Throughout the Talmudic era, the Jewish community of Babylonia lived under Persian rule while Zoroastrianism, serving as a state religion, was enjoying something of a renaissance. In Babylonia, known in the later geographical literature as the Persian heartland, Jews lived alongside Persians. Babylonian Jews had also already experienced Persian rule for centuries prior to the Talmudic era under the Achaemenids, and later under the persianized Arsacid dynasty. This alone should have sufficed to lure a number of scholars into exploring various cross-cultural contacts between the two neighboring religious communities during this period. Until recently, however, scholarship has not been greatly drawn to this field, despite an exhaustive focus, of venerable antiquity, on the relationship between Israel and Persia in the biblical and Second Temple periods, including the Qumran library.