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Open AccessArticle

Art and Identity in Late Antique Synagogues of the Roman-Byzantine Diaspora

Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem 9370610, Israel
Arts 2019, 8(4), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040164
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 December 2019 / Published: 10 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
Late antiquity witnessed the increased construction of synagogues in the Jewish diaspora of the Roman-Byzantine world. Although not large in number, these synagogues were impressive and magnificent structures that were certainly conspicuous in the urban landscape, especially when constructed within a central location. This paper focuses on mosaic carpets discovered at these synagogues, to discern their distinguishing features through a comparative perspective. Two focal points are examined: on the one hand, local Roman-Byzantine mosaics in civic and religious buildings, and on the other hand, Jewish mosaics carpets in Palestinian synagogues. This comparison reveals several clear distinctions between the Jewish diasporic mosaic carpets and the other two groups of mosaics, that broaden our understanding of the unique nature of Jewish art in the Roman-Byzantine diaspora in particular, and of Jewish diasporic identity in late antiquity in general. View Full-Text
Keywords: mosaic carpets; Jewish diaspora; late antiquity; figural images; geometric patterns; Palestinian synagogues mosaic carpets; Jewish diaspora; late antiquity; figural images; geometric patterns; Palestinian synagogues
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Yuval-Hacham, N. Art and Identity in Late Antique Synagogues of the Roman-Byzantine Diaspora. Arts 2019, 8, 164.

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