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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine: 1200 BCE to 200 CE
Lemos, T. M.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010 pp. xii + 296. $80.00


Description: In Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine, T. M. Lemos traces changes in the marriage customs of ancient Palestine over the course of several hundred years. The most important of these changes was a shift in emphasis from bridewealth to dowry, the latter of which clearly predominated in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Whereas previous scholarship has often attributed these shifts to the influence of foreign groups, Lemos connects them instead with a transformation that occurred in Palestine's social structure during the very same period. In the early Iron Age, Israel was a kinship-based society with a subsistence economy, but as the centuries passed, it became increasingly complex and developed marked divisions between rich and poor. At the same time, the importance of its kinship groups waned greatly. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that draws heavily on anthropological research, cultural theory, archaeological evidence, and historical-critical methods, Lemos posits that shifts in marriage customs were directly related to these wider social changes.

Subjects: Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Anselm C. Hagedorn
Published 3/27/2011
Citation: Anselm C. Hagedorn, review of T. M. Lemos, Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine: 1200 BCE to 200 CE, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


Review by Marianne Blickenstaff
Published 9/10/2011
Citation: Marianne Blickenstaff, review of T. M. Lemos, Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine: 1200 BCE to 200 CE, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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