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date: 18 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Against the background of the centrality of a text-oriented society and the crucial role of the Hebrew Bible in shaping Jewish childhood in antiquity, this chapter considers the role of visual literacy through an examination of synagogal paintings and mosaics. The article asks how images shaped the social experience and acculturation of children into a society governed by communal prayers, commemorative festivities, synagogal gatherings, and rules harking back to Scripture. Why do visuals, illustrating biblical scenes featuring children, suddenly emerge on walls and floors of synagogues, beginning (so far as we can tell) with mid-third century Dura Europos and continuing with synagogues in the Land of Israel?

Keywords: Childhood, Jewish, synagogues, Palestine, Hebrew Bible/Scripture, Stobi, synagogue, Dura Europos, Khirbet Wadi Hamam (Palestine) synagogue, Beth Alpha (Palestine) synagogue, Sepphoris (Galilee) synagogue, children, Exodus, synagogue painting of, David, sy

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