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Heritage Civilization and the Jews
About the Series Historical Timeline Resources Lesson Plans Episodes
3100 586 72 732 1492 1789 1925
The Shaping of Traditions
72 CE - 732

With a majority of Jews in exile, Jewish communities develop across the Mediterranean area. Several revolts, including the Bar Kokhba rebellion, attempt to overthrow Roman control of Judea. After the destruction of the Second Temple the focus of Jewish life shifts towards the synagogue, rabbis, and texts such as the Mishnah and Talmud. Jews continue to maintain their distinct identities under the Roman and Muslim empires.


Sanhedrin Moves

During the Roman period, the Sanhedrin acts as the supreme religious, political, and judicial court in Israel. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sanhedrin reconvenes in Jabneh, south of Jaffa.

c. 100

Four Gospels Completed

115 - 117

Jewish Revolts Against Roman Empire

Jewish revolts in Egypt, Cyprus, Mesopotamia, and North Africa against the Roman Empire fail.

132 - 135

Bar Kokhba Rebellion

Lead by Bar Kokhba and supported by important Rabbis, the rebellion inflicts serious damage against the Roman Empire, though ultimately fails. Many thousands of Jews are killed, including religious leaders such as Rabbi Akiva. Roman troops take over Jerusalem and expel the Jews. The center of Jewish life shifts to northern Israel, and the Sanhedrin moves to Galilee.


Mishnah Compiled

The Mishnah, the codification of the Oral Law (interpretation of the Torah), is compiled and edited by Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi. The first great published rabbinic work, the Mishnah is a compilation of law, discussions, and debates which deal with all aspects of Jewish life.


Jews Granted Citizenship by Roman Empire

219 - 259

Jewish Academies in Babylon

Babylon emerges as a center of Jewish life. A major academy (yeshiva) is established at Sura in 219 and at Pumbedita in 259.


Edict of Milan Legalizes Christianity in Roman Empire


First Legal Restrictions on Jews

Anti-Jewish laws develop in the Roman Empire. Laws prohibit intermarriage between Christians and Jews, and possession of Christian slaves by Jews.


Christian Construction in Jerusalem

Helena, mother of Emporer Constantine, begins Christian construction in Jerusalem.

c. 400

Jerusalem Talmud Completed

The Talmud is the interpretation and elaboration on the Mishnah. It includes aggadah (narratives) and halakhah (law).

c. 425

Sanhedrin Ceases to Function


City of Rome Falls; End of Western Empire

c. 500

Baylonian Talmud Completed

More extensive than the Jerusalem Talmud, the Babylonian Talmud is known for its intellectual sharpness and ingenuity. It is the authorative compilation of Oral Law.


Muhammad Flees from Mecca to Medina; Year One of Islam


Muslim Conquest of Israel

Under Muslim rule, Jews are permitted to return to Jerusalem.

c. 650

Majority of World Jewry Lives Under Muslim Rule


Muslims Conquest of Spain

Muslim invasion of Spain leads to Jewish settlements in newly conquered areas. Jews become involved in trade and administration in the new Muslim kingdom.

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