Ancient Synagogue

Khirbet Shema’ Synagogue, circa third- fourth centuries C.E. Meiron, Israel. (photo courtesy Eric Meyers)

After the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the local synagogue became its substitute. The Khirbet Shema synagogue in the Upper Galilee may date to the third and fourth centuries C. E. Synagogue architectural studies seem to indicate a diverse development of styles in Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages with many layouts and forms co-existing.  Early churches and synagogues were developing at the same time and often have similar layouts: a narthex and  nave leading to a chancel with a gospel or torah shrine set up on a platform.
Village in Galilee - synagogue

The historical period from the beginning of Western civilization to the start of the Middle Ages.

A gospel is an account that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

The historical period generally spanning from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. in Europe and characterized by decreases in populations and the degeneration of urban life.

The structure built in Jerusalem in 516 B.C.E. on the site of the Temple of Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians seventy years prior. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. by the Romans responding to Jewish rebellion.

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