This article examines approaches to the topic of life cycles among Jews in Roman Palestine. It first identifies the methodological issues associated with comparing the Jewish and (Graeco-) Roman understandings of life stages. It then studies the Qumran, rabbinic texts, and rabbinic sources on childhood, old age, and death. Finally, the article describes the life stages of the non-rabbis based on the rabbinic sources and Mishnah Abot 5:21.
For Roman society, the definition of ‘the family’ is now one of the most hotly debated topics. This article focuses on the society of Rome and Italy, as well as the Western Roman Empire, which became more recognisably ‘Roman’ than did the East during the best-documented period from the last century
This article takes a look at the Jewish diet in Palestine. It shows what the Jews in Roman Palestine ate, and determines to what degree there was a uniquely Jewish diet in antiquity. It looks at how much Jewish food practices might have separated the Jews from non-Jews, from other Jews, and from Gentiles. The next section studies the eating habits of the Jews and Romans, before it introduces the concept of the Passover seder and the various meal rituals.
This article is concerned with Jewish household economy. It considers source material and the various approaches of scholarship on the topic, and then describes the production activities of family members. This is then followed by a section on women's role in the household economy.
Michael L. Satlow
This article reviews the state of scholarship on Jewish marital and divorce practices. It focuses on the legal institutions that govern marriage and divorce — such as the kettubah — their demographics, and the customs and rituals that were connected to them.