AMUSIN, JOSEPH (Iosip; 1910–1984), Russian historian, specialist in qumran studies. Amusin was born in Vitebsk and lived in Leningrad from 1924. He was persecuted for Zionist activities, imprisoned, and exiled to Siberia (1926–33). After returning from exile he worked as a bookkeeper. In 1935–38 he studied history at Leningrad University. During the Great Terror of the Stalinist years Amusin was once again arrested (1938) but released the same year and continued his studies. In 1945–50, after serving at the front during the war, he was an instructor at Leningrad University and the Leningrad Pedagogical Institute. When the campaign against the so-called "cosmopolitans" was unleashed, Amusin displayed courage defending his teacher S. lurie . Consequently he had to leave Leningrad, teaching for a while at the pedagogical institutes of Ulyanovsk and Gorky. After the death of Stalin he returned to Leningrad (1954), working from 1960 at the Leningrad department of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In 1965 he was awarded a doctor's degree in history. Most of Amusin's work was devoted to the history of the Jews and biblical studies. He published a translation of Qumran texts into Russian with an extensive preface and historical as well as linguistic commentaries (1971). Other important works of his were Rukopisi Mertvogo mor'a ("The Dead Sea Scrolls," 1960), Nakhodki u Mertvogo mor'a ("The Dead Sea Finds," 1964), the seminal study Kumranskaya obshchina ("The Qumran Community," 1983), and numerous papers on the history and ideas of the Qumran community as well as on various aspects of the history of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and the Hellenistic world. A collection of his papers under the title Problemy sotsialnoy struktury obshchestva drevnego Blizhnego Vostoka (1-e tys´acheletie do n.e.) ("Problems of the Social Structure of the Ancient Near East in the First Millennium B.C. according to Biblical Sources") was published posthumously in 1993. (Naftali Prat (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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