Sylvie Honigman

The Social Integration of Judeans in Ptolemaic Egypt and the Egyptian Influences on their Literary Production

Volume 12 () / Issue 2, pp. 200-215 (16)
Published 04.07.2023

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This article examines the papyrological evidence documenting some Judean settlements in the Fayyum (Middle Egypt). It is argued that the Judeans – both as Ioudaioi cleruchs (military reservists) and tax-Hellenes (civilians) – belonged to the colonial minority that dominated the country. While maintaining their ancestral identity over the generations, they were also well integrated in their social environment, and the tax-rolls from the village of Trikōmia (Fayyum) attest that they not only lived side by side with other tax-Hellenes of both Greek and Egyptian descent, but may have intermarried with them. This evidence provides an interesting background to recent studies suggesting that the OG Pentateuch books were produced in Ptolemaic administrative offices where scribes of Egyptian and Judean descent met, and to studies pointing to Egyptian literary influences in Judean Alexandrian works such as the Letter of Aristeas.

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