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Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine
1200 BCE to 200 CE

$37.00 ( ) USD

  • Author: T. M. Lemos, Huron University College, University of Western Ontario
  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511740749

$ 37.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • In Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine, T. M. Lemos traces changes in the marriage customs of ancient Palestine over the course of several hundred years. The most important of these changes was a shift in emphasis from bridewealth to dowry, the latter of which clearly predominated in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Whereas previous scholarship has often attributed these shifts to the influence of foreign groups, Lemos connects them instead with a transformation that occurred in Palestine’s social structure during the very same period. In the early Iron Age, Israel was a kinship-based society with a subsistence economy, but as the centuries passed, it became increasingly complex and developed marked divisions between rich and poor. At the same time, the importance of its kinship groups waned greatly. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that draws heavily on anthropological research, cultural theory, archaeological evidence, and historical-critical methods, Lemos posits that shifts in marriage customs were directly related to these wider social changes.

    • Demonstrates that marriage customs are closely related to the structure of a society
    • Presents an alternative model for understanding social change in ancient cultures
    • Draws upon anthropological research, cultural theory, archaeological evidence, and historical-critical approaches
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This study will have lasting value for not only its conclusions but also the model of interdisciplinary study that it provides. It is of major importance both for its conclusions and for its model of interdisciplinary methodology. The book is well written and will stimulate thinking about the subject at hand. It is both instructive and persuasive. Undoubtedly, it will spark further research into the social world of the family in ancient Israel and the economics of marriage, as well as a better understanding of the correlation between bridewealth and dowry societies and incidences of monogamy, polygyny, and women’s social status. -- Biblical Interpretation Naomi Steinberg, DePaul University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511740749
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Biblical evidence for marriage gifts
    2. Postexilic evidence for marriage gifts
    3. Anthropology and the study of marriage gifts
    4. The social structure of ancient Israel from Iron I to the Babylonian exile
    5. The social structure of Palestine in the Second Temple Period
    Final analysis and conclusions
    Appendix: marriage gifts among Judeans living in Babylonia during the 6th century BCE.

  • Author

    T. M. Lemos, Huron University College, University of Western Ontario
    T. M. Lemos is a Biblical scholar and historian whose interests are broadly social and cultural. In addition to marriage and social change, she has written on such topics as the connection between shame and violence, on reconceiving biblical purity customs, and on the work of Mary Douglas. Her next large scale research project will address changing conceptions of masculinity in ancient Palestine. She hopes to publish widely on a range of Biblical and cross-cultural subjects over the course of her career.

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