Jewish Studies

Catherine Hezser

The Creation of the Talmud Yerushalmi and Apophthegmata Patrum as Monuments to the Rabbinic and Monastic Movements in Early Byzantine Times

Section: Articles
Jewish Studies Quarterly (JSQ)

Volume 25 () / Issue 4, pp. 368-393 (26)

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This paper investigates the compilatory processes that led to the creation of the Talmud Yerushalmi and the Apophthegmata Patrum in early Byzantine Palestine. These encyclopaedic works are based on individual oral traditions that emerged from teacher-disciple networks of rabbis and monks. A comparison of the scholastic settings, editorial processes and structural arrangements highlights the complexity of the Talmud's organizing principles, which did not allow for later accretions in the same way that the Apophthegmata collections did. The development from oral transmission to written compilations had significant consequences. For the first time, multiple individual traditions that were diverse and contradictory were visible together on one and the same page. The reader of the written compilations is offered a synoptic overview of the accumulated anchorite and rabbinic knowledge of one and a half centuries. The early Byzantine compilers commemorated and (re)created the »classical« rabbinic and monastic movements for their own time and place.

Catherine Hezser 1986 Promotion in Ev. Theologie in Heidelberg mit Schwerpunkt Neues Testament; 1992 Promotion in Jewish Studies am Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; 1997 Habilitation an der FU Berlin; seit 2005 Professorin für Jewish Studies an der School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) der University of London.