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On continuity: From the Hellenistic Jews to the Romaniotim of Modern Greece

Strand Campus, London

11 Feb 3 Dec Niehoff Part of Modern Greek Studies Seminar Series

The historical role of the Hellenistic Jews as a touchstone of European and Near Eastern intellectual history stands beyond doubt. To take just one example, all the authors of the New Testament were Jews who spoke and wrote Greek. The question addressed. by this talk is: What was the history of these Jews after the parting of the ways, between Christianity and Judaism? Did they simply disappear while facing the rabbinic movement? Can they be considered as a Jewish branch in its own right, the Byzantine Jews? And how can our knowledge from Byzantine sources be combined with the situation in Modern Greece before the Shoah? One answer is the evidence for the existence of a Greek literature in Hebrew characters since the Byzantine period, in other words: the Judaeo-Greek literature. The talk will end with examples of this tradition. 

Jannis (Johannes) Niehoff- Panagiotidis (Freie Universität, Berlin) was born in Istanbul, to Dutch parents. After receiving a Classical education, he enrolled at the University of Tübingen for Classics, Linguistics and Oriental Studies. After his MA on Iranian personal names (1986), he completed his PhD on the development of the Greek language from Roman to Modern Greek times. His "Habilitation" was on the Greek and Old Spanish versions of Kalila wa-Dimna (1998). He became professor at CEU in Budapest 2004, spent one yearat the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2006/2007, and since 2007 has held the Chair in Byzantine Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Currently, with an international team he is editing the Eshkol ha  - Kofer, a Karaite encyclopaedia of Judaism from Byzantium (to be published this year by Brill).

Part of the Modern Greek Studies seminar series.

This event is open to all and free to attend. No booking is required.

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