The Limits of Judea

I posted about the shifting frontiers and definitions of the ancient lands described in the Bible. At various times, they were either much larger and more expansive than what we think of in terms of modern Palestine, while on other occasions they were considerably smaller. I think we tend to lose track of this when [Read More…]

Palestine, Judea, and the Wider World

I have been working on the Second Temple era of Jewish history, of what is sometimes called the Inter-Testamental period (roughly 300 BC – 50 AD). I am increasingly aware of the need to define the geographical scope of any such project, and the quite radical changes that through the centuries affected the limits of [Read More…]


The London Review of Books recently published a wonderful review by Robert Alter of Rachel Havrelock’s intriguing new book, River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line. I have not yet read the book itself, but I am a huge admirer of Alter’s, and if he praises a book this highly, it’s definitely worth my [Read More…]