Encyclopedia of Diasporas

2005 Edition
| Editors: Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, Ian Skoggard

Jewish Diaspora in the Greek World

  • Steven Bowman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-29904-4_19

Introduction: Diaspora Versus Galut

The ancient concept of diaspora denotes a community that has emigrated from the ancestral community yet maintains linguistic and cultural (i.e., religious), if not political, connections with the mother city. The Greek metropolis had to export its growing population, as did Jerusalem, the religious center for an expanding Jewish population of Judea during the Hellenistic period. Philo, a first-century Jewish philosopher from Alexandria, is the first to use the term “metropolis” in this sense, although the Greek word is a translation of the Hebrew phrase ‘ir va-em be-yisrael, a hendiadys, which appears in 2 Samuel 20:19 with the meaning of a major center. The extent to which the phenomenon of diaspora, which is essentially the preservation of ethnic ties by emigrants with a collective center of their culture, contributed to the survival of an enduring separatist identity in a strange land is one way to understand diaspora as well as nations and...


Jewish Community Seventh Century Hellenistic Period Greek Translation Greek World 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Bowman

There are no affiliations available