SAFRAI, S., and M. STERN, (eds.),
The Jewish People in the First Century. Historical Geography, Political History, Social, Cultural and Religious Life and Institutions. Volume One. Volume Two. In co-operation with D. Flusser and W.C. van Unnik.
Van Gorcum & Comp., Assen, 1974/76. 2 vols. XXI,560;X,561-1283p. Original black cloth with gold and silver titling to spine. Both volumes have a different paper quality. ‘These (…) two volumes (…) share both a common title and one set of editors. Thirty separate articles, grouped into twenty-four consecutively numbered chapters, attempt to give a picture of life, in both Palestine and the Diaspora, which not only takes into account the relatively well known persons and events of the first century C.E., but which also and most especially clubs those levels (economic, religious, social, linguistic, etc.) which underlie the flow of historical cause and effect. Each chapter comes equipped with its own brief but up-to-date bibliographical data, and, at the end of Volume Two, the whole of Section One is analysed by lengthy and more than adequate indices. The first volume (sixteen articles grouped into ten chapters) deals first with literary and archaeological sources, and this entire initial chapter is supplemented by an Appendix which discusses some of the more important chronological ‘cruces’ of this period of history. The second chapter is an accurate (…) survey of the historical geography of Palestine from the Persian period to the third century C.E.. Thereafter (…) the Diaspora becomes the focus of attention in the basic treatment given to its extent, to its relation to the land of Israel, and to the legal status and organisation of its Jewish communities. (…). [Besides - ND] there are chapters concerned with the political administration of Palestine from Herod the Great onward, while private law (…) is the extremely interesting topic of the tenth and final chapter of the book. The fourteen articles (…) which constitute Volume Two are, like those of Volume One, arranges in such a way as to present subjects alternating between Palestine which receives the fuller treatment. Social and economic life, home and family, everyday religion, calendar, temple, synagogue, education, art and architecture, Hebrew and Aramaic, and finally paganism are all themes brought forward principally with reference to the Jewish homeland.’ (T. FRANXMAN in Biblical, 1981, p.121-122).