Jewellery Studies Past Issues - 2018/3

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2018/3. Trivia Talmudica: Towards the Identification of the Goldsmith’s Working Tools. Tziona Grossmark

Scholarly interest in ancient technologies as an integral part of daily life in early times has established its proper place within the historical disciplines. Already in some of the pioneering researches on Talmudic daily life, attention was drawn to questions of craftsmanship, early technologies, and the like.

One of the most important contributions was the realisation that Talmudic daily life has to be studied in the context of either Roman-Byzantine culture when dealing with Palestinian sources, or within the context of Sassanian Persia while engaging in the study of Babylonian sources.

This paper gives a survey of some of the rabbinic texts which allude to the goldsmiths’ tools. The article delves into both halakhic (legalistic texts) and aggadic (narrative texts) in an attempt to discover whether this literary evidence can help us to identify such tools, as well as illuminate and clarify how these tools were used by the goldsmiths.

Prof. Tziona Grossmark is the head of the department of Galilee Studies for M.A. degree at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, Tel Hai Academic College, Upper Galilee, Israel. Her field of expertise and teaching is the Jewish History of the Roman and Byzantine Periods.