Ancient Judaism 101

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Christianity, emerging after the turn of the millennium, operated first as a Jewish sect (in a time of active Jewish sectarianism) and ultimately as a separate religion. Relations were tense between adherents of Judaism and Christianity in the ancient world. Despite Mohammed's initial interest in converting the Jews, Islam, which emerged in the seventh century CE, eventually tolerated Jews as a minority.

Social History

From the third century BCE on, the majority of Jews lived outside ancient Palestine, many in large cities throughout the Roman Empire. Ancient Jewish society in the land of Israel was chiefly agrarian. Men worked in various aspects of farming, artisanry and trade, while women organized and maintained the home. Formal education was available for boys beginning in the first century CE.

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