392 Review of Books / Journal for the Study of Judaism 38 (2007) 342-449 Jewish Slavery in Antiquity. By Catherine Hezser. Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press 2005. Pp. xi, 439. Hardback. £55.00. ISBN 0-19-928086-X. Catherine Hezser has written the ﬁrst synthetic monograph devoted to investigat- ing “Jewish slavery,” by which she means the Jewish practice of slavery, both as slaves and their owners. Given the enormous scholarship produced over the last three decades on slavery in the classical world and among early Christians, Hezs- er’s book is a welcome and long-overdue attempt to understand how the Jews in antiquity dealt with this basic antique social institution. Following older apolo- getic arguments, did they really transform the (quasi-)egalitarian ethic of the Hebrew Bible into social reality by resisting slavery or minimizing its eﬀects? Or did they simply adopt the rhetoric and reality of slavery of the communities in which they lived, as Jews in antiquity appeared to have done with so many other social institutions? If the latter, did they in any way depart from these received classical models in order to bring the reality more in line with (at least one plau- sible reading of )
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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