Life in a Multicultural Society: The Jewish Community of Elephantine in Egypt under Persian Rule

J.H.F. Dijkstra, University of Ottawa

The several dozens of Aramaic papyri from Elephantine provide us with a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of a Jewish military colony living in Egypt under Persian rule in the fifth century BCE, the time of the biblical book of Ezra, making it into the earliest Jewish community for which we have such detailed information. In this talk, we will learn what the papyri tell us about these Jews and to what extent they were integrated into the multicultural society that they lived in.


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