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The Children of Noah: Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Text is Free of Markings edition (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691015805
  • ASIN: B007K5AOTA
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,592,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Patai, the author of over 30 books in at least four languages, including The Jewish Alchemists, Princeton Univ., 1994, returns to the subject of his Ph.D. research in The Children of Noah. Here he ferrets out allusions and explicit references to seafaring, naval power, and maritime trade in the Bible, Talmud, other rabbinical literature, and archaeology. Patai begins with Noah's ark and moves forward to provide a thorough overview of everything from physical details of the ships and their crews, to rabbinical laws of the waterways, to Hebraic similes and parables built on seafaring. The result is a lively and fascinating narrative that makes a full exposition of the subject available to students and advanced readers for the first time. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.?Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"A useful source book. . . . [I]f you're Jewish and love the sea . . . It's not an account you would want to miss." -- Hillel Halkin, Forward

"Patai takes the bare bones of what there is in the Bible and, through scholarship and intellect, builds up a lively picture of life at sea.... This book will stand as a final and fitting monument to Patai's lifetime of scholarship and research into ancient Jewish history and culture." -- David Brauner, Jerusalem Post

A lively and fascinating narrative that makes a full exposition of the subject available to students and advanced readers for the first time. -- Review

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. W. Thielman on June 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The late Raphael Patai has written an interesting book on an unexpected subject - the seafaring of ancient Israelites and medieval Jews. The semi-nomadic tribes of Israel appear to have settled in the southern Levant highlands in the twelth or thirteenth century BC, while the coasts were controlled by Canaanites, Phoenicians and Philistines. The Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament) comments only infrequently about the sea, so it is refreshing to read more about a topic only peripherally covered elsewhere (perhaps in specialist literature). Such an effort may be compared to the late Arthur Koesler's _The_Thirteenth_Tribe_ about the Kazarian Jewish converts yielding a source of eastern European Jewry after about the AD 10th century.
_The_Children_of_Noah_ integrates scripture, midrash and commentaries from ancient and medieval times to weave a continual if marginal participation of the Hebrews in the seafaring trade. One might be taken aback by the uncritical inclusion of citations from the Book of Mormon, but apparently Patai took his sources where he found them. (Not being Mormon myself, my skepticism of its veracity encourages me to overlook that portion.)
According to Patai, Jewish captains and sailors were plying the Mediterranean in significant numbers before and after the fall of Jerusalem. While the diaspora from the Babylonian and Roman conquests had scattered monotheistic Jews across landmasses in southwestern Asia, southern Europe and Egypt, revelation to the reader about how the Jews adapted both culturally and religiously to this nautical opportunity is a welcome experience in broadening one's historical perspective.
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