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Rutgers, Leonard

Rutgers, Leonard

Theme-Group Coordinator - NIAS-Lorentz Theme Group

Reconfiguring Diaspora

Project Description

I am writing a major monographic study that focuses on the rise and fall of the Jewish Diaspora in Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. This Diaspora can rightfully be called “the mother of all Diaspora’s.” It was very extensive in geographical terms. Culturally it was very dynamic. Yet, with the rise of Christianity, something changed in Jewish-non-Jewish relationships. It is this change that tells us much about how all parties involved in this process

related to it, and how this, in turn, influenced the course of European history. In order for the project to come to full fruition, I have come to realize that I need to also integrate the latest discoveries in the area of DNA and stable isotope research. My research project seeks to accomplish precisely that. By working alongside a geneticist and specialist in stable isotope analysis, whose projects intersect with mine, I hope to be able to break new ground where it concerns the integration of these new research technologies into a historiographical account that seeks to come to a new and contemporary understanding one of the great migrations and transformations in human history.

Selected Publications

L.V. Rutgers et al., “Radiocarbon Dating: Jewish Inspiration of Christian Catacombs.” Nature 436: 7049 (2005): 339

L.V. Rutgers et al., “Stable Isotope Data from the Early Christian Catacombs of Ancient Rome: New Insights into the Dietary Habits of Rome’s Early Christians.” Journal of Archaeological Science 36:5 (2009): 1127–1134.

The Jews in Late Ancient Rome. Evidence of Cultural Interaction in the Roman Diaspora (Leiden, 1995; 2000)

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