Dispersion - Encyclopedia




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DISPERSION (from Lat. dispergere, to scatter), the act or process of separation and distribution. Apart from the technical use of the term, especially in optics (see below), the expression particularly applied to the settlements of Jews in foreign countries outside Palestine. These were either voluntary, for purposes of trade and commerce, or the results of conquest, such as the captivities of Assyria and Babylonia. The word diaspora (Gr. &aoroper) is also used of these scattered communities, but s usually confined to the dispersion among the Hellenic and Roman peoples, or to the body of Christian Jews outside Palestine (see JEws).

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