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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Rabbinic law on women, children, and slaves developed on the basis of biblical law and in the context of the Greco-Roman and Sasanian cultural environments in which Palestinian and Babylonian rabbis lived. The discussions were innovative in their adaptation of biblical law to new circumstances. From a sociological point of view, women, children, and slaves were dependents of the householder who were generally associated with the private sphere of the household. At the same time, they differed from each other with regard to honor, which only free persons possessed, and with regard to gender, since male children were raised to become Torah-observant male Jews themselves. Palestinian rabbinic law shows interesting similarities with and differences to Roman law of which rabbis would have been aware even if direct influences cannot be established.

Keywords: children, household, inheritance, marriage, manumission, matrilineal, property, rabbis, slaves, women

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