Simcha Gross

Assistant Professor of Ancient Rabbinics

Simcha Gross 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. His current book project centers on the formative aspects of Sasanian imperialism on Babylonian Jewish society and culture. He has co-authored a translation and comprehensive introduction to the only Syriac martyr act to feature a Jewish convert, entitled The History of the 'Slave of Christ': From Jewish Child to Christian Martyr (PMAS 6; Gorgias Press, 2016), and has edited a volume entitled Jews and Syriac Christians: Intersections across the First Millennium (Mohr Siebeck, 2020). He teaches courses on Jewish history, rabbinic literature, Syriac Christianity, Jewish Magic, Iranian empires, and the history of Jerusalem. Simcha holds a PhD from Yale University (2017). Prior to arriving at Penn, Simcha taught in the History Department at the University of California, Irvine (2017-2019) and in the Religious Studies Department at Stanford University (2016)

Courses Taught: 

Great Books of Judaism (NELC 156)
Jews and Judaism in Antiquity (NELC 051)
Jewish Magic (NELC 337)
The Making of Scripture (NELC 160)
Ancient Iranian Empires (NELC 261)

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu