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Jews in the Roman Army: Cultures in Conflict
Thursday, February 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
The relationship between the Jewish people and the Roman Empire was not a happy one – marked by three famous Jewish revolts. Due in part to this tension, as well as conflicts with sabbath observance, dietary restrictions, and other issues, there is a common wisdom that Jews never served in the Roman army or, if they did, that they were apostates. Contrary to such beliefs, this paper will argue that there were many Jewish men who served in the Roman army, finding ways to navigate their religious scruples within the structures of the military. How did these men understand their own Judaism and Jewishness?
Dr. Christopher B. Zeichmann (he/they) completed his Ph.D. at the Toronto School of Theology. His books include The Roman Army and the New Testament (2018) and Essential Essays for the Study of the Military in First Century Palestine (2019). He presently teaches at Ryerson University and Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto and serves as project manager of Brown University’s Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine project.