• Roman Coinage and Its Early Rabbinic Users

    Author(s):
    Amit Gvaryahu (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    Late Antiquity, New Testament, Textual Scholarship
    Subject(s):
    Rabbinical literature--Study and teaching, Rome (Empire), Economic anthropology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Rabbinics, Talmud, Midrash, and Rabbinics, Roman Empire
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/5z43-xq36
    Abstract:
    Tannaitic literature, the earliest stratum of rabbinic literature, offers a detailed account of a complex and multivalent relationship between a small group of provincial subjects of the Roman Empire and their coins, couched in legal terms. In this article, I discuss tannaitic prescriptions for use and abuse of coins against the backdrop of other nonrabbinic Jewish approaches to Roman coinage, and in the context of the political meaning of coin use in the Roman Empire. For the Early rabbis, coins are a special category of object, governed by their own rules and made special by the image on them, which the rabbis do not consider idolatrous. To fulfill some obligations imposed by the Torah or the rabbis, the rabbis required the use of "current" (i.e., Roman-approved) coinage while arrogating to themselves the authority to regulate individual coins and to order them pulled from circulation. Coins are thus an interesting test case for the complex relationship between the Early rabbis and the empire to which they were subject.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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