The Travels of the Rabbis and the Rabbinic Horizons of the Inhabited World

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This essay charts and suggests a possible explanation for a shift in the rabbinic perception of the inhabited world. Apparently until the Bar-Kokhba revolt rabbis traveled both to the East and the West, but after the revolt their geographical focus became more restricted. An examination of reported rabbinic travels, as compared to Second Temple ‘maps, ’ and rabbinic interpretations of the biblical ‘Table of Nations’ indicates a significant lessening of rabbinic interest in the West. This narrowing may be connected to rabbinic Judaism’s general retreat from, and diminished concern and connections with the Western world, as compared with their political activity in the earlier Hellenistic-Jewish period.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaps and Travel in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period
Subtitle of host publicationKnowledge, Imagination, and Visual Culture
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783110588774
ISBN (Print)9783110587333
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • mental map
  • rabbinic journeys
  • rabbinic literature
  • ‘Table of Nations’

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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