Jewish history  

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Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism as a religion first appears in Greek records during the Hellenistic period (323–31 BCE) and the earliest mention of Israel is inscribed on the Merneptah Stele dated 1213–1203 BCE, religious literature tells the story of Israelites going back at least as far as c. 1500 BCE. The Jewish diaspora began with the Assyrian captivity and continued on a much larger scale with the Babylonian captivity. Jews were also widespread throughout the Roman Empire, and this carried on to a lesser extent in the period of Byzantine rule in the central and eastern Mediterranean. In 638 CE the Byzantine Empire lost control of the Levant. The Arab Islamic Empire under Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem and the lands of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. The Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain coincided with the Middle Ages in Europe, a period of Muslim rule throughout much of the Iberian Peninsula. During that time, Jews were generally accepted in society and Jewish religious, cultural, and economic life blossomed. Between the 12th and 15th centuries, Ashkenazi Jews experienced extreme persecution in Central Europe, which prompted their massive emigration to Poland.

Jewish history by country or region

For historical and contemporary Jewish populations by country, see Jews by country.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jewish history" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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