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According to historians, when Caesar was assassinated by Brutus in 44 B. E., Roman Jews spent day and night at Caesar’s tomb, weeping over his death. Twice in the Classic period, Jews were exiled from Rome, in 19 C. It is not certain, though, that these measures were fully carried out or that the period of exile lasted a long time.
A majority of the community were shopkeepers, craftsman and peddlers, but other Jews became poets, physicians and actors.Jews were forced to pay an annual stipend to pay the salaries of the Catholic officials who supervised the Ghetto Finance Administration and the Jewish Community Organization; a stipend to pay for Christian missionaries who proselytized to the Jews and a yearly sum to the Cloister of the Converted.In return, the state helped with welfare work, but gave no money toward education or caring for the sick.Some of the relevant decrees in these codes include prohibitions against making proselytes, intermarriage, owning slaves (slave labor was very common and this prohibition severely restricted the economic life of the Jews), holding any esteemed position in the Roman state, building new synagogues and testifying against Orthodox Christians in court.During this period there was a revival of Hebrew studies in Rome, centered around the local yeshiva, Metivta de Mata Romi.- The Classic Period - The Christian Empire - The Middle Ages - The Renaissance - The Jewish Ghetto - Late 19th-Early 20th Century - Rome During World War II - Rome Today - Jewish Tourist Sites - Former Jewish Cemetery of Rome - Jewish Museum of Rome The Jewish community in Rome is known to be the oldest Jewish community in Europe and also one the oldest continuous Jewish settlements in the world, dating back to 161 B. Other delegations were sent by the Hasmonean rulers in 150 and 139 B. Julius Caesar, for example, was known to be a friend of the Jews; he allowed them to settle anywhere in the Roman Empire. The second exile occurred because of disturbances caused by the rise of Christianity.
when Jason ben Eleazar and Eupolemus ben Johanan came as envoys of Judah Maccabee. While the treatment of Jews by the Romans in Palestine was often harsh, relations with the rulers in Rome were generally much better. The first exile took place due to the defrauding of an aristocratic Roman woman Fulvia, who had been attracted to Judaism.
More than 4,700 Jews lived in the seven-acre Roman Jewish ghetto that was built in the Travestere section of the city (which still remains a Jewish neighborhood to this day) If any Jews wanted to rent houses or businesses outside the ghetto boundaries, permission was needed from the Cardinal Vicar.
Jews could not own any property outside the ghetto.
Satiric poets of the time, such as Juvenal and Martial, depicted the raucous activities of the Jewish peddlers and beggars in their poetry.
Evidence has been found that twelve synagogues were functioning during this period (although not at the same time).
A number of well-known scholars, Rabbi Kalonymus b. Jehil (who wrote a great talmudic dictionary, the ), contributed to Jewish learning and development.