The dating of the book of Esther remains a contested issue. Scholars who date the book to the Persian or Hellenistic period reflect attention not only to when the book was written, but also to the circumstances around its composition. Points that contribute to the dating of the text include an understanding of the Persian elements in the narrative, the historical setting in which it was composed, and the treatment of foreign domination in the book. A shift in focus from individual elements of the book to an integrated consideration of the book as a whole supports the argument in favor of a Hellenistic dating and a diaspora location for the origins of this book. Among the elements that contribute to this conclusion are the theological claims that underlie the Persian motifs, especially the rejection of proskynesis before a human ruler (Haman or Alexander), the book’s reversal structure, its treatment of Holy War, and the veiled speech of God. The negotiation of rule by foreign powers in light of the tension between Jewish law and the law of an external empire supports a pre-Hasmonean origin for the book.
Während in anderen Ländern ein systematischer Zugang zum Mittelmeer als Region institutionell und in der Wissenschaftstradition schon lange ausgebildet war, fehlte dies bislang im deutschsprachigen Raum. Das »Handbuch der Mediterranistik« leistet einen Beitrag zur Etablierung des Forschungsgebiets, indem unterschiedliche Disziplinen ihren jeweiligen Zugang zur systematischen Erschließung des Raumes vorstellen.