Seth Schwartz

May 2016

This course is not for the feint of heart, but nevertheless it is a masterpiece that slowly unfolds. Seth Schwartz is one of the most brilliant, if not the most brilliant professor I have had at Columbia. His breadth of knowledge is astounding - in history, Classics, religion, and many other related fields. In this course, we studied the history of the Jewish people during the 3rd-7th century Roman Empire and surrounding areas. This class was a seminar and therefore involved lengthy discussions on the reading in several thematic topics, including the rise of the synagogue, the Jewish Himyarite Kingdom in Arabia, and the Augustinian doctrine. We payed very close attention to rather esoteric primary sources, which I would never had heard of had I not taken this course. Overall, this course was eyeopening and helped me get a sense of the changing relationship between the Jews and the early Christian state structure in Late Antiquity.