- Hellenism and the Jews Contact between Greeks and Semites, probably including Jews, seems likely to have occurred in Mycenaean times, as remains of Greek pottery in Palestine and Syria testify. Several interesting parallels between early Greek, especially that of Homer, and biblical vocabulary have been suggested, such as Homeric amumōn ("without blemish") and biblical mum ("blemish"), Homeric machaira ("sword") and biblical mekherah (Gen. 49:5), Homeric erebos ("darkness") and biblical erev ("evening") and ma'ariv ("west"), and Greek kados ("pitcher," in Archilochus) and Hebrew kad ("pitcher"). Parallels between Homeric and biblical motifs are generally less striking. The possibility of a link between the even earlier Minoan civilization and Jews, or at any rate Semites, suggested by the presence of Minoan pottery at Ugarit and supported by bilingual (Greek and Northwest Semitic) inscriptions in Crete dating from 600 to 300 B.C.E., awaits the decipherment of Linear A. It was not until the time of alexander the great , however, that the contacts between Greeks and Jews were revived and intensified. The fact that for two centuries Palestine was part of Hellenistic kingdoms, first of Ptolemaic Egypt and then of Seleucid Syria, made Greek influence on Jewish thought and life inevitable. In the first third of the second century B.C.E., a group of Hellenizing Jews came to power in Jerusalem. They were led by wealthy Jewish aristocrats such as Joseph son of Tobiah, and his son Hyrcanus, who were apparently attracted to the externals of Hellenism; their Hellenization was, at first, primarily social rather than cultural and religious. jason the high priest carried his Hellenizing to the extent of establishing Greek educational institutions, the gymnasium and ephebeion, and of founding Jerusalem as a Greek city, Antioch-at-Jerusalem. But Jason was only a moderate Hellenizer compared with menelaus , whose succession as high priest occasioned a civil war between their factions, with the tobiads supporting Menelaus and the masses of the people standing behind Jason. As the scholars Bickermann, Tcherikover, and Hengel have shown, it was the Hellenizers, notably Menelaus and his followers, who influenced Antiochus Epiphanes to undertake his persecutions of Judaism so as to put down the rebellion of the hassideans , who were supported by the masses of Jerusalem and who rebelled against the Hellenizers. Perhaps the account in the dead sea scrolls of the war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness reflects this struggle. In the following year the fight of the Maccabees against the Hellenizers began. This struggle highlights the antagonism between the rich and highborn in the towns, who believed in finding a modus vivendi with Hellenism, and the peasants and urban masses, who could brook no compromise with their religious traditions. In victory the Maccabees were particularly ruthless toward the Greek cities of Palestine (of which there were 30) and their inhabitants, but their struggle was against the Greek cities as a political rather than as a cultural force. It is a mistake to regard the Hellenization of the Palestinian Jews as so deep that they would have been absorbed had not Antiochus' persecution aroused a fanatic reaction. Similarly it is a mistake to look upon the Maccabees as despisers of Greek culture. In point of fact, Jonathan the Hasmonean, far from hating Greek culture, renewed the treaty of friendship with Sparta (Jos., Ant., 13:164–170) that the high priest onias i is said to have negotiated about 300 B.C.E. Alexander Yannai employed Greek mercenaries in his army (ibid., 13:387), and from his time onward coins are inscribed with Greek as well as with Hebrew. The very Aristobulus who forced the Itureans to become Jews called himself "philhellene" (ibid., 13:318). The rise of the Pharisees may be seen, to some degree, as a reaction against the Greco-Roman culture favored by the Sadducees, who were allied with the phil-Hellenic Hasmoneans. The Hellenic influence increased under Herod, who built a Greek theater, an amphitheater where Jews wrestled naked with Greeks, and a hippodrome in or near Jerusalem. Even Agrippa I, who is so highly regarded in rabbinic sources (Bik. 2:4, etc.), built a theater and amphitheater at Berytus (Jos., Ant., 19:335) and himself attended the theater at Caesarea (ibid., 19:332–4). Jews came to Egypt just before the end of the kingdom of Judah in the sixth century B.C.E. and fought as mercenaries, in all probability side by side with Greeks who had come for the same purpose. But large-scale emigration began with ptolemy I after the death of Alexander. Philo (In Flaccum, 43) reports that in his day the Jews in Egypt numbered a million. By that time there were large Jewish communities in Syria, especially Antioch (Jos., Wars, 7:43), Greece proper (Philo, Legatio ad Gaium, 281–2), Asia Minor (Jos., Ant., 14:213, 255–64; Philo, op. cit., 245), Cyprus (Jos., Ant., 13:284), Rome (Cicero, Pro Flacco, 67), and Cyrene (Jos., Ant., 14:115), all of which were primarily Greek speaking. The Hellenization of the Jews, both in Palestine and the Diaspora, consists in the substitution of the Greek language for Hebrew and Aramaic, the adoption of Greek personal names, the adoption of Greek educational institutions, the growth of a Jewish Hellenistic literature and philosophy, and religious deviation and syncretism as seen in legal institutions and in art (see diaspora ). In Palestine, the predominance of Greek in ossuary inscriptions (the dates vary) so that of 168, 114 are in Greek only, the discovery of Greek papyri in the Dead Sea caves, and of Greek letters from leaders of the Bar Kokhba rebellion, and the presence of perhaps as many as 2,500–3,000 Greek words in the talmudic corpus, especially in the homiletic Midrashim composed for popular consumption, testify to what degree the Greek language had gained currency (see rabbinical knowledge of greek and latin ). The contact with Greek influenced, moreover, a number of developments in Hebrew phonology and syntax and led to the establishment of a number of Hebrew roots derived from Greek. Simeon b. Gamaliel went so far as to praise Greek as the only language into which the Torah could be perfectly translated (Esth. R. 4:12). Judah ha-Nasi remarked, "Why talk Syriac in Palestine? Talk either Hebrew or Greek" (Sot. 49b). It was said (Ḥag. 19b) of the second-century rabbi Elisha ben Avuyah, that he never ceased reciting Greek poetry. In the next century R. Abbahu knew Greek so well that he was able to pun in it (Gen. R. 14:2), and justified teaching his daughters Greek since it served as an ornament (TJ, Pe'ah 1:1, 15c). The fact that the Mishnah (Sot. end) records that during the war of lusius quietus (117 C.E.) a decree was passed banning the teaching of Greek to one's son indicates that the rabbis regarded the use of Greek as a real danger, but the language continued in vogue. It can hardly be maintained that Greek was used only by the upper classes and was restricted to commerce, or that it was restricted to those who needed it to communicate with the governing authorities; the Christian Hellenizers (Acts, 6:1), who apparently spoke Greek only and were thus more deeply affected by Hellenization, were not restricted to the higher classes. Josephus (Ant., 20:264) clearly indicates that ordinary freemen and even slaves in Palestine had learned many languages. However, his statement (ibid., 20:263) that it had proven difficult for him to master Greek, especially the pronunciation, and the faulty Greek in many inscriptions indicate that the level of knowledge of Greek was not high. Even Josephus (Apion, 1:50) had to employ assistants to polish the Greek of his De Bello Judaico. The knowledge of Greek possessed by Jewish Christians in Palestine, however, because of their closer contact with Diaspora Jews and with non-Jews outside Palestine, must have been better; and recent scholarship has concluded that it is probable that Jesus himself sometimes spoke Greek. In the Diaspora, the earliest Jewish inhabitants of Alexandria in the fourth century B.C.E., to judge from the papyri, spoke Aramaic; but so thoroughgoing was the victory of the Greek over the Hebrew language that after the third century B.C.E., with the exception of the Nash Papyrus, until 400 C.E., all papyri from Egypt pertaining to the Jews are in Greek. Similarly, of the 116 Jewish inscriptions from Egypt only five are in Hebrew, and they are, it appears, of late date (see alexandria ; egypt , Hellenistic Period; zeno papyri ). Even in the Jewish community of Rome, which seems to have had a stronger identification with Judaism, only five of the 534 inscriptions are in Hebrew or Aramaic. Because the septuagint was regarded as divinely inspired, there appeared to be no need to learn Hebrew. Indeed, there is a very real question as to whether Philo, by far the greatest of the Alexandrian Jewish writers, knew more than a modicum of Hebrew; it is surely significant that whereas he tells so much of his Greek education he tells nothing about his Hebrew education. Another aspect of Hellenization is the choice of Greek personal names. In Palestine the percentage is much lower than in the Diaspora, but the names of rabbis such as Abtolemus, Alexander, Antigonus, Symmachus, and Theodosius indicate that the process was at work even there. The fact that at least three-fourths of the personal names of the Jews of Hellenistic Egypt are of Greek origin is striking. The Jews often tried to choose Greek names similar in meaning or sound to their Hebrew names, but names derived from those of Greek or Egyptian deities are common. In Rome about half of the names of the Jews in inscriptions are of Latin origin, about a third are of Greek origin, and only about a sixth are derived from Hebrew or Aramaic. Education was a key area of Greek impact. After the establishment of the gymnasium and ephebeion by Jason the high priest in pre-Maccabean times, there is no further information on Greek educational institutions established by Jews. However, in the first century Rabban Gamaliel had 500 students of Greek wisdom in addition to 500 students of Torah (Sot. 49b, et al.), although this permission to study Greek was granted to the house of Rabban Gamaliel only because of their special relationship with the Roman government. In Egypt the only known schools with Jewish content were the Sabbath schools, intended for adults, which, according to Philo (Spec., 1:62), taught the traditional Greek four cardinal virtues. On the other hand, there is mention of the eagerness of Jews to enroll their children of secondary school age in Greek gymnasia; and apparently, until they were excluded by the emperor claudius in 41, they had succeeded in their efforts. Such an education initiated youths into the Greek way of life, especially athletics, its most characteristic feature. No Jew could have attended a Greek gymnasium without making serious compromises with his religion, for the gymnasia had numerous busts of deities, held religious processions, sponsored sacrifices, and participated in the athletic games associated with the festivals. Similarly, the fact that the 72 translators recommended that King Ptolemy watch plays (Letter of Aristeas, 284) and that Philo himself often attended the theater (Ebr., 177) shows that Hellenization had made deep inroads. It is not surprising that the rabbis (Av. Zar. 18b) forbade attendance at theaters, for ancient dramas were performed only at festivals of the gods in the presence of the altar and priests of the gods. The most obvious instances of Greek influence are to be seen in Jewish literature of the Hellenistic period. In Palestine, even ben sira , whose opposition to Hellenism before the Maccabean rebellion is manifest, has a number of aphorisms which seem to be derived from Aesop, Theognis, and Euripides. The testament of Joseph and the book of judith show Greek influence in the introduction of erotic motifs found in Greek romances. Similarly, the book of tobit , composed either in Palestine or Antioch in the second century B.C.E., shows Hellenistic influence in the form of its romance. Aside from Justus of Tiberias and Josephus, no Palestinian author is known who definitely wrote in Greek, and indeed there is no apparent Greek influence in the first century B.C.E. "Biblical Antiquities" of Pseudo-Philo. But in his paraphrase of the Bible, Josephus, in his eagerness to answer antisemitic charges, makes numerous changes. Thus his Abraham is presented as worthy of Greek political and philosophical ideals: he possesses skill in persuasion, the power of logical deduction, and scientific knowledge, and, in a show of liberalism, he offers to be converted by the Egyptians if he fails to convince them. Samson is an Aristotelian-like megalopsychos ("great-souled man"); Saul is a kind of Jewish Achilles; and Solomon a kind of Jewish Oedipus. Finally, Josephus' portraits of Moses and of Esther are in the tradition of Hellenistic romance, with emphasis on erotic elements. Indeed, the life of Moses used by Artapanus, Philo, and Josephus contained details borrowed from the legendary life of Pythagoras. There has been much debate on the degree of Hellenic influence on the rabbis themselves. A number of tales about Hillel recall Socratic and Cynic anecdotes. Joshua b. Hananiah's discussions with Athenians, Alexandrians, and Roman philosophers (Bek. 8b; Nid. 69b; Sanh. 90b), Meir's reported disputations with the Cynic oenomaus of gadara (Gen. R. 68:20) – a city a little east of the Jordan which also produced three other famous ancient Greek writers, Menippus the satirist, Meleager the poet, and Philodemus the Epicurean philosopher and poet – as well as Judah ha-Nasi's discussions with "Antoninus" ; Av. Zar. 10a–11a, etc.) and rabbinic condemnation of Epicureanism (Mish. Sanh. 11:1; Avot, 1:3; etc.), all reflect rabbinic interest in and concern about Hellenism (see classical greek literature ). We know of only one rabbi, however, elisha b. avuyah , upon whom Greek influence was so great that he actually became a Gnostic heretic. It has been suggested that platonism influenced the rabbis with its theory of ideas, the notion that the soul possesses perfect knowledge before birth, and, above all, the method of dialectic. Moreover, a number of striking parallels in content and form between the Epicureans and the rabbis have been noted. The stoic ideal of the sage, as well as Stoic techniques of allegorizing and expounding law, influenced Philo, but it is doubtful to what extent they influenced the rabbis. The rabbis mention only two philosophers – Epicurus and Oenomaus – by name, and they do not use any Greek philosophical terms. The fact that they never mention Plato, Aristotle, or Philo would indicate that their information was probably drawn second-hand. Similarly the proverbs in rabbinic literature which have classical parallels probably represent contact not with Greek literature but with Greek speakers. The alleged influence of Hellenistic rhetoric upon rabbinic methods of interpretation is in the realm of terminology rather than of substance. The "fence" which the rabbis created around the Torah (see avot 1:1) succeeded, on the whole, in keeping the masses of the Jews from succumbing to Greek culture, as the complaints about Jewish religious and social separateness (cf., e.g., Tacitus, Histories, 5:4) indicate. As to sectarian groups, it has been argued, with some degree of probability, that the communal organization and the strict rules for the administration of the Essenes and the Dead Sea brotherhood were directly influenced by Pythagoreanism and its revival, neo-Pythagoreanism. Josephus (Ant., 15:371), in any case, remarks that the Essenes followed the Pythagorean way of life. The influence of Greek thought on Diaspora Jews starts with the Septuagint (the alleged meeting of a Jew with aristotle (Jos., Apion, 1:176–82) is fictitious). Recent investigators, on the whole, agree that there is no systematic pattern of Hellenizing, and that the Greek elements tend to be superficial and decorative rather than deep-seated and significant. Again, it was formerly thought that the language of the Septuagint was a kind of Jewish Greek which would be unintelligible to non-Jews; but the papyri show that the language is that of Hellenistic Egypt. Yet the fact that, for example, "Torah" was translated as nomos ("law"), emunah as pistis ("belief"), and ẓedakah as dikaiosynē ("justice") brought the connotations, especially Platonic, of these words to the Greek reader ignorant of the original. Hence Paul could preach antinomianism to an audience that looked upon the Torah as a law which could be repealed rather than as a way of life, and when the injunction Elohim lo tekalel (Ex. 22:24) was interpreted to mean "Thou shalt not curse the gods," it became a text for Philo (De Vita Mosis, 2:205; Spec., 1:53) and Josephus (Apion, 2:237; Ant., 4:207) to preach liberalism toward other religions. Apparently because they saw the danger in the adulation of the Septuagint by the Hellenistic Jews, the rabbis changed their initially favorable reaction to the translation (Meg. 9b) to a bitter comment (Sof. 1:7) comparing the completion of the Septuagint with the making of the golden calf. The stature of the Septuagint is obvious in the fragments of the Greco-Jewish historian demetrius , who already in the latter part of the third century B.C.E. followed the Septuagint's patriarchal chronology rather than that of the Hebrew text, though his Septuagint was not quite identical with any of our versions. The Letter of aristeas , supposedly written in the third century B.C.E., but more probably about 100 B.C.E., apparently by an Alexandrian Jew who was a propagandist for the cooperation of Hellenism and Judaism, is addressed not merely or even primarily to non-Jews but rather to fellow Jews. The 72 elders to whom the translation of the Torah was entrusted are depicted as having had a good Greek education, and engage with the king in a symposium on ethics and politics reminiscent of those described by Plato, Xenophon, Athenaeus, Plutarch, and Macrobius. "Aristeas" (16) even goes so far as to identify Zeus with God. Social isolation is not a corollary of Judaism in his view. Among his contemporaries only the author of III Maccabees opposed the drive for citizenship of the Alexandrian Jews. Other Alexandrian Jewish writers attempted to show that the Greeks had borrowed from the Jews. Thus the Jewish Peripatetic philosopher Aristobulus, in the second century B.C.E., asserts (in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, 13:12, 1–16) that Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato were all acquainted with a translation of the Torah into Greek which had been made before the Persian conquest of Egypt (525 B.C.E.). The historian Eupolemus (c. 150 B.C.E.), perhaps a Palestinian, reports that Moses taught the alphabet to the Jews, who in turn passed it on to the Phoenicians, who transmitted it to the Greeks. The historian Artapanus (c. 100 B.C.E.) identifies Moses with the semilegendary Greek poet Musaeus and with Hermes-Thoth, and makes him the founder of navigation, architecture, strategy, and philosophy; Moses thus, far from hating mankind, as antisemites had charged, is a benefactor in the Hellenistic sense. Cleodemus (or Malchus), perhaps a Jewish historian, boasts that two of the sons of Abraham accompanied Heracles in his campaign against Libya and that Heracles married the daughter of one of them (Jos., Ant., 1:240–1). Among the most obvious instances of Greek influence on Jewish writers are philo the Elder's epic poem On Jerusalem (c. 100 B.C.E.) in Homeric hexameters, and that of his presumed contemporary theodotus , a Samaritan, on the rape of Dinah. Ezekiel the poet, at about the same time, composed tragedies, of which a portion of one, The Exodus, is extant, a veritable exercise in Euripidean trimeters. Among Apocryphal books the Wisdom of Ben Sira, dating from perhaps the second century B.C.E., uses a number of technical terms drawn from Platonic and Stoic philosophy; and such a view as the preexistence of the soul is apparently drawn from Plato. It and its presumed contemporary, IV maccabees , are reminiscent of Cynic-Stoic diatribes. Furthermore, the latter shows Greek influence in its presentation of the Torah as teaching the four cardinal virtues; the arguments are pervasively Stoic, and the form of the disputation is modeled on Plato's Gorgias. Of Philo it was said already by Jerome (De Viris Illustribus, 11), "Either Plato philonizes or Philo platonizes." That his Hellenization transcends mere language can be seen in his description of Moses' education, which is presumably held up as an ideal. His Egyptian instructors are said to have taught him arithmetic, geometry, harmonics, and philosophy (De Vita Mosis, 1:23–24), the very subjects which constitute the higher education of Plato's philosopher-king (Republic, 521c–535a), while his Greek teachers are said to have taught him the rest of the regular school course – presumably, grammar, rhetoric, and logic. In his profound debt to Platonism Philo is similar to the author of IV Maccabees, his presumed contemporary. Evidence of Greek influence on Jews of the middle and lower classes is largely dependent upon papyri and art objects that have been discovered. The papyri show many instances of Jews using common Hellenistic law in their business life. The documents are drawn up as Hellenistic documents in a government notary's office. The most obvious violations of halakhah are seen in the loan documents: of the 11 that have come down only two do not charge direct interest. One of them is in a highly fragmentary condition and the other is subject to the interest of 24% if not repaid within a year. The one divorce document follows non-Jewish formulas completely; and, in direct violation of halakhah, there is no statement that it is the husband who is divorcing the wife. Greek influence, as Goodenough has amply shown, is clearly to be seen in Hellenistic Jewish art and architecture. Thus Josephus tells that the courts and colonnades of the Temple built by Herod in Jerusalem were in the Greek style. Pagan and syncretistic art has been discovered in the synagogues of both Palestine and the Diaspora (especially at dura-europos in Mesopotamia), in direct violation of stringent biblical and rabbinic prohibitions. It cannot be argued that these motifs were merely decorative, since they were employed in a similar way by earlier and contemporary pagans and by contemporary and later Christians. Goodenough has concluded that these figures had meaning as symbols; that these symbols constituted a sub-rational lingua franca among Jews and non-Jews alike, just as the Greek language provided a rational bond among them; and that they represented a kind of allegorization through art, of the sort that Philo had attempted through philosophy. Additional evidence that some Jews adopted certain pagan elements can be seen in the charms (that is, verbal incantations) and apotropaic amulets (or the material objects themselves containing graphic symbols used to ward off evil) which Goodenough has collected. It is not surprising that contact with Hellenism should have produced deviations from Jewish observance. Philo (Post., 35–40) mentions the extreme allegorists, who insisted on interpreting the ceremonial laws as only a parable: these are undoubtedly forerunners of Pauline antinomianism. Others relaxed their Jewish observance in order to become citizens of Alexandria, an act that involved worship of the city gods. Actual apostasy was apparently rare, though there is mention of the case of Philo's nephew, tiberius julius alexander , as well as those of Dositheos and Helicon, all of whom pursued careers at the imperial court. Philo on one occasion (Spec., 3:29) does attack intermarriage, but the virulent antisemitism in Alexandria must have served as a deterrent. A more common reaction to the challenge of secularism was for Jews to cease religious observance except on the Day of Atonement (Philo, Spec. 1:186). Finally, there is some evidence that the one city where Christianity seems to have made real inroads in converting Jews was the one most deeply influenced by Hellenism, Alexandria. See also bible (in Hellenistic Judaism); hellenistic jewish literature ; cynics and cynicism . (Louis Harry Feldman) -Spiritual Resistance One aspect of the contact between Hellenism (and Rome) and Judaism deserves special treatment, the spiritual resistance against their rule. The struggle of the Jewish people against Greek and Roman domination was accompanied by a literature which encouraged and intensified resistance. After military defeat it became frequently the only weapon, an important instrument of hope and survival. A significant trend in recent scholarship considers much of Jewish literature between Alexander the Great and the conquest of Islam as spiritual or religious resistance. Resistance of this type was found among all the larger nations of the ancient Near East: the Babylonians and Egyptians under the Persians and the Egyptians and Persians under the Greeks who, in turn, developed a preponderantly cultural resistance under the Romans. The eastern pattern, however, was religious: foreign conquest destroys the sacred and just world order by which native king, cult, nature, and people function under the ruling god, a belief which was strengthened by the frequent misrule of the conqueror. A future cataclysmic reestablishment under a kingly redeemer must therefore right all wrongs. Meanwhile, a hereafter would punish or reward the individual. This apocalyptic scheme existed throughout the Near East: e.g., the Oracle of Hystaspes and the later Bahman Yasht (Persian), Sesostris and Ramses legends, Demotic Chronicle, Oracle of the Potter (Egyptian), Babylonian Chronicle, Ninos-Semiramis legend (Babylonian). Archaizing styles (e.g., script and literature, cf. coins , dead sea scrolls ), clerical organization, and proselytism were also aspects of resistance. Jewish spiritual resistance differed in some respects from this general pattern; here it was the weapon of a small people lacking the glory of an imperial past. It differed, further, in its intensity and perpetuity, its monotheism (though dangerously attenuated in the apocalypse) and, at times, its appeal to all classes from aristocracy to peasantry. It differed in a stronger stress on social justice inherited from biblical prophecy and the constant reference to past liberations in sacred scriptures. In his glorification of the Augustan restoration virgil may have combined classical concepts with eastern "Empire" apocalyptic ones (Eclogue 4; cf. Horace, Epode 16; Dan. 2 and 7). Oppression created obscure allusions (to Antiochus, Pompey, Nero, etc.) and secret code words in both apocalypse and Talmud (e.g., Edom or Babylon for Rome adopted from here by Christian apocalyptic writers (Rev. 16:5) and perhaps in the Dead Sea Scrolls ("Kittim" in the Habakkuk Pesher). Finally, Jewish resistance created an incomparably greater variety of literary sources and forms. Alongside the detailed apocalypse, with its violent cosmic vision, the psalm remained popular as a vehicle of resistance (Dan. 9:4–19; II Macc. 1:24–29; Psalms of Solomon, perhaps the heading of Ps. 30, et al.). Martyrology emerged, and many of its features were borrowed by emerging Christianity (II Macc.; IV Macc.; talmudic examples collected in Midrash Elleh Ezkerah, cf. H.A. Fischel, in JQR, 37 (1946/47), 265–80, 363–86). Alongside Diaspora historiographies, Palestinian works treated both biblical and contemporary history in the spirit of religious resistance (I Macc.; Jub.; Pseudo-Philo). Many talmudic dialogues ("Antoninus" versus Rabbi Hadrian and the Athenian wise men versus Joshua b. Hananiah), Alexander legends (Tam. 31b.ff., et al.), parables, and fables (Akiva, fox and fishes, Ber. 61b) have resistance aspects. Spiritual resistance is also manifest in the Hebrew examples of the erotic Greco-Oriental romance (Esth., Judith, Testament of Joseph, III Macc., Moses Romance). The talmudic sermon interpreted biblical passages, such as those of the unclean animals, as referring to Greece and Rome (Lev. R. 13, 5, et al.). The resistance aspects of liturgy, still little explored, may be considerable. Resistance is obvious and probably intentional in the symposiastic seder ritual (cf. S. Stein, in JJS, 8 (1957), 13–44). The resistant writer freely added materials from foreign literature. Judith, some details of the Greek Lindus chronicle and Daniel and the Sibylline Oracle (Oriental prophecies) are among prominent examples. Similarly, the Midrash seems to have been acquainted with the Hellenistic critique of Rome's materialism and cruelty (cf. Shab. 33b and Cicero, Academica 21, 137; Meg. 6b; Pes. 119b, et al., and Dio. 13, 16, 31, 41ff., 121) and its "scandalous" foundation legend (Shab. 56b; Esth. R. 3, 5 and Justin 28:2, 8ff.; Horace, Epode, 16). Occasionally, resistance consisted in quietism, and the talmudic sage resembled (and was acquainted with) the Greco-Roman philosopher-rhetor who also often had to choose between martyrdom and withdrawal. The rabbis created much halakhah of decisive resistance value, especially legislation against emperor worship, later used by Tertullian among others. Naturally, resistance never excluded periods of accommodation, objective insights into the virtues of Greece and Rome (Avot 3, 2; Av. Zar. 2b; 18a; Gen. R. 9 end, 16, 4, et al.), and useful borrowings. Strangely enough, much earlier non-Jewish scholarship condemns Jewish resistance, totally oblivious to the fact that without it there would be no Western civilization as we know it. (Henry Albert Fischel) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: W.W. Tarn, Hellenistic Civilization (19523); M. Hadas, Hellenistic Culture (1959); V.A. Tcherikover, Die hellenistischen Staedtegruendungen von Alexander dem Grossen bis auf die Roemerzeit (1927); idem, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (1959); M. Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus (1969); N. Bentwich, Hellenism (1919). HELLENISM AND THE JEWS: Schuerer, Gesch; Baron, Social2; Goodenough, Symbols; Tcherikover, Corpus; S. Lieberman, Greek in Jewish Palestine (1942); idem, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (19622); idem, in: Studies and Texts, 1 (1963), 123–41; CH Dodd, The Bible and the Greeks (1954); J.N. Sevenster, Do You Know Greek? (1968); Y. Baer, Yisrael ba-Ammim (1955); E. Bickermann, Der Gott der Makkabaeer (1937); R. Marcus, in: PAAJR, 16 (1946–47), 97–181; CH Gordon, in: HUCA, 26 (1955), 43–108; M. Smith, in: BJRL, 40 (1958), 473–512; L.H. Feldman, in: JSOS, 22 (1960), 215–37; H.A. Fischel, in: American Oriental Society Middle West Branch Semi-Centennial Volume (1969), 59–88. SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE AGAINST GREEK AND ROMAN RULE: M. Radin, The Jews among the Greeks and Romans (1915); M. Braun, History and Romance in Graeco-oriental Literature (1938); H.L. Ginsberg, Studies in Daniel (1948); S.K. Eddy, The King Is Dead (1961); V.A. Tcherikover, Ha-Yehudim ba-Olam ha-Yevani ve-ha-Romi (1961); M. Avi-Yonah, Bi-Ymei Roma u-Bizantiyyon (19522); H. Fuchs, Geistige Widerstand gegen Rom… (1938); R. Mac Mullen, Enemies of the Roman Order (1966); E. Bickerman, Four Strange Books of the Bible (1967), sections Daniel and Esther. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Bickermann, The Jews in the Greek Age (1988); J.J. Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem (2002); L.L. Grabbe, Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian, 2 vols. (1992); M. Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism, 2 vols. (1974); L.I. Levine, Judaism and Hellenism in Antiquity (1998); A. Momigliano, Alien Wisdom: The Limits of Hellenization (1975); E.S. Gruen, "Hellenistic Judaism," in: D. Biale (ed.), Cultures of the Jews (2002), idem, Diaspora: Jews amidst Greeks and Romans (2002).
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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Hellenism — may refer to: Hellenic studies Hellenistic civilization Hellenistic period, in Greek antiquity Hellenistic Greece Hellenization, the spread of Greek culture over foreign peoples Hellenistic philosophy in the Hellenistic period and late antiquity… … Wikipedia
Hellenism — Hel len*ism, n. [Gr. ?: cf. F. Hell[ e]nisme.] 1. A phrase or form of speech in accordance with genius and construction or idioms of the Greek language; a Grecism. Addison. [1913 Webster] 2. The type of character of the ancient Greeks, who aimed… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
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Hellenism — ► NOUN 1) the national character or culture of Greece, especially ancient Greece. 2) the study or imitation of ancient Greek culture. DERIVATIVES Hellenist noun Hellenize (also Hellenise) verb … English terms dictionary
Hellenism — [hel′ən iz΄əm] n. [Gr Hellēnismos, imitation of the Greeks < Hellēnizein, to speak Greek] 1. a Greek phrase, idiom, or custom 2. the character, thought, culture, or ethical system of ancient Greece 3. adoption of the Greek language, customs,… … English World dictionary
Hellenism — /hel euh niz euhm/, n. 1. ancient Greek culture or ideals. 2. the imitation or adoption of ancient Greek language, thought, customs, art, etc.: the Hellenism of Alexandrian Jews. 3. the characteristics of Greek culture, esp. after the time of… … Universalium
Hellenism — noun Date: 1609 1. Grecism 1 2. devotion to or imitation of ancient Greek thought, customs, or styles 3. Greek civilization especially as modified in the Hellenistic period by influences from southwestern Asia 4. a body of humanistic and… … New Collegiate Dictionary
Hellenism — noun a) The characteristics of ancient Greek culture, civilization, principles and ideals, including humanism, reason, the pursuit of knowledge and the arts, moderation and civic responsibility. b) The culture and civilization of the Hellenistic… … Wiktionary
Hellenism — HelÂ·lenÂ·ism || helÉªnÉªzÉ™m n. culture and ideals of the ancient Greeks … English contemporary dictionary
hellenism — n. Grecism, Greek idiom … New dictionary of synonyms