, and again after the 130s AD, was in truth the dispersion of elite castes (mainly priestly castes).

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    I'm not aware of him having said that. It's odd if he did, given his stance that the Jews have no "historical" right to the Eretz Israel. I don't pay much attention to anything the man says given that he agrees with Elhaik, who has been completely and utterly discredited. We now have massive amounts of data from genetic research into Jewish origins. Yes, Jews absorbed "foreign" admixture in their host countries, but they originated in the Levant. Their y lines alone tell the tale.

    There is also no indication in the archaeology or in documentation from the succeeding centuries of a large scale presence of Jews lasting from the end of the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 A.D. down through the centuries.

    We do have documentation of what happened after the final revolt:
    "Due to the large number of Jewish rebels, instead of waging open war, Severus besieged Jewish fortresses and held back food until the Jews grew weak. Only then did his attack escalate into outright war. The Romans demolished all 50 Jewish fortresses and 985 villages. The main conflicts took place in Judea, the Shephela, the mountains and the Judean desert, though fighting also spread to Northern Israel. The Romans suffered heavy casualties as well and Hadrian did not send his usual message to the Senate that “I and my army are well.”The final battle of the war took place in Bethar, Bar-Kokhba’s headquarters, which housed both the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) and the home of the Nasi (leader). Bethar was a vital military stronghold because of its strategic location on a mountain ridge overlooking both the Valley of Sorek and the important Jerusalem-Bet Guvrin Road. Thousands of Jewish refugees fled to Bethar during the war. In 135 C.E., Hadrian’s army besieged Bethar and on the 9th of Av, the Jewish fast day commemorating the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples, the walls of Bethar fell. After a fierce battle, every Jew in Bethar was killed. Six days passed before the Romans allowed the Jews to bury their dead.
    Following the battle of Bethar, there were a few small skirmishes in the Judean Desert Caves, but the war was essentially over and Judean independence was lost. The Romans plowed Jerusalem with a yoke of oxen. Jews were sold into slavery and many were transported to Egypt. Judean settlements were not rebuilt. Jerusalem was turned into a pagan city called Aelia Capitolina and the Jews were forbidden to live there. They were permitted to enter only on the 9th of Av to mourn their losses in the revolt. Hadrian changed the country’s name from Judea to Syria Palestina.
    In the years following the revolt, Hadrian discriminated against all Judeo-Christian sects, but the worst persecution was directed against religious Jews. He made anti-religious decrees forbidding Torah study, Sabbath observance, circumcision, Jewish courts, meeting in synagogues and other ritual practices. Many Jews assimilated and many sages and prominent men were martyred including Rabbi Akiva and the rest of the Asara Harugei Malchut (ten martyrs). This age of persecution lasted throughout the remainder of Hadrian’s reign, until 138 C.E.

    That's from the Jewish Virtual Library. It sounds as if far from sparing the elite, he executed them all.

    Now, since the 900 plus villages which were destroyed couldn't be rebuilt, and the Temple and Jerusalem were effectively gone, what elites would remain? Therefore, it makes sense only some villagers in the undestroyed villages would remain.

    Whether this impoverished little group stayed there for the next 1500 years or so under Byzantine and then Islamic rule seems a little far fetched to me, given that the Jewish communities close by in Asia Minor, for example, could be accessed.

    What is known is that after the expulsion from Spain, many Sephardic Jews settled in areas under the control of the Ottoman Empire because they were better treated there.

    "Historically,very few Jews emigrated to Palestine from the diaspora, and those who did were typically supported by charitable donations from abroad, there being little to no Jewish commerce or industry in the Holy Land. In the Ottoman period, the more favorable relations between the Sultans and his Jewish subjects resulted in an increased Jewish presence in Palestine. Jewish immigration to Palestine was only a trickle compared to the far larger settlements in important trade centers such as Salonika and Constantinople, but for Jews, Palestine had unparalleled historic and spritual appeal. Some sought refuge in the protection of the Ottoman Empire, seeking to recreate the life they had enjoyed in Spain. For them, the move to Palestine was an ironic double diaspora, a return to the days of Roman Palestine, living in the zionic homeland under a foreign king — a situation, we should remember, that was in perfect accordance with the rabbinic thought of the times."

    "The reconstruction and settlement of Tiberias (an ancient site prophecied to be the arrival point of the messiah) by Don Joseph Nasi during the 1550s, against the backdrop of the gathering of messianic kabbalists in nearby Safed at the same time, provides us with a snapshot of the twin discourses of de-diasporization: the prophetic and the political."

    https://davidwacks.uoregon.edu/2012/01/31/settlement/

    There's a great fictional treatment of this phenomenon in James Michener's The Source. I read it years ago, and then my children were assigned it as summer reading between Junior and Senior Year. It's amazing how right he was about so many things. I guess he had tremendous researchers.

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    Sand is not denying that many Jews were slaughtered by the Romans. Rather, his position is that Jewish peasants by and large survived and remained on the land. Somebody had to work the land so that Rome could profit from its rule. Peasants stay in place, elites scatter. (Many priestly elites were killed, but others found Roman patronage, prime example Josephus.)


    However, the real question is whether modern Jewish populations are descendants of a single people cast out of the land or the descendants, instead, of other groups that converted to Judaism.

    Sand cites several studies that suggest "former Punics" (my term) were highly receptive to Jewish proselytism. From the fall of Carthage down to circa 300 AD, Judaism spread through the Mediterranean via the conversion of sympathetic groups, Punics in the first instance. If this were the case, and if Punics by and large carried the same haplogroups as Jews, how would genetic studies ever be able to tell the difference, absent incredibly fine-grained studies.

    There were presumably a lot more "former Punics" than "former Judeans" in late Antiquity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dominique_nuit View Post
    Sand is not denying that many Jews were slaughtered by the Romans. Rather, his position is that Jewish peasants by and large survived and remained on the land. Somebody had to work the land so that Rome could profit from its rule. Peasants stay in place, elites scatter. (Many priestly elites were killed, but others found Roman patronage, prime example Josephus.)


    However, the real question is whether modern Jewish populations are descendants of a single people cast out of the land or the descendants, instead, of other groups that converted to Judaism.

    Sand cites several studies that suggest "former Punics" (my term) were highly receptive to Jewish proselytism. From the fall of Carthage down to circa 300 AD, Judaism spread through the Mediterranean via the conversion of sympathetic groups, Punics in the first instance. If this were the case, and if Punics by and large carried the same haplogroups as Jews, how would genetic studies ever be able to tell the difference, absent incredibly fine-grained studies.

    There were presumably a lot more "former Punics" than "former Judeans" in late Antiquity.
    To my knowledge, no one knows how many non Jews converted to Judaism, or why. They certainly weren't just "Punics".

    This is just a way to make Jews not Jews by choosing a group that has similar yDna.

    If you want to know who disappeared, it was the Carthaginians. There weren't all that many of them from the beginning. That's why their armies were mostly formed of mercenaries, something for which we have a lot of proof. We also have proof that they were killed in battle and those who survived the battles were enslaved. Soldiers who were sold into slavery most often were sent to man the oars, work in the mines or other dangerous endeavors. Their longevity was measured in months or a few years.

    Then the Romans went to their homeland, killed or enslaved everyone there and then sowed the fields with salt.


    This is all in contrast with the situation with the Jews. I don't know where he or you get the idea that all or even most Jews lived in Judea. I would suggest doing some reading on the period in question. There were already Jewish communities all over the Roman World during the times of the rebellions. Alexandria was full of them (1/3 of the city), so was what was called Asia Minor, the Aegean, Greece, North Africa (Simon of Cyrene), Spain, and Italy itself. Some historians guesstimate that they could have numbered up to 10% of the Empire at their height. Haven't you ever read the epistles of Paul, previously known as Saul of Tarsus (in present day Turkey)? He traveled all over the known Roman world proselytizing in Jewish communities as he went. So did the other Apostle.

    Having read the Bible comes in handy.

    I'm sorry. The man has no credibility. Plus, you're asking for me to prove a negative.

    The only people who give him any credence are anti-Semites.







    The first Christians were Jews. From that "home base" in every city, Paul branched out, eventually, to Gentiles.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    as far as i know the name is zand ( not sand)
    And yes he is a joke😂
    (and he is been used as a tool by european left
    which hide there anti-semite agenda)🤔
    https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-FGC7391/

    https://yfull.com/mtree/H3ap/

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    Nowhere do I deny or evince ignorance that there were Jewish communities outside of Judea before 70 AD. So please refrain from any attempts to humiliate me.

    Rather, the question is how did there get to be so many Jews and Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean world after the Fall of Carthage in 146 BC? A very likely explanation, it seems to me, is that "Phoenicians" (or "Punics") became Jews.

    Full disclosure, I have not actually read a book devoted to this subject, other than relevant chapters of Sand's book. Perhaps I will now read two others: (1) "Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World," by Louis H. Feldman, published 1993; and (2) "Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity the Second Temple Period," by Michael Bird, published 2010.

    If anybody here could suggest other titles, please offer them.

    In the meantime, I consulted Wikipedia, which attributes to Louis Feldman this argument. (Feldman was Professor of Classics & Literature at Yeshiva University, and considered a leading expert on Josephus) ----->>>>>

    "One theory has espoused the idea that, with the destruction of Tyre and Sidon, and their daughter-city Carthage, there was created an orphaned Phoenician diaspora not unlike that of the Jews and that the puzzling disappearance of Phoenicians may have been due to the attraction they might have felt for a similarly dispersed people, leading to conversion to Judaism." See the Wikipedia entry "History of the Jews in Carthage"

    Or perhaps once Carthage fell, Jerusalem was now seen at the center of West Semitic civilization, and so Phoenicians began to identify with Judaism and its one God. (Ba'al and other gods now discredited.)

    So far as I can tell, the first scholar to advance this theory was Georg Rosen, a German Jew, in the early 20th century. The following is from an academic review article published in 1930, which I am lifting from a JSTOR preview, as it nicely states the thesis --->>>

    "Georg Rosen conceived the idea of explaining the rapid growth of Hellenistic Judaism as a result of the spread of the Hebrew religion among other Semites, and particularly among the Phoenicians, already scattered about the Mediterranean in pre-Christian times . . . . [His] main thesis is that the so-called Diaspora was more a spread of the Jewish religion than a multiplication of the Jewish race. Colonization and natural increase are thought to be quite insufficient to account for the numerous adherents of Judaism throughout the Roman world at the beginning of the imperial period. There must have been a large accession of proselytes, particularly from among the Phoenician emigrants, who culturally were nearest akin to the Jews. The theory is offered to explain the rapid disappearance of the large Phoenician population scattered around the Mediterranean before the Romans gained the ascendancy." See https://www.jstor.org/stable/1196127?seq=1

    The "Phoenicians Became Jews" theory also does much to explain the origin of the Sephardic communities in Spain. Simply put, the Carthaginian colonies in Spain converted to Judaism.

    The overall model is this ===

    (1) Phoenicians establish colonies throughout the Mediterranean, from circa 900 BC down to 146 BC, in Cyprus, Sicily, Sardinia, the Maghreb, the Balearic Islands, southern Iberia, plus many smaller "trading post" communities.

    (2) From early on, Judean merchants have a presence in these colonies, but probably a small presence.

    (3) After the Fall of Carthage, the larger Phoenician populations convert to Judaism.

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    I am interested in facts, whether they come from archaeology, genetics, or contemporaneous writings. I see nothing of any of that in your post or the fantasies of the people you name.

    There is not one shred of evidence to support this bizarre theory. It's all baseless musings.

    As such, I have no interest in pursuing the subject.

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    Well, for anybody else here who might be interested, it seems the notorious crackpot Salo Baron had similar bizarre musings

    "In the Hellenistic-Roman period the Phoenician colonies, in particular, not only persisted all over the Mediterranean but perhaps even grew in size and affluence after the loss of all political power by their mother country . . . . These outposts of the ancient Canaanite race constitute more than a parallel, however. The Phoenician colonies and especially Carthage, the largest among them, with her dependencies offered a vast field of activity to Jewish propagandists. Even after the Punic Wars, Carthage was not such a deserted region as would appear from Roman literary records. Excavations make it ever clearer that a flourishing Semitic civilization persisted in North Africa for centuries after the destruction of the capital by Scipio. There the Jews began to play a prominent part. The families of the Phoenician slave traders, often permanent or temporary owners of Jewish captives, may have been exposed to Jewish habits and ideologies more than any other group of the population. Being of a closely related racial and linguistic stock, conversion to Judaism would have transformed them almost instantly into full-fledged Jews. Greeks and Romans often would not become full proselytes because of the necessity for circumcision . . . . The Phoenicians, however, had practiced circumcision for ages.

    "Most decisive seems to have been the social situation confronting these colonists after the loss of national independence of their mother cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Carthage. While tenaciously clinging to their ethnic and economic peculiarities, these Phoenician ghettoes in Rome and Alexandria, in Persia and in Spain, gradually developed the characteristics of a nationality without state and territory. Hard pressed, this race could have quite naturally have adopted the patterns of belief and behavior developed by a related people through centuries of similar experience. Thus it came about that, in the centuries following the annihilation of Phoenician and Carthaginian political power, these Semites, carrying with them a considerable admixture of native blood (in North Africa especially Berber), swelled the ranks of Jewish converts with a related type of people. That is why there are extant Jewish records from an early period only of those western districts previously under Carthaginian rule. Nor was Rab's choice of localities purely accidental when he declared that 'from Tyre to Carthage they know Israel and their Father in Heaven'. In short, a vanishing world factor, the Phoenician, disappeared with the new world factor, the Diaspora Jew."

    Citation taken from Salo Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, Volume 1, published 1952, pages 175 to 176.

    I will now quote at length from Shlomo Sand, who relies in this pasage on the work of the French historian Marcel Simon --->

    "The successful spread of Judaism in the Maghreb was probably due to the presence of a Phoenician population in the region. Although Carthage was destroyed back in the second century BCE, not all its inhabitants perished. The city was rebuilt, and was soon an important commercial port once more. Where, then, did all the Punics--the African Phoenicians--who populated the coastline go? Several historians, notably the French Marcel Simon, have suggested that a large number of them became Jews, accounting for the distinctive strength of Judaism throughout North Africa.

    "It is not beyond reason to assume that the close resemblance of the language of the Old Testament to ancient Phoenician, as well as the fact that some of the Punics were circumcised, helped promote mass conversion to Judaism. The process may also have been stimulated by the arrival of captives from Judea after the fall of the kingdom. The old populace, originating from Tyre and Sidon, had been hostile to Rome for a very long time, and probably welcomed the exiled rebels and adopted their particular faith. Marcel Simon suggests that the philo-Jewish policy of most of the Severan emperors, a dynasty originating in North Africa, might also have contributed to the popularity of Judaization.

    "North Africa was one of the outstanding successes in the history of proselytization in the Mediterranean region. Although in the third and fourth centuries CE, as noted in the previous chapter, the rate of conversion to Judaism slowed down in Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy--the heart of ancient Western civilization--along the coast of the Maghreb the communities of believers in Yahweh did quite well. Archaeological and epigraphic evidence depicts thriving Jewish religious life. Archaeological excavations near ancient Carthage uncovered a number of tombs from the third century CE inscribed in Latin characters, or even Hebrew or Phoenician, with images of candelabra engraved alongside. Also all over the region a large number of tombstones have been found at the graves of proselytes with Greek or Latin names, and their religion is always stated beside the non-Hebrew names . . . .

    "[Tertullian] was especially concerned about the strength of Judaism in his native city of Carthage. His extensive knowledge of the Old Testament and Jewish tradition indicates the strength of the local Jewish religious culture. His sharp attacks against the proselytes also testify to the popular appeal of this movement. He sought to explain the success of Judaism, in contrast to that of persecuted Christianity, by noting that it was a legal religion in Roman law, hence easier to adopt. He showed respect for the Jews, especially the Jewish women for their modesty, but fiercely attacked the Judaizers."

    So we have Salo Baron, Harry Feldman, Marcel Simon, Georg Rosen, Shlomo Sand, and, yes, the master of sci fi himself--HG Wells--all engaging in SHEER SPECULATION, based on nothing more than patchwork evidence and raw intuition. But such is the historian's art. And this is where the science of population genetics can make invaluable contributions. However, it will require great resolution of haplogroups and lots & lots of specimens to distinguish (1) Phoenicians from Judeans circa 500 BC; distinguish (2) Carthaginians from Judeans circa 200 BC; and then determine (3) how each of these populations may have contributed to the formation of Sephardic populations circa 500 AD, and possibly other Jewish groups

    And no, I'm not joking about HG Wells. From his Short History of the World, published in 1922 ---->

    "After the fall of Tyre, Sidon, Carthage and the Spanish Phoenician cities, the Phoenicians suddenly vanish from history; and as suddenly we find, not simply in Jerusalem but in Spain, Africa, Egypt, Arabia, the East, wherever the Phoenicians had set their feet, communities of Jews"

    But if HG Wells can be easily dismissed, and Shlomo Sand deemed a leftist radical, Salo Baron is about as authoritative one can get. Should we simply reject the speculations of Baron and Feldman out of hand?

    I will close my remarks by linking to an essay celebrating Salo Baron's life and work --->https://magazine.columbia.edu/articl...jewish-history

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