THEBES, city in E. central Greece. Benjamin of Tudela, the 12th-century traveler, found 2,000 Jews in Thebes. They worked in silk dyeing. The city was renowned throughout Greece for these artisans and for its weaving mills. Judah Al-Ḥarizi, who visited the city in 1218, mentions the poet, Michael b. Caleb, a native of Thebes. The community was led by five officials (ephori) and was famous for its scholars. Jewish tombstones of the 14th–16th centuries have been discovered there. In 1613 anti-Jewish agitation took place in the city. During the 17th century an agreement was reached not to wear silken clothes for seven years in order to prevent the jealousy of the gentiles. As a result of the Greek rebellions against the Turks during the 18th century, the Jewish community was destroyed.


Andréades, in: Economic History, Supplement, 3 (1934–37), 1–23.

[Simon Marcus]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.