Fourth century mosaic floor from Hammath Tiberias synagogue.
Jewish Society in the Greco-Roman Period
Research designed to illuminate three areas of Jewish history during the Greco-Roman period focuses on three areas. The first deals with Judaism and its development during late antiquity. Study of the Pharisees and Sadducees of the Talmudic era, for example, may reveal the ideologies and social status of these religious elites, as well as determine their impact on Jewish society. Special attention has been paid to the rabbis of the 3rd and 4th centuries, their self-definition and self-perception, and also the unity and diversity within this particular elite.
A second area emphasizes the major institutions of ancient Judaism, such as the Patriarchate and the synagogue. How much authority and prominence did the Patriarchate possess? How central to ancient Judaism was the synagogue?
A third focus is the integration of archaeological evidence and literary sources in drawing a…