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prophets and killers of the Lord',3 things began to change. Throughout the fourth century, while Christianity moved fast from prohibition to toleration to preferred status to state religion, the Jews saw a series of grave infringements upon their rights and social status, limiting in drastic ways their integration into society. Judaism was now tolerated, at best, only because the Jews cherished the Old Testament (which, Christians said, they misread in some important ways). After 380, when Theodosius I published in Thessalonica his edict Cunctos populos, making Christianity into the state religion, the Jews became for all practical purposes second-class citizens, although they were not demoted from the status of cives romani. In a sense, they had become 'dhimmis' avant la lettre. (In 388, Theodosius prohibited marriage between Christians and Jews).4 Such a modicum oftoleration, it should be noted, was offered neither to pagans nor to heretics. This process of segregation, to be sure, was not a straight line. John Chrysostom's eight 'sermons against the Jews' of 386 were actually written not against the Jews, but as a direct rebuke of the Judaising tendencies amid Antiochene Christians.5 To follow Harnack, the Jew appears here as a rhetorical device: it is the Jew as the Christian feared him. Indeed, the violence of these sermons shows the extent to which Judaism had retained its power of attraction at the end of the fourth century. It also echoes the fear this attraction could generate, twenty years after the failure of Julian's attempt at rebuilding the Jerusalem Temple. Chrysostom's invectives are usually perceived as reflecting the last stage, as it were, ofJudaism's attractive powers. One shouldperhaps also question this view, and wonder whether the clear legal and social worsening of the Jews' status necessarily meant the disappearance of the cultural interaction between Jews and Christians. The following pages will seek to review some of the ways in which Jews and Christians interacted under the Christianised Roman empire, as well as under the Sassanid empire, where both were religious minorities.

While the two communities were of course incommensurable in their numbers and legal status in the early Byzantine empire, their common biblical heritage entailed a religious koine of sorts and continuous exchanges that went well beyond religious polemics.6 The period under study saw the formation and crystallisation of both Byzantine and rabbinic theology, and would prove crucial for the future of both religions. Yet studying primarily theology overlooks a number of historical complexities. Many of the cultural dialectics of

3 Eusebius, Life of Constantine 4.27.

4 On the laws pertaining to the Jews, see A. Linder, The Jews in Roman imperial legislation.

5 See R. L. Wilken, John Chrysostom and the Jews, chs. 3 and 4.

6 See G. G. Stroumsa, 'Religious contacts in Byzantine Palestine'.

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