Kwartler Family Lecture – How did Helena of Adiabene Become Queen of Jerusalem?

Dec 5, 2023, 4:30 pm6:00 pm



Event Description

Join the Program in Judaic Studies for this year's Kwartler Family Lecture with Sarit Kattan Gribetz on Tuesday, December 5.

According to the first-century historian Josephus Flavius, Queen Helena of Adiabene traveled from northern Mesopotamia to Jerusalem because she loved the Jewish God and wished to worship in the temple. Helena became a beloved patron of Jerusalem, feeding its residents during famine and erecting monumental buildings, including a palace and a mausoleum. Late antique rabbinic and Christian writings continued to tell her story. But by the medieval period, she was remembered as queen of Jerusalem during the life of Jesus and the adjudicator between Judaism and Christianity. How did Helena of Adiabene become queen of Jerusalem – and why? This talk will explore the complex interplay of texts, landscape, and embodied practices in the transmission of traditions, the construction of memory, and interreligious relations and polemics.

Open to the public. Refreshments will be available.


More about Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz is Associate Professor of Classical Judaism at Fordham University and the Co-Director of Fordham’s Center for Jewish Studies. Her book Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism (Princeton UP, 2020) received a National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship and a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies. She is currently writing her next book, A Queen in Jerusalem: Helena of Adiabene through the Ages, under contract with Princeton University Press. She received her A.B. and Ph.D. from the Religion Department at Princeton University.

Program in Judaic Studies
Margo Bresnen