Gamaliel Ben-jehudah

Gamaliel Ben-Jehudah (surnamed Bathraah, i.e., the Last) terminated the long dynasty of the house of Hillel. Though styled patriarch, yet his power was hardly more than nominal. The Jewish population of Palestine had lost their preponderant influence by dispersion; and the stronger the foreign synagogues became, the less were they disposed to appeal to the patriarchal see, though its existence was still regarded with a certain complacency. But the thing itself was now to end. The emperor Honorius had inhibited the transfer of contributions from the West to the patriarchal coffers at Tiberias; and Gamaliel himself, under the charge of contumacy, in the erection of synagogues contrary to the imperial law, by an edict of Theodosius was stripped of his secular title of "praefect" in the year 415 (Cod. Theod. 6:22). It may be that this is the same Gamaliel'whom Jerome mentions (Epist. 57, § 3) as an enemy of Hesychius. Gamaliel died without an heir, and thus, with his death, this shadow of dignity, which he retained in Jewish circles, entirely passed away. See Etheridge, Introduction to Jewish Literature, page 139 sq.; Smith, Dict. of Christ. Biog. s.v. (B.P.)

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