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Thread: Could Western Jews (Ash. and Seph.) descend from Aegeans and Levantine admixture?

  1. #5411
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    but this brings us back to the question of where does the elevated North African come from?
    I suggested the Alexandrian Jews but the consensus seems to be that they were not North African enough in Admixture to influence.
    But what about Libyan Jews of Cyrenaica?
    Cyrenaican Jews, especially prior to the Kitos War in 115 AD, were quite a large community and retained constant contact with Judea. They even had their own synagogues in Jerusalem and Antioch. That might have been the source for the some of the North African admixture in Hellenistic Jewish communities (coupled with Alexandrian Jews).

    BTW do Ashkenazim & Western Jews share Ydna Subclades with Aegean Greeks,Cypriots?
    I remember you mentioned proselytizers and Godfearers?
    Iíve read sources that although Godfearer Helkenistic men did not abide by having Circumcision that they often instead had there sons circumcised instead allowing second generation godfearer become Jewish?
    I've recently came across a very interesting book, called The Cambridge History of Judaism: Volume 4, The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, by Steven T. Katz. Basically it focuses on Jewish diaspora in the period between 66 AD to 235 AD, and has the following map of 1st century Jewish communities which resembles the maps we've already seen about Jewish synagogues found throughout the Mediterranean basin. See how there's a large disproportionate shift towards the East Mediterranean region:



    And specific focus on Asia Minor (this time of known Jewish communities, not just synagogues):



    It had the following to say about Asia Minor Jewish diaspora:

    1.PNG
    2.PNG
    3.PNG
    4.PNG
    5.PNG

    Archaeological evidence of Hellenistic Godfearers have been found in synagogues inscriptions discovered in Aphrodisias, Panticapaeum, Tralles, Sardis, Venosa, Lorium (in Rome), Rhodes, Deliler (Philadelphia) and Miletus.

    As for Jewish male proselytes - given how well integrated Hellenistic Jews were in Greco-Roman society, I doubt Godfearers would often circumcise their sons, as this practice was considered disgusting and barbaric in the Greco-Roman culture, and men, especially young men, would train in the gymnasium as part of their education and daily life. Training there would be in full nude - meaning circumcision would be very visible.

    I've pondered in the past if maybe when Christianity came along, and offered complete abandon of circumcision as a requirement to convert, then maybe more loosen communities with more uncircumcised Godfearers (and sometimes uncircumcised Hellenistic Jewish men) would often be the ones who gladly converted, while more traditional families or communities that required full conversion and so had more women converts (as no circumcision is required) would remain Jewish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
    I'm just going to bump these four results from the analysis on page 530. In bold red is especially what struck me as most interesting.

    I think these results suggest even the most MENA shifted Western Jews can't 100% wholly descend from Aegean, Anatolian and Levantine migrants, whereas Cypriots practically can maybe?
    BAB25B75-1DCB-4A00-BADF-B604F28DD9C1.jpeg

    Interesting..
    Anyone have a take on this?
    Last edited by Claudio; 05-15-2019 at 05:04 PM.

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    According to Wikipedia, Cyrenaica was first settled by Berbers in ancient times and most inhabitants today are still thought to be of Berber origin.

    Unless residents of Alexandria were much more Berber than our current ancient Egyptian samples, Cyrenaica seems like the only plausible source of Berber ancestry in Western Jews from Hellenistic Northeast Africa. I do think some also entered later from Moroccan Jews via Spain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
    I'm just going to bump these four results from the analysis on page 530. In bold red is especially what struck me as most interesting.

    I think these results suggest even the most MENA shifted Western Jews can't 100% wholly descend from Aegean, Anatolian and Levantine migrants, whereas Cypriots practically can maybe?

    The Cypriot modeling here shows that they are roughly halfway between South Italians and Levantines, though leaning toward the former in many cases.

  7. #5415
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonahst View Post
    According to Wikipedia, Cyrenaica was first settled by Berbers in ancient times and most inhabitants today are still thought to be of Berber origin.

    Unless residents of Alexandria were much more Berber than our current ancient Egyptian samples, Cyrenaica seems like the only plausible source of Berber ancestry in Western Jews from Hellenistic Northeast Africa. I do think some also entered later from Moroccan Jews via Spain.
    Iíll note that at the root of the large Ashkenazi Y branch E-Y6923 is a Libyan Jew (not sure if Cyrenaican or Tripolitanian). There are a few possible scenarios, but a Late Classical era link between Jews in Libya and Western Europe seems likely. (The Y line itself is not North African in origin, unless youíre talking Mesolithic times.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hartaisarlag View Post
    Iíll note that at the root of the large Ashkenazi Y branch E-Y6923 is a Libyan Jew (not sure if Cyrenaican or Tripolitanian). There are a few possible scenarios, but a Late Classical era link between Jews in Libya and Western Europe seems likely. (The Y line itself is not North African in origin, unless youíre talking Mesolithic times.)
    Considering that Cyrenaican Jews are documented to arrive and settle among Hellenistic Jewish communities in Asia Minor and Syria (Antioch), as well Jerusalem, then there need not to be migration from Libya to Western Europe, but to the seed communities in the East Mediterranean which later on became ancestral to all modern Western Jews. This would explain why all of them have some amount of North African admixture (but Mizrahi Jews have none). If I can quote wikipedia on the matter:

    Ethnic, cultural, and social tensions within the Hellenistic Jewish world were partly overcome by the emergence of a new, typically Antiochian, Middle-Eastern Greek doctrine (doxa), either by

    1. established, autochthonous Hellenized Cilician-Western Syrian Jews (themselves descendants of Babylonian Jewish migrants who had long adopted various elements of Greek culture and civilization while retaining a generally conservative, strict attachment to Halakha),
    2. heathen, 'Classical' Greeks, Macedonian Greeks and Greco-Syrian gentiles, or
    3. the local, autochthonous descendants of Greek or Greco-Syrian converts to mainstream Judaism Ė known as proselytes (Greek: προσήλυτος/proselytes) and Greek-speaking Jews born of mixed marriages.

    Their efforts were probably facilitated by the arrival of a fourth wave of Greek-speaking newcomers to Cilicia/Southern Turkey and Northwestern Syria: Cypriot Jews and 'Cyrenian' (Libyan) Jewish migrants of non-Egyptian North African Jewish origin, as well as gentile Roman settlers from Italyómany of whom already spoke fluent Koine Greek and/or sent their children to Greek schools. Some scholars believe that, at the time, these Cypriot and Cyrenian North African Jewish migrants, such as Simon of Cyrene, were generally less affluent than the autochthonous Cilician-Syrian Jews and practiced a more 'liberal' form of Judaism, more propitious for the formation of a new canon:
    [North African] Cyrenian Jews were of sufficient importance in those days to have their name associated with a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). And when the persecution arose about Stephen [a Hellenized Syrian-Cilician Jew], some of these Jews of Cyrene who had been converted at Jerusalem, were scattered abroad and came with others to Antioch and [initially] preached the word "unto the Jews only" (Acts 11:19, 20 the King James Version), and one of them, Lucius, became a prophet in the early church there [the nascent Greek 'Orthodox' community of Antioch].
    ó International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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    Been contemplating a scenario today:
    “Most of the Jewish diaspora that came to Italy in the Roman period were Koine Greek Speaking Jews and did not speak Aramaic”.
    This got me thinking.
    Here is the Map below that we have posted numerous times,and has become synonymous with this thread:
    14573FBA-1654-462E-9408-60ABBA5CE719.jpeg
    I don’t know about the exact date of establishment of Jewish Communities in each of these Area but Alexandria’s community was established around 4th Century BC and Josephus Claims 120 thousand Jews migrated from Israel to Alexandria.
    Fast forward to 1st Century AD these communities no longer speak Aramaic they Speak koine Greek.
    From what we know about the history of proselytizm and mixed marriages,converts etc,etc..
    Alexandrian Jews would be Levantine mixed with Aegean Greek & Egyptian.
    Antioch jews would be Levantine mixed with Aegean Greek,Anatolian,Syrian.
    And the same process in Libya for Cyrenaican Jews and Cypriot Jews etc etc but all coming under the umbrella of Hellenistic Jewry and all interconnected with each other,all visiting Israel connected with the Hellenistic Jewish community of Israel and over time all these communities would have mixed with each other
    The Hellenist Jewish community in Israel would of also spoke koine Greek but the rest of the Jewish population spoke Aramaic:
    85246E9E-B06A-4081-A822-31207EA55433.jpeg
    Josephus himself:
    C516F1B4-21B2-45CB-8834-D5A3694058B0.jpeg
    As far as I know there are very few Jewish burials found in Roman Italy with Aramaic inscriptions (though there are some)
    But the fact that most are in Koine Greek indicates that the majority of the diaspora Came to Italy from the diaspora populations that we have highlighted already that existed outside of Israel from these Hellenistic Jewish communities which would mean these Jewish communities most definitely would have been admixed.
    I think we have to think of a picture of the First communities in Rome being a mix of Hellenistic Jews from Israel,Non Hellenistic Jews from Israel,Syrian Jews,Greek Jews,Alexandrian Jews,Cyrenaican Jews all mixed together.
    So essentially what we are seeing in various models is Levantine from the levant origin,Aegean and Anatolian from the Hellenistic diaspora and the elevated Berber North African from Hellenistic era admixture of Alexandrian and Cyrenaican Jewish communities.

    As for the question of did Western jews receive most of the Aegean like Admixture in the East Mediterranean? Probably yes!
    Did they receive it whilst still in Israel? Yes! & No!
    I’m sure no doubt that the Hellenistic Jewish koine Greek Speaking communities in Israel had noticeable Aegean Admixture,
    But I’m not so sure if the Aramaic speaking Jewish communities of Israel on a whole had noticeable Aegean Admixture.
    Last edited by Claudio; 05-16-2019 at 01:27 PM.

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    Best I could do for now of the Western Jews and relevant ancients and medievals.

    WesternJewsWithAncients2&1.pngWesternJewsWithAncients1&3.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
    Best I could do for now of the Western Jews and relevant ancients and medievals.

    WesternJewsWithAncients2&1.png
    ^ This one seems more accurate as it rightly shows the Outlying East Med Collegno samples overlap with Greeks. It also btw shows that Western Jews in this specific PCA plot closer to ancient Greeks than to medieval Italians.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Been contemplating a scenario today:
    “Most of the Jewish diaspora that came to Italy in the Roman period were Koine Greek Speaking Jews and did not speak Aramaic”.
    This got me thinking.
    Here is the Map below that we have posted numerous times,and has become synonymous with this thread:
    14573FBA-1654-462E-9408-60ABBA5CE719.jpeg
    I don’t know about the exact date of establishment of Jewish Communities in each of these Area but Alexandria’s community was established around 4th Century BC and Josephus Claims 120 thousand Jews migrated from Israel to Alexandria.
    Fast forward to 1st Century AD these communities no longer speak Aramaic they Speak koine Greek.
    From what we know about the history of proselytizm and mixed marriages,converts etc,etc..
    Alexandrian Jews would be Levantine mixed with Aegean Greek & Egyptian.
    Antioch jews would be Levantine mixed with Aegean Greek,Anatolian,Syrian.
    And the same process in Libya for Cyrenaican Jews and Cypriot Jews etc etc but all coming under the umbrella of Hellenistic Jewry and all interconnected with each other,all visiting Israel connected with the Hellenistic Jewish community of Israel and over time all these communities would have mixed with each other
    The Hellenist Jewish community in Israel would of also spoke koine Greek but the rest of the Jewish population spoke Aramaic:
    85246E9E-B06A-4081-A822-31207EA55433.jpeg
    Josephus himself:
    C516F1B4-21B2-45CB-8834-D5A3694058B0.jpeg
    As far as I know there are very few Jewish burials found in Roman Italy with Aramaic inscriptions (though there are some)
    But the fact that most are in Koine Greek indicates that the majority of the diaspora Came to Italy from the diaspora populations that we have highlighted already that existed outside of Israel from these Hellenistic Jewish communities which would mean these Jewish communities most definitely would have been admixed.
    I think we have to think of a picture of the First communities in Rome being a mix of Hellenistic Jews from Israel,Non Hellenistic Jews from Israel,Syrian Jews,Greek Jews,Alexandrian Jews,Cyrenaican Jews all mixed together.
    So essentially what we are seeing in various models is Levantine from the levant origin,Aegean and Anatolian from the Hellenistic diaspora and the elevated Berber North African from Hellenistic era admixture of Alexandrian and Cyrenaican Jewish communities.

    As for the question of did Western jews receive most of the Aegean like Admixture in the East Mediterranean? Probably yes!
    Did they receive it whilst still in Israel? Yes! & No!
    I’m sure no doubt that the Hellenistic Jewish koine Greek Speaking communities in Israel had noticeable Aegean Admixture,
    But I’m not so sure if the Aramaic speaking Jewish communities of Israel on a whole had noticeable Aegean Admixture.
    I mostly agree with this. However, I claim Hellenistic Jews in Roman-era provinces of Judea, Galilee and Decapolis, especially urban dwellers, should have also already be pretty mixed - meaning even if Jews wouldn't have left the Levant, that admixture would arrive as a result of Hellenism. It might have been much lower level, but still. The fact that Musta'arabi Syrian Jews plot as Cypriots rather than as Samaritans, is a pretty strong case.



    As for how much admixture was in the Aramaic-speaking non-Hellenized Levantine Judean population - it all depends on the results well see in Philistines. I have a hunch we'll be surprised. I might be wrong, but the fact that they've disappeared as a separated people right at the same time the ancestors of Babylonian Jews (and ergo the ancestors of Mizrahi Jews) were exiled, makes me believe they might have also contributed to the Aegean-like admixture when the Hasmoneans began converting non-Jewish populations adjacent to Judea.
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