The “Long History” of Nidūy–from Tannaitic Literature to Late Antiquity

Shimon Fogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nidūy is the primary method of excommunication used by the early rabbis in the first two centuries CE. This article suggests some new readings in the earliest texts discussing this practice and their reception in Talmudic writing from Late Antiquity. By understanding excommunication as an attempt to set social boundaries and noticing the differences between the early texts, one can try to see the texts about nidūy as evidence of the social structures of the texts’ creators, or at least their views about the proper social order. I shall argue that earlier rabbinic literature reflects unorganised and non-institutional rabbinic circles that were, like other groups in the broader Jewish society, in process of formation. In contrast, the Talmudic, later texts reflect an effort to form a more organised one with clearer hierarchies and social roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-33
Number of pages20
JournalAl-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Excommunication
  • Judaism
  • Late Antiquity
  • rabbinic
  • social history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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