The Rhetoric of Participation: Gender and Representation in Ancient Synagogues Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Duncan, Carrie
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • Twenty four inscriptions from the late ancient Mediterranean world commemorate individual Jewish women using titles such as Head of the Synagogue, Elder, Mother of the Synagogue, and other terms seemingly indicative of religious leadership or authority. This project explores the social locations of these inscriptions' production and display by considering issues such as geographical and chronological distribution, literacy and textuality, as well as visuality and non-verbal modes of communication. Whereas earlier studies asked whether these inscriptions prove that women acted as leaders in ancient synagogues, this study asks how inscriptions were read and seen by ancient audiences and what purposes the epigraphic representation of women served in ancient Jewish Diaspora communities. The question of women's roles in ancient synagogues, rather than an end in itself, opens a wider door to explorations of gender and representation in the ancient world.
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  • In Copyright
  • Magness, Jodi
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2012

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