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Seth Schwartz
Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization, Columbia University; Leon Levy Professor of Jewish Material Culture Spring 2021, Bard Graduate Center

Christianization in Asia Minor: Aphrodisias and Sardis

In this talk Schwartz will examine two well-known bodies of material relevant to the Jews of the province of Asia in the fourth century: an inscribed slab from Aphrodisias in Caria and the extensive remains of the massive synagogue of Sardis. This and other material provides evidence for a strong tendency towards the institutionalization of local Jewish religious communities, but not for their standardization. In addition, evidence remains relatively strong for non-communal based modes of sociability of the sort very briefly explored in the Schwartz’s previous presentation.

Tuesday, April 13, 12:15 pm

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Seth Schwartz (BA, Classics, Yeshiva University, 1979; PhD, History, Columbia, 1985) is a political, social, and cultural historian of the Jews who specializes in the period between Alexander the Great and the rise of Islam, and has become especially interested in the anthropological and social theoretical aspects of his field. Before returning to Columbia in 2009 he taught for fourteen years at the Jewish Theological Seminary after having been a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a senior research fellow at King’s College, Cambridge. In 1999/2000 he was a Guggenheim Fellow and in 2006/7 a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is co-author, with Roger Bagnall, Alan Cameron and Klaas Worp of Consuls of the Later Roman Empire (Atlanta, 1987), and author of Josephus and Judaean Politics (Leiden, 1990) and Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 BCE to 640 CE (Princeton, 2001), Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? Reciprocity and Solidarity in Ancient Judaism (Princeton, 2009), and The Ancient Jews from Alexander to Muhammad (Cambridge, 2014). Schwartz is the Spring 2021 Leon Levy Foundation Professor of Jewish Material Culture at Bard Graduate Center, generously supported by the Leon Levy Foundation and The David Berg Foundation.

This event is open to the BGC community and invited guests of the speaker. This event will be held via Zoom. A link will be circulated to registrants by 10 am on the day of the event.