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Bibil Identifier bibil:237911
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Vom Volk zur Stadt? Ethnos und Polis im hellenistischen Orient
Author Eckhardt, Benedikt
Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism (Volume: 45, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2014
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2014
Year (Copyright) 2014
Year (Reference) 2014
Language English
Pages 199-228 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract AbstractIt is often stated in handbooks that in 175 b.c.e., Judaea (or Jerusalem) was transformed from an ethnos to a polis. This statement is based on received opinions about Hellenistic (and especially Seleucid) administrative categories that can no longer be maintained. A re-examination of the relevant literary and epigraphic evidence shows that ethnos was not used as an antonym to polis in Hellenistic sources. The article then tries to explain the emergence of a scholarly paradigm that took ethnos to be precisely that: the designation for oriental, non-urbanized communities that were inferior in important regards to the Greek polis. The main influence is argued to have been Aristotle’s peculiar use of the two terms. The scholarly concept of an ethnos/polis-divide can be traced back to nineteenth-century scholarship and its "orientalist" conceptions. This is important for appreciating recent discussions of the nature of Jewish identity in antiquity ("people" or "religion"), and for an increased awareness in Jewish studies of the discourses that have shaped common knowledge about the Hellenistic Orient in general and Judaism in particular.
DOI 10.1163/15700631-00000393
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : History of Canaan-Israel : Periods : Hellenistic Period (333-63)
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Identity
Last modification 2018-04-07