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The Chosen Few – How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492 - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492

Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein


In 70 CE, the Jews were an agrarian and illiterate people living mostly in the Land of Israel and Mesopotamia. By 1492, the Jewish people had become a small group of literate urbanites specializing in crafts, trade, moneylending, and medicine in hundreds of places across the Old World, from Seville to Mangalore. What caused this radical change? This book presents a new answer to this question by applying the lens of economic analysis to the key facts of fifteen formative centuries of Jewish history. The book offers a powerful new explanation of one of the most significant transformations in Je ... More

Keywords: Jews, Israel, Mesopotamia, Jewish people, crafts, trade, moneylending, medicine, Jewish history, religion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780691144870
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691144870.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Maristella Botticini, author
Bocconi University

Zvi Eckstein, author
Tel Aviv University