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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54873
Doc. No:TL24827
Call number:‭3383517‬
Main Entry:Chad Scott Spigel
Title & Author:Quantifying the liturgical use of ancient synagogues: Occupancy capacities and their implications for the understanding of early JudaismChad Scott Spigel
College:Duke University
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:485-n/a
Abstract:Did most Jews living in Palestine in the first through fifth centuries C.E. worship regularly in synagogues? Is there a method that can be used to answer this question? In this dissertation I suggest that there is a method that can be used to help answer the first question: the method is to determine the occupancy capacities of particular synagogue buildings and to analyze them within their local context. The problem is that currently there is no agreed upon methodology for calculating the occupancy capacities of ancient synagogue buildings when they were used for liturgical purposes. In light of this situation, this dissertation has three primary goals: (1) to create a methodology for determining the occupancy capacities of ancient synagogue buildings when they were used for liturgical purposes; (2) to apply this newly created methodology to particular synagogue buildings in Palestine from the first through fifth centuries C.E.; and (3) to use the occupancy capacities calculated for each building in conjunction with population estimates to determine if most Jews living in the area surrounding the synagogue could have participated in synagogue worship on a regular basis. Since this dissertation focuses on particular synagogue buildings, there is not a single answer to the question of synagogue attendance. Instead, the case studies in Part II suggest that in some places it is feasible that most Jews could have worshipped regularly in synagogues, while in other places it is very unlikely that this was the case. One pattern that emerges in light of the occupancy capacity data is that Jews living in rural settings are more likely to have been able to participate in regular synagogue worship, while in cities it is unlikely that enough synagogue space existed for the majority of Jews to participate in regular synagogue worship. Still, this pattern is not a rule: there are also examples of rural villages where it is unlikely that most of the Jews could have worshipped in synagogues on a regular basis. In addition to our primary question, this dissertation also explores other information that can be determined through the use of occupancy capacity data. This includes information about the role of women in synagogue worship, the effects of synagogue liturgies and furnishings on the occupancy capacities of synagogue buildings, the reliability of rabbinic sources that refer to the number of synagogues in particular cities, the role of house-synagogues, and more.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Ancient synagogues; Jewish history; Jewish worship; Archaeology; Palestine in Roman period; Middle East history; Liturgical use; Synagogues; Judaism; Religious history; Middle Eastern history; Judaic studies; Jews; Palestinians; Ancient civilizations; Palestine-pre-1948; 0751:Judaic studies; 0324:Archaeology; 0320:Religious history; 0333:Middle Eastern history
Added Entry:E. M. Meyers
Added Entry:Duke University