University of Pennsylvania
Honorary Distinguished Fellowship

Research Topic

Babylonian Jewish Law and Society beyond Institutionalization


Simcha Gross is assistant professor of Ancient Rabbinics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a specialist in ancient and early medieval Jewish history, with a particular focus on the contextual study of the rabbis and rabbinic literature in their Persian and Islamic contexts. He also specializes in the study of Syriac Christianity.

Gross received his PhD at Yale University. He has previously taught at the University of California, Irvine and at Stanford University.

Selected publications

  • The History of the 'Slave of Christ': From Jewish Child to Christian Martyr (Gorgias Press, 2016)
  • Edited, Jews and Syriac Christians: Intersections across the First Millennium (Mohr Siebeck, 2020)



Focusing on the broad contexts in which Jewish (and Israelite) law was developed by and for Jews, and in which it operated, treating law as a necessary component for understanding the broader dynamics of culture, history, governance, and economics of each place and period.