Schwabe, Moshe

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SCHWABE, MOSHE (Max ; 1889–1956), classical scholar. Schwabe studied classical philology first in his native Halle, then in Berlin. His dissertation on Libanius, the fourth-century c.e. rhetorician of Antioch, presaged his interest in the Hellenistic East and in the Jewish history of that period. An ardent Zionist from his youth, Schwabe was among the founders of the first pioneer group (ḥalutzim) in Germany. After World War i he headed the department of schools in the Lithuanian Ministry of Jewish Affairs and was deeply involved in the Hebrew and Zionist movements of Lithuania. Settling in Jerusalem in 1925, Schwabe joined the Hebrew University faculty and established the department of classics. He served as dean of the faculty of humanities (1945–47), and later as rector (1950–52).

Schwabe's field of research was Greek-Jewish epigraphy in Ereẓ Israel, and he became the leading interpreter of Greek inscriptions, especially those found in *Bet Alfa, *Caesarea, and *Bet She'arim. His meticulous interpretations of Greco-Jewish inscriptions was an important contribution to the understanding of Ereẓ Israel history and of the Jewish role in the Hellenization of the East. Schwabe's research was published in leading Israeli and foreign periodicals.

He published reports on the excavations at Bet She'arim (together with N. Avigad); contributed to jubilee and memorial volumes, and to the Sefer ha-Yishuv; edited the Philo translation by J. Mann, with an introduction and notes (1931); and coedited the memorial volume for Y.H. Lewy (1949) and the Dinaburg (Dinur) jubilee volume (1949). He also edited the classics division of the Encyclopaedia Hebraica. The first volume of Ereẓ Yisrael, Meḥkarim bi-Ydi'ot ha-Areẓ… (1951) was dedicated to him, and includes a bibliography of his writings.

[Shalom Perlman]

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Schwabe, Moshe

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