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It says that the tax was only levied in Egypt until 62, but elsewhere, it was levied past that. Either it's contradictory, or it's confusing. Either way, someone who has done some research on this should revise it. Especially since this article is on the Main Page. --Jickyincognito 11:30, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any contradiction here. Documentary evidence confirms that the tax was levied in Egypt on 62-year-ols people, but it was supposed to be levied on all regardless of age. Documentary evidence is never complete. BeitOr 11:59, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
It seems this tax maybe instituted because they anyhow kept paying.. slightly similar to freezing hamas accounts. So it is worth mentioning whether the shekel tax was payed to the judaic temple outside jerusalem, before the destruction? And it is also rather fascinating whether 'veiled' jews, used to pay that tax. It wouldn't have been a last, this method of stopping the cashflow of (so perceived) violent movements220.127.116.11 00:52, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
About Domitian levying the tax from proselytes, and the success of Jewish proselytism in Rome: there is a big argument in the academic community regarding this. L.A. Thompson in “Domitian and the Jewish Tax”, Historia, Vol. 31 (1982), pp. 329-342, argues forcefully that since under Domitian Roman converts to Judaism were punished by property confiscation and/or exile, it is impossible to surmise that they also payed a tax, which in the context of Roman society would amount to a sort of permit for their way of life. Also, Martin Goodman in “Nerva, the Fiscus Judaicus and Jewish Identity”, Journal of Roman Studies. Vol. 79 (1989), pp.40-44, and in “The Fiscus Iudaicus and Gentile Attitudes to Judaism in Flavian Rome”, in Jonathan Edmondson, Steve Mason & James Rives (eds.) Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome. (Oxford, 2005), pp. 167-177, argues the same way, going against Feldman. Goodman also mentions that under the Flavians, anti-Jewish propogande was a major feature of the regime, and that it is unlikely that there were many converts during this particular epoch. I am quite new to this business, so I'm not sure how to incorporate this into the article itself. Urish 23:50 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The tax was imposed after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE in place of the levy payable by Jews towards the upkeep of the Temple. The amount levied was two denarii, which was the equivalent of the one half of a shekel that observant Jews had previously paid for the upkeep of the Temple of Jerusalem[.]
Can we maybe explain or elaborate on what made this tax "anti-Jewish" then? Because, apart from the choice of different emotive connotations ("tax" vs "levy" for example) this would seem to imply that all the Romans did was break up the traditional Temple-based Jewish elite and replace it with a Romanized elite. IE, the Second Temple priests would also be "anti-Jewish" taxers. I'm certainly not arguing this was actually the case, I'm just asking that somebody who knows more about the history should add some sourced and neutral material to the article to clarify this. As it is there is a weird contradiction between the lachrymose perspective here and the apparent material effect of the tax. <eleland/talkedits> 00:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think I'd use the word "anti-Jewish" in regards to the tax. I'd see it more as war reparations, the Jews of Jerusalem (and some other districts) caused a rather serious uprising against Rome, which we call the First Roman-Jewish War. The Roman Empire, as was their style, rather brutally "put down" the uprising, but they allowed the Jewish ethnicity and religion to continue (within limits, several rabbis were still brutally murdered after the revolt merely for teaching Judaism, see for example Akiva) as long as they payed this tax, and the tax supposedly went for upkeep on the Jupiter Capitolinus temple in Rome, a further insult to the Jewish ethnicity. But the tax went on to define the Jews in the eyes of the Romans (Jews payed the tax, Christians and other Jewish derived groups didn't). It seems to have been a social compromise that more or less worked as far as Jewish-Roman relations were concerned, Jews were allowed to maintain their culture and religion and special exemptions from pagan practice, but only if they payed the tax. (In that sense it is "anti-Jewish", can you imagine minority ethnic based taxes today? Why not a tax on Iraqi-Americans to pay for the war in Iraq?} Other groups that might have been derived from Jewish practice were not willing to pay the tax, but they became subject to persecution if they in turn didn't observe the pagan (state) rituals. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 18:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I heard on a lecture that the tax was simply not observed most of the time, but the professor said it was only formally abolished during the French Revolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Omeganian (talk • contribs) 10:38, 2 September 2009 (UTC)