By Lester L. Grabbe
Within the first of 4 volumes on A historical past of the Jews and Judaism within the moment Temple interval, Lester Grabbe provides a finished heritage of Judah (Aramaic Yehud) throughout the Persian interval. one of many the most important questions he addresses are: What are the assets for this era and the way will we overview them? and the way will we cause them to “speak” to us in the course of the fog of centuries? Grabbe argues that there's a threat of seeing every thing from a Judaeo-centric standpoint, or utilizing the biblical texts and out-of-date secondary fabric to supply the most standpoint in knowing historical past, while any student writing approximately this era could be acquainted with the classical historians and the close to jap resources to boot. This learn brings jointly and analyzes the unique resources, sifts and evaluates the secondary assets, develops a considerable old synthesis, and issues to components the place extra examine is required. Yehud: A background of the Persian Province of Judah bargains the hottest and complete exam of the political and administrative constructions; the society and economic climate; the faith, temple and cult; the advancements in concept and literature; and the main political occasions.
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Extra info for A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period: Yehud, the Persian Province of Judah (Library Of Second Temple Studies)
Authorial intent is an illusion. Texts conceal as much as they reveal, which means they need to be deconstructed to bring out the hidden assumptions, contradictions, and gaps; furthermore, meaning is always deferred. The 'grand narrative' is at an end, to be replaced by fragmentation, with many different even competing histories and the inclusion of groups formerly omitted or marginalized. The key word is 'history from below' but also a shift to a focus on culture. Before critiquing postmodernism, we need to consider some related trends relevant to historical method.
According to my own self-understanding I do not consider myself either a 'maximalist' or a 'minimalist'. I do not feel I take an a priori position on any historical issue but try to evaluate each on its merits and consider the arguments advanced before deciding. Thus, on some issues I would be very sceptical of positions widely taken by contemporary scholars, including my rejection of certain sources as misleading, problematic, or of little value. On other issues, I feel that current scholarship has by and large got it right and would hesitate to criticize views that might not be as well or as rigorously established as one would hope.
Kenyon in 1952-58. A number of finds suggest that the site was occupied during Persian times (pace OEANE, III: 224). These include some Attic pottery dated to the fifth-fourth centuries and a number ofyh andyh(w)d seals. The dating of a seal with the inscription 'wryw/yhwd ('Uriyau/Yehud') is disputed, though the present consensus is that it is from the Persian period. Another which may be aphw' ('governor') seal has the inscription lyhw 'zr ('to Yeho'ezer'). One way of explaining the data is that the whole eastern sector of Judah came to an end at the end of the Iron age, either through direct destruction or rapid decline after the more central support was destroyed by the Babylonians (Lipschits 2003: 339-40).