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Language and Literacy in Roman Judaea

A Study of the Bar Kokhba Documents
by Michael Owen Wise
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Pub Date: 2015
Format: Hardback
Pages: 523 pp.
Size: 6.50 x 9.75 inches

ISBN: 9780300204537
TB Code: 1705168
Availability: 115 in stock

This comprehensive exploration of language and literacy in the multi-lingual environment of Roman Palestine (c. 63 B.C.E. to 136 C.E.) is based on Michael Wise’s extensive study of 145 Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean contracts and letters preserved among the Bar Kokhba texts, a valuable cache of ancient Middle Eastern artifacts. His investigation of Judean documentary and epistolary culture derives for the first time numerical data concerning literacy rates, language choices, and writing fluency during the two-century span between Pompey’s conquest and Hadrian’s rule. He explores questions of who could read in these ancient times of Jesus and Hillel, what they read, and how language worked in this complex multi-tongued milieu.