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Jewish history


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  • Interpretation, stories, legends

Alexander the Great

332 BCE: conquers Judah

323 BCE: Breakup of empire following his death 

  • Phio of Alexandria most eminent Jewish philosopher of antiquity(20 BCE-50CE)
  • allegorical interpretation of Torah
  • Alexandria comes under Roman rule in 37 CE
Anti-Jewish attitudes in antiquity
  • Apion of Alexandria writes book agaisnt Jews: emergence of anti-Jewish literature
  • Tacitus, The Histories, book V
  • Re-reading exodus expelled
  • Social separation of Jews/non-Jews
  • Abstinence from pork
  • Ob
Babylonia, Babylonian Academies
  • Third century
  • Arrival of Rav, a rabbinic scholar moving from Palestine to Babylonia.  States Babylonia equivalent to Israel
  • Abraham was a "Babylonian"
  • the "Exilarch" was leader of Babylonian Jewry
Diaspora Revolt
  • Series of Jewish uprisings in Rome
  • Began in Libya
  • Spread to Egypt, Cypru, and beyond
  • Fed by ethnic tensions between Jews, Greeks, and others
  • 115-117
Diaspora/Exile for Jews
  • Babylonia (since 6th century BCE)  
  •  Egypt (since 6th century BCE)
  • Asia Minor (since c. 2nd century BCE)
  •  Italy (since c. 2nd century BCE)
Elephantine Island
  •  Jewish community on the Elephantine island in the upper Nile river; Jewish temple on Elephantine island, destroyed 410 BCE
  •  Rich archival sources: Elephantine papyri

Emperor Julian "apostata"
  • 361

  • Religious observation of laws of purity
  • denounced other jews as sons of darkness
  • Commonality of propert, probationary period, oath at initiation, sacred meals, a
  • Followed Qumran/Daed Sea Scrolls
Fourth Philosophy
Revolutionar group in Roman Palestine (According to Josephus)
  • Running commentary on the Mishnah
  • Language: Aramaic
  • law
  • 142 BCE: Judah leads Maccabees,Hasmoneans
  • Hasmonean royal dynasty established
  • Anti-pagan politic, pagans required to convert
  • New synthesis between Judaism and Hellenism
  • 63 BCE Roman conquest of Palestine

   HELLENISM, term generally used by historians to refer to the period from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.) to the death of Cleopatra and the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E.  

Finally, He

Herod the Great

Masada and the Herodium

  • Tyrant
  • Built fortresses to shelter his family
  • Rebuilt city of Caesarea
  • Construction in jerusalem: Theater and palace
  • Western wall only remaining part of Jerusalem temple 
Jewish revolt against Rome
  • 66CE: Florus, the Roman procurator, siezes part of the temple treasury
  • Revolutionary gorpus in Roman Palestine: "fourth philosophy", Brigands, Sicarii, Zealots
  • 70 CE: Fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the second temple
Johanan Ben Zakai
  • Primary contributer to Mishnah text
  • Wanted to establish Jewish center of law in Javneh
  • 70-132
  • First Century Jewish historian writing in Greek
  • Presented the three grups of "philosophical sects"
  • Emerged first in the mid second century BCE and existed until the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE
  • Compet
Judas the Galilean


  • Judas the Galilean was the author of the fourth philosophy 
law code of Theodosius II
  • Prohibition of Jews holding public office
  • Prohibition of constructing new synogogues
  • Prohibition of Jewish proselytizing
  • protected basic Jewish rights
Maccabean Rebellion
  • Rebellion against Antiochus' anti-Jewish campaign and hellenization, led by Mattathias and five sons
  • 164 BCE: Led by Judah (Mattathias song), rebels take Jerusalem and purify it, rededicated temple
Falls in 73 Ce
  • 630
  • Mecca surrenders to Muhammad and becomes new center of Islam

  • 622 Muhammad arrives
  • Three Jewish tribes lived in Medina at the time

  • Technique of scriptural exposition

  • The study of abstract, apodictic prinicples of law.
  • Oral tradition written down
  • 200


  • Prophet of Islam
  • Emigrates from Mecca to Medina where he establishes first Islamic community
  • 632 Death of Muhammad  
Paul (Early Christianity)
  • 40-60s
  • Paul of Tarsus lays foundation for Christian belief
  • Christianity as the true Israel
Paul's letter to Romans; Pauls letter to Galathians
  • To the Galatians he is stating that Christianity is like the free son of Abraham: Isaac
  • Jews are slave son, and they must be rid of
  • Most skillful in the exapt explication of their laws, and introduce the first sect
  • "Oral tradition"
  • New Testament hostile toward Pharises

  • Those who were attracted to Judaism, and converted from paganism
Ptolemaic/Seleucid Rule

Ptolemy in Egypt

Seleuces in Syria


Judea sandwiched between Ptolemaic and Seleucid states 

First by Ptolemaic (200 BCE) and then Seleucid states 

Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls
  • dated before 68 CE, Second Temple Period
  • Some of the texts found in the Qumran were universially Jewish, while others were the product of the Qumran group itself and reflect sectarian life
  • States that the Jews and Christians should be fought against.
Rabban Gamliel
  • Re-establishes te "Sanhedrin" at 'Javneh, now led by the rabbis
  • The Roman authorities recognize the Sanhedrin of Javneh as the leading institution of the Jewish Palestine
  • Transition to Rabbinic Judaism
Religio licitas
  • Pre-Christian law recognzied Judaism as legitimite religion
Revolt of Bar Kokhba


  • Messianic expectation
  • Jews prohibited from living in Jerusalem
  • Province of Judea is renamed Palestine 
Roman rule in Judea
  • 63 BC: Roman general Pompey conquers Palestine
  • 40 BCE: Parthians invade Palestine
  • 37-4BCE: Herod the Great
  • 6CE: Juea becomes Roman province
  • 41-44CE: Agrippa1
  • 66-74: Jewish Revolt
Saint Augustine
  • 354-430
  • Stressed not annihilating Jews but rather converting them
  • Greek-assembly
  • Earliest evidence of Jewish synagogue from inscriptions found in Upper Egypt
  • second have of third century BCE

Talmud(Jerusalem and Babylonian)
  • Jerusalem: 400
  • Babylonian: 500
  • Commentary on agricultural laws in Jerusalem Talmud
  • Commentary on temple sacrifices in Babylonian


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