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“Who Would be Mine for the Day!”: Irano-Judaic Marriage Customs in Late Antiquity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Haleh Emrani*
Affiliation:
University of California, Irvine

Abstract

Zoroastrians of Babylonia had long lived alongside an important Jewish community whose presence in the region can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (c. 550‒330 BCE). Such long coexistence should justify an interest in the examination of cultural sharing between these two religious groups of Ērānšahr; however, it is just recently that the question of the level of cultural contact between them has become a more important source of inquiry and research by scholars of Iranian history, religious studies and Late Antiquity. The exchanges between the Jews and Zoroastrians of the Sasanian period and their impact on the character of the Babylonian Talmud have been the subject of a number of recent studies, notably by Shaul Shaked, Yaakov Elman, Geoffrey Herman and Shai Segunda, among others. The aim of this article is to contribute to these efforts by exploring the roots of some distinctly Sasanian marriage customs that transcended religious lines and were shared by the rabbinic Jews and Zoroastrians of Ērānšahr.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Society for Iranian Studies 2016

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Footnotes

This article is based on a paper presented at Jewish Iranian Legacy: Life, Politics and Culture, at the University of California in Irvine on October 3, 2010. All translations from Middle Persian and Syriac are mine. In cases where translations provided by other scholars differ significantly from those presented, references are provided to the alternate interpretations. Translations of the Talmudic passages are based on Isidore Epstein, Soncino Babylonian Talmud. London: Soncino Press.

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