The Discovery of an Ancient Pool May Help Explain an Obscure Talmudic Term

Dec. 12 2018

The Talmud mentions people washing in the krona in the Galilean city of Tsipori (Sepphoris); the obscure term is thought to refer to a bathhouse of some sort. Now Israeli archaeologists believe they may have found the krona itself, as Rachel Bernstein writes:

The newly discovered pool, which measures nearly 70-by-48 feet and is more than eleven-feet deep, dates to the 3rd century CE. . . . A small bronze statue of a bull was also found at the site, dating to the Roman period. The ancient city, one of the prime examples of the Roman-designed cities preserved in the land of Israel, sprawls on top of a hill in the western lower Galilee, about three miles northwest of Nazareth. . . .

A smaller pool was also found to the west of the large one, dating to the 2nd century CE. During the excavation, workers [also] found coins dating to the late Islamic period (14th and 15th centuries CE) as well as ceramic vessels and other coins dating from the late Roman and Byzantine periods (3rd to 5th centuries CE). . . .

Tsipori was well known in the Roman and Byzantine period as a Jewish city and a hub for Jewish administration, particularly since the 3rd century CE. The Romans also built a number of roads that connected the city to other major cities in the region, including to the port of Acre and to Tiberias, making it a flourishing point of trade for the area [as well as an important Roman] military stronghold.

The city had served as the seat of the Sanhedrin during the time of Rabbi Judah the Prince, [ca. 200 CE], who compiled the Mishnah, [the earlier stratum of the Talmud].

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More about: Archaeology, Galilee, History & Ideas, Talmud


By Arresting Foreigners and Detaining Ships, Iran Reverts to Its Favorite Method of Diplomacy

July 23 2019

On Friday, Iranian naval vessels seized an oil tanker flying the British flag, along with its crew. Taking foreigners hostage has long been a preferred tactic of the Islamic Republic, as Bobby Ghosh writes:

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More about: Emmanuel Macron, France, Iran, United Kingdom