The Jewish Patriarchs were remarkable not only because they governed much of Palestine in late Antiquity, collected taxes from and sent emissaries to Jews across the Roman Empire, acted as the representative of both Palestinian and diaspora Jewry to the Roman imperial government, and achieved great prominence in Roman society. They were remarkable also because they led the Jews for more than two centuries while maintaining the Patriarchate as a family affair. In this book, Alan Appelbaum examines the Patriarchate as a hereditary dynasty for the first time, studying it as a series of men in a specific social structure rather than an institution or office. He draws on Jewish, Christian and pagan sources, including Roman law, which has not previously been utilized as it is here; and he compares the Patriarchate to other real and supposed dynasties in order to locate it among the various family arrangements of its period.
..".the work makes an important contribution to scholarship and well worth reading for anyone interested in late antique Palestine." --Joshua Schwartz, Bar-Ilan University, Review of Biblical Literature, 6.30.16
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