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Chapter 7 - Music at the Suppers and Feasts of the Jewish People

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 November 2022

Charles H. Cosgrove
Affiliation:
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Illinois
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Summary

Chapter 7 examines music in various Jewish meal-settings: elite Jewish banquets, rabbinic dinners, wedding feasts, public festivals, and the communal meals of the Jewish sects. Music and social dining were occasions for self-definition, personal and corporate, as Jewish elites sought to place themselves along a continuum from resistance to assimilation in relation to the prevailing non-Jewish culture in the Diaspora and foreign rule in Palestine. The occasions included upper-class Jewish dinner parties, as well as Jewish festivals, where national music helped define Jewish identity in settings that included private dinner parties and mass public dining. The Jewish festival was also an occasion for social interaction between Jews and non-Jews. A smattering of non-Jews attended Jewish festivals, and there is reason to believe that many Jews attended the public banquets of the gentiles. Moreover, upper-class Jews such as Philo, who had Hellenic educations, were interested not only in cultivating relationships with upper-class Greeks by dining with them but also in believing that their own people had music just as fine as that of the Greeks and just as ancient in its foundations.

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Chapter
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Music at Social Meals in Greek and Roman Antiquity
From the Archaic Period to the Age of Augustine
, pp. 265 - 305
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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