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Comment: Paperback. Cover has some light wear along edges and corners. Pages good with no writing inside. Not ex-library.
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Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World Paperback – August 14, 1998

4 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

[Judeophobia] casts new light on , and suggests a new understanding of, an area that has been a controversial field ever since Theodor Mommsen, in...his Römische Geshichte in 1884, made the 'rather casual statement' that 'hatred of the Jews and Jew-baiting are as old as the Diaspora itself'...[It is a] learned and absorbing book. (Bernard Knox New Republic)

A well-informed and intelligently argued book. It is also admirably readable. (Jasper Griffin New York Review of Books)

An elegant, persuasive, and comprehensive book...It is no exaggeration to say that Judeophobia changes the way we think about Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. (Alan Mendelson History [UK])

In Judeophobia Peter Schäfer makes a major contribution to the social history of Judaism in antiquity...The book is written in a clear style appropriate for non-specialists. Non-English language terms are transliterated and, in most cases, translated the first time they are used. Schäfer's thesis is that the origins of anti-Semitism can be traced to three successive centers of conflict: Egypt, Syria-Palestine, and Rome. Schäfer's attempt to disentangle the unique aspects of the growth of anti-Semitism in each of these three centers is one of the most important contributions of the book...This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in the origins of anti-Semitism. Its main arguments will undoubtedly become a source for discussion and debate in future research. Schäfer deserves our thanks, both for his courage in pursuing a difficult topic with such frankness and for the numerous insights that he has contributed to research on this topic. (Allen Kerkeslager Journal for the Study of Judaism)

Schäfer has given us a masterly account of the early history of antisemitism. (Robert Goldenberg Shofar)

Schäfer demonstrates his mastery of the sources...[and] isolate[s] with great clarity key elements in the history of antisemitism. (Nicholas De Lange Patterns of Prejudice)

From the Back Cover

Taking a fresh look at what the Greeks and Romans thought about Jews and Judaism, Peter Schafer locates the origin of anti-Semitism in the ancient world. Judeophobia firmly establishes Hellenistic Egypt as the generating source of anti-Semitism, with roots extending back into Egypt's pre-Hellenistic history.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Revised ed. edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674487788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674487789
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the first time I've read any text on this topic, so I'm no scholar on the subject. The book is written in formal, but accessible language. (( I admit with chagrin that I was 3/4 of the way through the text before I realized that when the author said that "Jews proscribed intercourse with non-Jews" he meant SOCIAL intercourse! It gave a slightly different sense on the second read!)) I found it a good, though somewhat dry read, and especially enjoyed the insights offered by the author's comparison of several ancient cultures and the re-introduction to ancient philosophers whose names are better known for their contributions to western culture than for their attitudes toward Jews.
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Format: Paperback
This book taught me a bit about ancient Judaism and how gentiles related to it. I didn't know, for example, that there was an Egyptian spin on the Exodus (that the Jews were Egyptian "undesirables" who were driven out because the other Egyptians couldn't stand them); just knowing this proves that SOMETHING happened between the Jews and Egyptians 2300 years ago. I also enjoyed reading about what the Romans thought of the Jews (surprisingly favorable, despite the ugliness of the Imperial response to Jewish rebellions).
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Format: Paperback
The author places the roots of classical anti-Semitism in Egypt, and although the texts he quotes are mostly in Greek, he clearly points the finger at the Egyptian natives, not the colonizers, as the source of the prejudice. The first pogrom against a Jewish community in the diaspora occurred in Egypt in the 5th century, when a Jewish place of worship was burned down in a riot instigated by Egyptian priests assisted by renegade Persian overlords. Five hundred years later in Alexandria there was another pogrom, destruction of synagogues and Jewish homes and property, and herding of Jews into a ghetto, by native Egyptians with the support of renegade Greek overlords. The author recognizes that there are anti-Semitic passages in the Roman authors too, but says the situation there is more "complex," and not as serious. In my view, the author places too much weight on the niceties of specific texts, and ignores the fact that those renegades responsible for the pogrom in Alexandria were executed, while in pagan Rome within two centuries two official decrees exiled either the entire Jewish community in the city or significant parts of it. Which is more anti-Semitic, an official decree that exiles an entire community, or a riot by renegades that meets with severe official punishment? The responsibility for anti-Jewish agitation in the ancient world is wider than the author wants us to believe. Nevertheless this is a well written book by a scholar of Judaism with a bent for classical languages that is unusual in this field.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I want to make sure people know I have given three stars for the kindle edition, not the book itself, which has been very helpful. Buyer beware: the Kindle edition has no hyperlinks for the endnotes, which makes the book extremely difficult to navigate. Also, when you go to the index, for example, it references page numbers that don't exist on the kindle. Very cumbersome.
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