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This chapter compares the Great Revolt of the Thebaid (206–186 BC) and the Maccabean Revolt (starting in the 160s), which took place in a period of important social, economic, and political change. Though the events preceding each revolt differ markedly (the founding of a polis in Jerusalem, for example, has no counterpart in the Thebaid), Honigman and Veïsse emphasize multiple interconnected internal and external factors, including political miscalculations and expensive wars. They observe that it was not domination itself, but the way it was played out at a given moment that triggered revolts, especially a tighter royal control over land and taxation. Though they stressed that using sources of a rather different nature requires caution, their systematic examination of the causes of the revolts, of the ideological discourses, of the reaction of the government, and their aftermaths help to identify different strategies applied by each regime in different regions. They show how history, memories, and the structure of the territory made indirect rule of Judea conceivable for both Seleucid kings and the locals, while it was unthinkable for the Ptolemies and the “rebels” in the Thebaid.
Studies on tourism and pilgrimage show that spatial mobility, including transregional travel, mostly confirms and strengthens tourists’ and pilgrims’ social identities and symbolic boundaries between Self and Other. However, in guided religious package tours from Indonesia to Israel and Palestine, experiences with spatial boundaries do affect the Muslim and Christian pilgrims, adding more nuances to socio-cultural boundary-making. This complex making and breaching of boundaries relates to inner-Indonesian religious dynamics. Among both Muslim and Christian Indonesians, references to the Middle East express not only transregional solidarity but also multifarious orientations in inter and intra-religious relations within Indonesia. Among Indonesian Muslims, some orthodox Muslims’ orientations towards the Middle East as the birthplace of Islam are contested but also combined with indigenous Islamic traditions. Similar to these intra-Muslim frictions, members of Indonesia's Christian minority experience fissures in the expressions of local and global Christian identities. This article analyses how symbolic, social, and spatial boundaries are maintained and breached in transregional tourism from Indonesia to the Middle East.
Nabopolassar fought with an Assyrian-style army and took the throne of Babylon. Thirteen years later, Nineveh fell despite Egyptian help. Babylon took over much of the Assyrian empire. Later he defeated the last Assyrian king at Harran. His success was seen as Marduk’s revenge. Captured wealth from Assyrian royal cities allowed major building work at Babylon, which was continued by Nabopolassar’s son Nebuchadnezzar II. Neither king left statues of themselves, and cylinder seals represent gods by their symbols. Major subsidence in the citadel required frequent rebuilding on the Southern Palace. The names of temples and gates were compiled on to a clay tablet as a literary work. Colour-glazed bricks adorned the Processional Way leading to the temple of the New Year festival outside the citadel walls. That festival is described. Some of his creations Nebuchadnezzar described as a Wonder, but he made no mention of the Hanging Garden. In a separate part of the citadel, Nebuchadnezzar built a Summer Palace. His conquests included Tyre and Ashkelon but not Egypt or Lydia. He sacked the Temple in Jerusalem and deported its royal family to Babylon. Other captives settled on land nearby. Business archives of long duration continue into the Achaemenid period.
In a world that is constantly awake, illuminated and exposed, there is much to gain from looking into the darkness of times past. This fascinating and vivid picture of nocturnal life in Middle Eastern cities shows that the night in the eighteenth-century Ottoman Empire created unique conditions for economic, criminal, political, devotional and leisurely pursuits that were hardly possible during the day. Offering the possibility of livelihood and brotherhood, pleasure and refuge; the darkness allowed confiding, hiding and conspiring - activities which had far-reaching consequences on Ottoman state and society in the early modern period. Instead of dismissing the night as merely a dark corridor between days, As Night Falls demonstrates how fundamental these nocturnal hours have been in shaping the major social, cultural and political processes in the early modern Middle East.
This chapter explores the Custody of the Holy Land as a legal, spiritual and cultural product of the Holy Land. It explores its roots in Catholic spirituality and pilgrimage, the Holy Land as a shared religious landscape, and the influence of Islamic law/Ottoman governance.
Chatper 5 examines the growing influence of the papal Congregation of the Propaganda Fide in the administration of the Custody after 1622. It argues that its intervention reflects the importance given to the Holy Land as both a frontier, and spiritual center, of an increasingly global Catholic tradition.
Missionaries, finding that Islam and Judaism were impervious to their conversion efforts, concentrated on “improving” the non-Western Christians in the Middle East. The chapter traces the multiple Christian denominations stemming from pre-Islamic times and their status under Islam, including the Ottoman Empire. In the nineteenth century these Christians were receptive to Western educational efforts. Relations soured with the rise of nationalism and the drawing of territorial boundaries following World War I, resulting in the decline of the Christian population in the twentieth century.
After a generation of academic critique and legal and political transformation, the field of law-and-religion stands in the midst of a crisis. Theorists in disciplines ranging from religious studies and anthropology to international relations and law have problematized the category of “religion” from a variety of perspectives. To be sure, these theorists have rarely, if ever, sought to do away with the category, either as an empirical descriptor or as a tool of analysis. Rather, they have shown its historically contingent, politically constructed, and perennially contested nature.
Post-colonial theorists, for example, have argued for the Eurocentric genealogy of “religion” and its global diffusion through colonialism and its aftermath. Legal critics have undermined the perennial protestations of theological agnosticism by courts in the West; in the United States, such criticism has revealed an implicit strand of “low-church” Protestant presuppositions.
The following paper presents the results of radiocarbon (14C) dating of Middle Bronze Age (MB) contexts in Jerusalem. The dates, sampled with microarchaeology methods from three different locations along the eastern slopes of the city’s ancient core, reveal that Jerusalem was initially settled in the early phases of the period, with public architecture first appearing in the beginning of the 19th century BC and continued to develop until the 17th century BC. At that time, a curious gap in settlement is noted until the 16th century BC, when the site is resettled. The construction of this phase continued into the early 15th century BC. The dates presented are discussed in both the site-level, as well as their far-reaching implications regarding MB regional chronology. It is suggested here that the high chronology, dating the Middle Bronze Age between 2000 and 1600 BC is difficult to reconcile with dates from many sites. In contrast, a more localized chronology should be adopted, with the Middle Bronze Age continuing into the early 15th century BC in certain parts of the southern Levant, such as the region of Jerusalem.
Completing the trajectory of the book through text, illustration, recitation, architecture, and iconography, this final chapter looks at a case study for the intersection of text, image, and sound in Hagia Sophia. By looking at a sixth-century plaque from the church’s original construction and its afterlife over the centuries, the chapter studies how iconographies develop and change through various uses and contexts of display, and how these shifts alter the resonances with which the reading of the Gospel in the church was understood. The chapter seeks to unsettle our expectations of iconography and how ritual and space intersect with one another.
This chapter explains why Justinian’s equestrian monument survived the devastating pillaging of Constantinople in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade. While numerous other statues perished or were shipped off as spolia from Latin-occupied Constantinople (1204–61), this imperial monument remained virtually unmolested and its stature and prominence further increased. Why was it that this great monument was singled out by the Latins for preservation? The short answer is simple – it became useful to Crusading ideology. Crusaders transformed the rider’s identity and remade him into the emperor Heraclius, who had become the great hero of the Crusading movement. By beholding in the bronze horseman their hallowed forefather, the occupiers were able to invest in the statue’s preservation. The process of reattribution unfolded between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Three texts highlight key moments in the monument’s reorientation: an eleventh-century Latin narrative dedicated to the mirabilia of Constantinople by the Anonymous of Tarragona, the twelfth-century romance Eracleof Gautier d’Arras, and the narrative of the Fourth Crusade penned by Robert de Clari.
In the course of the fifteenth century the horseman ceased to be a monument and became a powerful memory. After the fall of Constantinople, the lost monument was granted new life in intellectual spaces between the real and the imagined, the antiquarian and the allegorical. Renaissance artists, such as Apollonio di Giovanni, Andrea Mantegna, and Vittore Carpaccio, projected the horseman into key cities of the "western" past such as Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome. The bronze horseman became an architectural witness to lost worlds and civilizational turning points. The equestrian monument became gradually detached from its original Constantinopolitan setting and entered the repertoire of the archaeological imaginary with moralizing connotations. Its placement in cities such as Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome was not accidental, for Constantinople itself had variously been celebrated or lamented as the new Athens, the New Jerusalem, and of course, the New Rome. The last of its kind, it was co-opted by the fertile Renaissance imagination as a colossal monument that bore witness to defining events of the ancient past. This colossus now was history.
Although Ottoman cities long have been recognized as sites of significant ethnic and religious heterogeneity, very little scholarship exists that documents or analyzes patterns of residential sorting, be it segregation, the physical separation of groups from each other in the urban landscape, or its opposite, integration. GIS mapping of the Ottoman censuses of Jerusalem illuminates these urban patterns and reveals the importance of scale when considering this question. Even the most “integrated” neighborhood on the aggregate level reveals “segregated” zones of clustering and concentration at the smaller scales of quadrant, street, and building. At the same time, the proximity and exposure of residents to each other reveals how very porous boundaries were in the neighborhood. In order to understand how and why the city developed such a complex spatial pattern, qualitative sources like newspapers, memoirs, and court records are a necessary supplement to demographic records. This approach allows for a comprehensive outlining of the economic, legal, religious, and cultural factors and forces contributing to both segregation and integration in an Ottoman city. It also points to a multidisciplinary reconstruction of the social space of an historic neighborhood.
This book explores three contemporary women’s movements in and around Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade: Women for the Temple, a messianic Jewish Orthodox women’s movement campaigning for access to Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif; Murabitat, pious Muslim women activists mobilizing for the defense of al-Aqsa Mosque from Jewish claims; and Women of the Wall (WOW), a Jewish feminist organization working against restrictive gender regulations at the Western Wall. Using these cases, the book demonstrates how attention to gender and to women’s engagement in conflict over central sacred places is essential for understanding the intra-communal processes that make contested sacred sites appear increasingly “indivisible” for parties in the inter-communal context. More broadly, the book argues that a gender analysis of contested sacred places enriches and sharpens both our description of the “choreographies” of such sites and our analytical understanding of the contemporary dynamics of conflict in these sites; in particular the processes that give rise to the problem of “indivisibility.”
Since 1996 the Islamic Movement in Israel has organized a popular mobilization campaign under the slogan “al-Aqsa is in Danger.” The movement has re-centered al-Aqsa Mosque as the central religious-nationalist symbol of the Palestinian struggle. In the process, it has tried to enlist the Palestinian community inside Israel, Jerusalem, and the occupied Palestinian territories as well as the Arab and Muslim worlds. Pious Muslim women have joined this campaign en masse, participating in the kind of public protest action that goes well beyond the traditional gendered division of labor advocated formally by the Islamic Movement. The chapter examines these and other women’s activities for al-Aqsa to trace their strategies of the removal of intra-communal divisions and the domestication of the holy – which are in many ways similar to their deployment in the Jewish Israeli cases. Activities include organizing religious, educational, and recreational activities for women, students, and children, celebrating personal occasions such as marriages, utilizing social media to articulate the bond between women and al-Aqsa, and other activities that enhance Muslim presence at the site and transform it from a distant, divided, and exclusive place of worship to one enmeshed in the everyday.
Tucked away at the end of the Minor Prophets, the Books of Haggai and Zechariah offer messages of challenge and hope to residents of the small district of Yehud in the Persian Empire in the generations after the return from Babylonian exile. In this volume, Robert Foster focuses on the distinct theological message of each book. The Book of Haggai uses Israel's foundational event - God's salvation of Israel from Egypt - to exhort the people to finish building the Second Temple. The Book of Zechariah argues that the hopes the people had in the prophet Zechariah's days did not come true because the people failed to keep God's long-standing demand for justice, though hope still lies in the future because of God's character. Each chapter in this book closes with a substantive reflection of the ethics of the major sections of the Books of Haggai and Zechariah and their implications for contemporary readers.
The narrative Source BII includes a meeting of three Assyrian commanders accompanied by a large army with a Judean delegation at the conduit of the upper pool on the highway at the Fuller’s Field. Rāb-šaqê conveys to Hezekiah’s emissaries a message. He warns them not to rebel against Assyria, not to confront the Assyrian army with the aid of the Egyptians in a pitched battle, and not to trust YHWH for deliverance, since YHWH has allegedly sent Sennacherib to devastate the land of Judah. When Hezekiah sends a delegation to Isaiah to ask for YHWH’s aid, Isaiah delivers an oracle assuring the king of Judah not to fear, for a spirit will be given to the king of Assyria. He will hear a rumor, retreat to Assyria, and die by the sword. Source BII focuses on the murder of Sennacherib, on the Egyptian aid in a pitched battle, and mentions Taharqa, king of Kush, who would cause Sennacherib to retreat. The motifs of divine intervention, causing Assyria’s defeat and Sennacherib’s retreat and eventual murder, are the backbone of Source BII.
In Chapter 9, Strand BIII reflects the historical Sitz im Leben of the source in the Neo-Babylonian Period (the reigns of Nabopolassar and the early years of Nebuchadnezzar II). The author of this strand incorporated echoes of the events connected to the demise of the Assyrian Empire. More particularly, these echoes reflect the following events: a) the wars of the Babylonians under Nabopolassar on Assyrian soil from 616 to 609 BCE, during which the Babylonians devastated the heartland of Assyria and conquered its Western provinces, thus sealing Assyria’s demise; and b) the subsequent campaigns of the Neo-Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar II, during which the Babylonians crossed the Euphrates and conquered the Levant (605–598/7). The struggle between Assyria and Egypt over the Levant is omitted. During the siege of Jerusalem between 588 and 586 BCE, the people of Jerusalem decided to oppose the besieging Babylonians and not surrender. Jerusalem withstood a siege for a far longer time than any of the nations listed in Isa 37:12–13, namely during the conquests of the Neo-Babylonian Kings. Therefore, the people of Jerusalem could claim that God was protecting them and Jerusalem.
The question of the priority of Isa 36–37 over 2 Kgs 18–19 or vice versa has been raised in research for many years. There are numerous variations between the parallel texts. In comparing the Kings and Isaiah versions, Gesenius concluded that the Kings version was the original setting of the Hezekiah-Isaiah narratives. This view began to change with the study of Ackroyd. Profiting from Ackroyd’s work, Smelik raised several arguments for the primacy of the Isaiah text.
In Chapter 10, I present the differences created by the process of transmission. In the second part of the chapter, I present the results of the text-critical investigation according to the new proposal to divide the comprehensive text into sources A, BI, BII, and BIII. Most of the variations can be explained as a result of the attempt to integrate the different sources into one coherent narrative. In most cases, it can be shown that the prior version was in Isaiah; the editor of Kings attempted to hide the coarse stitches in the final narrative.
For millennia the story of Hezekiah’s miraculous deliverance by the Angel of God from Sennacherib (in Isa 36–37/2 Kgs 18:13–19:37), has been perceived as the fulfillment of God’s words of salvation to Jerusalem as a reward for the pious king of the house of David.