Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Romaniots (Bene Romania)
(1,238 words)

The term Romaniot stems from the self-identification of the Greek-speaking Orthodox Christian population of the Balkans as Rhomaioi (Romans), that is, descendants of the citizens of the Roman Empire, which continued in its Byzantine incarnation until 1453. As citizens of the empire, the Jews were also Rhomaioi (Greek) or Romani (Latin), hence Romaniot (Heb. romaniotim). As a minority in a hostile Christian environment, the Romaniot Jews were subject to restrictive laws and constant harassment by the Orthodox Church, which treated them as a foil to the triumphalism of Ch…

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Steven Bowman, “Romaniots (Bene Romania)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 30 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0018540>
First published online: 2010

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