Tractate Avot in the Context of the Graeco-Roman Near East
In third-century CE Palestine, the leading member of the rabbinic movement put together a highly popular wisdom treatise entitled Tractate Avot. Though Avot has inspired hundreds of commentaries, this book marks the first comprehensive effort to situate Avot within the context of the Graeco-Roman Near East. Following his novel interpretation of Avot, Amram Tropper relates the text to ancient Jewish literary paradigms as well as to relevant socio-political,
literary, and intellectual streams of the contemporary Near East. Through comparisons to ancient wisdom literature, the Second Sophistic, Greek and Christian historiography, contemporary collections of
sayings, and classical Roman jurisprudence, Tropper interprets Avot in light of the local Jewish context as well as the ambient cultural atmosphere of the contemporary Near East.