Ancient Synagogue Seating Capacities: Methodology, Analysis by Chad S. Spigel

By Chad S. Spigel

After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the first type of Jewish worship in Palestine shifted from delivering sacrifices in Jerusalem to non-sacrificial types of worship in neighborhood synagogue constructions. whereas the literary and archaeological proof from the 1st few centuries CE makes this shift transparent, the facts is much less transparent concerning the volume of synagogue worship at the moment. In different phrases, the facts does not explicitly let us know no matter if such a lot Jews in late-antique Palestine really participated in synagogue worship. during this ebook, Chad Spigel means that it truly is attainable to examine the level of synagogue worship via deciding on and examining the seating capacities of historic synagogue structures. He starts via filling a lacuna within the scholarly literature with the construction of a technique that may be used to figure out the seating skill of any old synagogue development. The seating skill technique is then utilized to historical synagogue structures from the Roman and Byzantine classes, hence making a catalog of seating capacities for late-antique Palestine. The seating capacities are then analyzed along with historical inhabitants estimates and different demographic info as a way to larger comprehend neighborhood Jewish worship practices. by way of amassing and interpreting seating skill and demographic information for greater than fifty historic synagogue structures, the writer not just exhibits that the level of synagogue worship assorted from position to put, he additionally offers an immense source for students of late-antique Judaism.

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