An early history of compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism

Research output: Book/ReportBook

20 Scopus citations


In this book, Françoise Mirguet traces the appropriation and reinterpretation of pity by Greek-speaking Jewish communities of Late Antiquity. Pity and compassion, in this corpus, comprised a hybrid of Hebrew, Greek, and Roman constructions; depending on the texts, they were a spontaneous feeling, a practice, a virtue, or a precept of the Mosaic law. The requirement to feel for those who suffer sustained the identity of the Jewish minority, both creating continuity with its traditions and emulating dominant discourses. Mirguet’s book will be of interest to scholars of early Judaism and Christianity for its sensitivity to the role of feelings and imagination in the shaping of identity. An important contribution to the history of emotions, it explores the role of the emotional imagination within the context of Roman imperialism. It also contributes to understanding how compassion has come to be so highly valued in Western cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages269
ISBN (Electronic)9781316536520
ISBN (Print)9781107146266
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'An early history of compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this