Diaspora

(Greek: exile)

The name given to the dispersion of countless Jews, scattered through pagan lands. They may be divided into two classes: those who lived east of the Euphrates, in Babylonia, Persia, etc., and formed the Aramaic Dispersion; those in Egypt, Asia Minor, the Mediterranean Islands, and the European Continent, who were called the Dispersion of the Greeks (2 Macabees 1; John 7). They kept aloof from pagan rites and practises; but in commercial and social life mixed more freely with non-Jews than their Palestinian brethren approved. With the latter they kept in close contact; made frequent, if not annual, visits to Jerusalem; and regularly sent their tribute to the Temple.

New Catholic Dictionary

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