Elephantine: A Diaspora Jewish Community in the Persian Empire
Mon, November 29, 2010 • 5:00 PM • Texas Union Governors' Room (3.116)
Lecture by Bezalel Porten, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
A Jewish Community on the Island of Elephantine during the Persian Period.:" When King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) ruled from India to Nubia, a Jewish military settlement guarded the empire's southern border. They served the native Egyptian rulers before the Persian conquest, worshipping their own god in their own temple and conducting all their affairs in the lingua franca of the time, Aramaic. Their names were all Hebrew but two family archives reveal an Egyptian man married to a Jewish matron and a Jewish Temple official married to an Egyptian handmaiden. What brought them to Elephantine and what happened to their Temple at the end of the fifth century?