This learned volume investigates Jewish economic life in a period in which the Jews did not play an obvious pivotal role in the Middle Byzantine Empire (610‑1204); moreover, few primary sources remain from these Jewish communities. Nevertheless, Holo brings much light to the Jewish community’s internal economic dynamics as well as the community’s role in shaping the larger society’s economic history. He does this by paying special attention to the material that is available — for example, from the relationships involved in their niche markets such as textiles and tanning. Jews may have been confined to special quarters and limited legally, forced to convert, and otherwise victimized by injustice and violence, but Holo also explains how much cooperation and coexistence with Christians remained characteristic of day-to-day urban life, how their role in the integrated economy was a function of their segregated economy, and vice versa. Bibliography, index.
Mark D. Nanos, Ph.D., University of Kansas, is the author of Mysteryof Romans, winner of the 1996 National Jewish Book Award, Charles H. RevsonAward in Jewish-Christian Relations.