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By Joshua Holo

Utilizing basic resources, Joshua Holo uncovers the daily workings of the Byzantine-Jewish financial system within the center Byzantine interval. equipped on an internet of alternate platforms either specific to the Jewish neighborhood and built-in in society at huge, this economic system forces a revision of Jewish historical past within the area. ironically, the 2 detailed monetary orientations, inward and outward, at the same time complicated either the combination of the Jews into the bigger Byzantine financial system and their segregation as a self-contained physique financial. Dr Holo unearths that the Jews regularly leveraged their inner, even unique, structures of legislation and tradition to wreck into - sometimes to dominate - Byzantine markets. In doing so, they problem our thought of Diaspora existence as a stability among the 2 competing impulses of integration and segregation. The luck of this company, in addition, qualifies the present declare of Jewish monetary decline through the advertisement Revolution.

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The second chapter of this study addresses the demography of the Jews under the new order of the seventh century, and it maps the redistribution of their internal connections, which provided important opportunities for 18 Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy new expressions of solidarity and strength. When the Arab conquest engulfed Mesopotamia and Syria-Palestine, the contours of political jurisdiction entered a period of flux. Soon, Jewish communities throughout North Africa and the Levant also found themselves subject to the new Muslim polity (eventually a multiplicity of polities) and immersed in an entirely new cultural setting.

Cavallo (Rome, 1997), 239–53. 66 Starting with Henri Pirenne, the Italian Maritimes were viewed not merely as mercantile revolutionaries but also as usurping the Jews in international trade. According to Pirenne’s now outdated view, the Jews had dominated Merovingian and Carolingian trade, because the underdeveloped economy of the European West had offered niche markets for the small-but-mobile Jewish traders who could cross between Islam and Christendom with ease. A new and widely accepted appreciation of the contribution of a variety of groups, including the Byzantines, has helped to overturn this simple construction of Jewish commercial preeminence in the Carolingian period.

Speck claims that the Jews did not support the Persians against the Byzantine state, but simply that they joined the ranks of the Persians on the route of their campaign, as many Christians had done (p. 475). In all of this, Speck takes on an apologetic tone, as if to defend the Jews from the accusations of medieval Christian authors, who charge that the Jews welcomed the Persians and engaged in violence against the Christians: “In particular, all the attacks against the Jews – that they opened the city gates to the Persians, and that they plundered and murdered Christians – are best seen as not being the case” (p.

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