From 226 C.E. to 640 C.E., the Sasanian Empire occupied the territories now divided between Iran and Iraq and for brief periods between Syria and Armenia. One of the most significant material remnants of the large communities of Jews living within the empire are seals, almost all of which are signets whose styles, inscriptions, and sites of discovery provide important clues about the size and status of Jewish populations throughout the empire. Seals show how Jews within the empire adopted or resisted certain Sasanian symbols and sustained traditional Jewish references such as the lulab and etrog. This volume presents fifty-seven Jewish seals from the Sasanian Empire, as well as comparative Zoroastrian and Christian seals. The text identifies their provenance (if known), translates their inscriptions, and organizes them by their depiction or reference.
Daniel M. Friedenberg is the president of John-Platt Enterprises. A recipient of the Heath Literary Award for Distinguished Numismatic Achievement, he is the former curator of coins and medals for the Jewish Museum, New York, and his books include Great Jewish Portraits in Metal and Medieval Jewish Seals from Europe.