Home Diaspora A Helpful Guide to Early Diasporas

A Helpful Guide to Early Diasporas

A Helpful Guide to Early DiasporasThe earliest instances of forced Jewish migration occurred in their relocation at the hands of some of the most recognized empires in history. Jewish migration patterns began with the capture of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in the 8th century B.C. However, some experts insist that the Diaspora began with the migration of the Jews subsequent to the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Persian king Cyrus liberated Jews temporarily, but there would be more empires to govern Jews to come.

During the Hellenistic Age, the kingdom of Judea was absorbed by the Alexandrian Empire, but even those members of the Jewish diaspora were profoundly influenced by Greek culture, and many voluntarily left Judea to reside in the empire’s boundaries. With the advances of the Roman Empire, on the other hand, the primary motivation for Jewish migration patterns was not personal desire or volition, but fear.

A number of Jews sought to fight against the brutal rule of the Romans, but upon the fall of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the city’s capture, Jews were sent out of Judea in large numbers and otherwise sold as slaves. In the centuries to come, migration patterns would persist across Europe, especially in Western Europe. It would be until after World War IIPalestine. Still, the history of the migration of the Jews is reflected in the use of the word diaspora even today. Anyone Jew living outside of modern Israel is part of the diaspora.