A Rare Discovery of a Remnant of the Greek Occupation of the Land of Israel

Around 330 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered the Levant, inaugurating a period of Greek rule that lasted until the Maccabees gained independence two centuries later. Israeli archaeologist recently found a tomb from this period not far from Jerusalem, containing a well-preserved bronze mirror. Gavriel Fiske writes:

The tomb, discovered in a cave on a rocky slope near Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, dates from the 4th or 3rd century BCE. The small hand “box mirror,” one of 63 of its type known to have survived, is what led researchers to the conclusion that the remains were probably that of a hetaira, as courtesans were known in Greek.

“Bronze mirrors like the one that was found were considered an expensive luxury item, and they could come into the possession of Greek women in two ways: as part of their dowry ahead of a wedding, or as a gift given by men to their hetairai,” the researchers noted.

The courtesan’s remains—charred human bones—were identified as those of a woman and, according to Guy Stiebel of the Department of Archaeology and the Ancient Near East at Tel Aviv University, are the “earliest evidence in Israel of cremation in the Hellenistic period.”

The most probable conclusion is that the tomb was that of a hetaira who accompanied a high official during Alexander the Great’s campaigns or the subsequent wars of succession, died during travel, and was buried along the roadside. Married women in the ancient Hellenistic world rarely left their homes in Greece or accompanied their husbands on military adventures.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Greece, Ancient Israel, Archaeology

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University