Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 February 2024



  • Martin Goodman


Synagogue (Gk. συναγωγή), the name used by Greek-speaking *Jews to describe both their communities in the diaspora and their meeting places for regular public recital and teaching of the Torah (the Law of Moses, as embodied especially in the Pentateuch).The belief of Jews that they have a duty to hear the law being read at least on occasion can be found already in Nehemiah 8: 1–8, composed probably in the 4th cent. bce, but the first evidence of Jews dedicating buildings to this or a similar institution is found in Ptolemaic Egypt (see Egypt, Ptolemaic), where Jewish inscriptions recording the erection of prayer-houses (proseuchai) have been found, dated to the 3rd cent. bce and after. *Josephus' use of the term proseuchē to describe the building in *Tiberias in *Galilee where sabbath meetings were held during the revolt against Rome in ce 67 (Vita 277) confirms the identity of the proseuchē with the synagogē.


  • Jewish Studies

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription