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Within the same period falls the formation of the Jewish colony at Elephantine (Upper Egypt), which was for a while supplied with a temple of its own, and the faithfulness of which to Persia is witness by Judeo-Aramean papyri recently discovered.
Lastly, the institutions of Judaism which seem to have more particularly developed during the Persian domination are the Synagogues, with their educational and religious features, and the Scribes with their peculiar skill in the law.
A new period in the history of the Jews opens with the defeat of Darius III (335-330 B. This victory of the young conqueror of Persia undoubtedly brought the Palestinian Jews into direct contact with Greek civilization, whatever may be thought of the exact historical value of what Josephus relates (Antiq.
of the Jews, XI, viii, 3-5) concerning Alexander's personal visit to Jerusalem.
C.), it fell into the power of Syria; but after the battle of Ipsus in Phrygia (301 B. C., attracted the Jews to his new capital by granting them equal rights with his Greek subjects; and thence they gradually extended into the principal cities of Asia Minor.
After Esdras's death, which probably occurred not long before the end of the Persian rule over in Juda in 333 B.Alexander allowed them the free enjoyment of their religious and civil liberties, and rewarded those of them who went to war with him against Egypt and settled in Alexandria, a city of his foundation, by granting them equal civic rights with the Macedonians. C.), Palestine had an ample share of the troubles which arose out of the partition of his vast empire among his captains.Again, when the Samaritans rebelled against him, he added a part of Samaria to Judea (331 B. Placed between Syria and Egypt, it became the bone of contention between their respective rulers.C., little is distinctly known of the history of the Palestinian Jews.
It seems, however, that under the satraps of Coele-Syria, the action of the high-priest had a very considerable influence upon their religious and civil matters alike (cfr. Of the Jews", XI, vii), and that their community enjoyed a steadily increasing prosperity, hardly marred by the deportation of a certain number of Jews to distant regions like Hyrcania, which probably occurred under Artaxerxes III (358-337 B. During the Persian period, the Jews who had preferred to stay in Babylonia remained constantly in touch with the returned exiles, sending them, at times, material help, and formed a flourishing community deeply attached to the faith and to the traditions of their race.They at once organized a council of twelve elders, and this council, which was naturally presided over by Zorobabel, controlled and guided the internal affairs of the community, under the suzerainty of Persia.