Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity 978-3-16-150551-5 - Mohr Siebeck
Jewish Studies

Tal Ilan

Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity

Part IV: The Eastern Diaspora 330 BCE-650 CE
With the Collaboration of Kerstin Hünefeld

[Lexikon jüdischer Namen in der Spätantike. Teil 4: Die östliche Diaspora, 330 v. – 650 n. Chr.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-150551-5
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Published in English.
Tal Ilan presents a lexicon of names used by Jews in the eastern Diaspora during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Period. It provides immediate information on all known persons of Jewish extraction from the eastern Diaspora during this time.
In this lexicon, Tal Ilan collects all the information on names of Jews in lands east of Palestine, in which Aramaic and Arabic was spoken, and on the people who bore them between 330 BCE, a date which marks the Hellenistic conquest of East, and 650 CE, approximately the date when the Muslim conquest of East and the southern Mediterranean basin was completed. The corpus includes names from literary sources, especially the Babylonian Talmud but those mentioned in epigraphic documents, especially incantation bowls in Aramaicare, are also an important factor of the database. This lexicon is an onomasticon in as far as it is a collection of all the recorded names used by the Jews of the eastern Diaspora in the above-mentioned period. Tal Ilan discusses the provenance of the names and explains them etymologically, given the many possible sources of influence for the names at that time. In addition, she shows the division between the use of biblical names and the use of foreign names, and points out the most popular ones. This book is also a prosopography, since Ilan analyzes the identity of the persons mentioned therein.
The lexicon is accompanied by a lengthy and comprehensive introduction that scrutinizes the main trends in name giving current at the time. A large part of it is devoted to the question of how one can identify a Jew in a mostly non-Jewish society.

Tal Ilan Born 1956; 1991 PhD on Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; since 2003 Professor for Jewish Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin.

Kerstin Hünefeld is assistant at the German Research Foundation project »Lexicon of Jewish Names".


The following reviews are known:

In: Salesianum — 74 (2012), S. 570–571 (Rafael Vicent)
In: Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift — 65 (2011), S. 245–247 (Pieter W. van der Horst)
In: The Expository Times — 123 (2011), S. 46–47 (Paul Foster)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 137 (2012), S. 796–797 (K.-W. Niebuhr)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 56 (2012), S. 439
In: The Polish Journal of Bibl. Research — 11 (2012), S. 178 (Zdzislaw J. Kapera)