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The Ten Lost TribesA World History$
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Zvi Ben-Dor Benite

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195307337

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307337.001.0001

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To Find the Ten Lost Tribes

(p.199) Conclusion
The Ten Lost Tribes

Zvi Ben‐Dor Benite (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

At the end of the book, the ten tribes emerge as a geographical mystery. With the whole world exposed and mapped, no one still has been able to the find the ten tribes. This chapter shows how the rise of the English Empire as a “Global” Empire turned the search for the ten tribes into a romantic adventure. This in turn gave new life to the story of the ten lost tribes after millennial sentiments that fanned during the 17th and early 18th centuries later declined. From the later part of the 18th century, the ten tribes became the subject of a huge body of travel literature seeking the tribes all over the world. The chapter shows how the British Empire nourished enabled adventurers to embark on expeditions to find the tribes in various corners of the world. While the earlier millennial impetuous for finding the tribes declined, the basic theological principals of exile and return that first shaped the story remained. Thus, the search was now a fusion of romantic and theological desires to find the tribes. The chapter ends with showing modern Jewish travelers to be the inheritors of the past, and how their activities help “repatriate” indigenous tribes from Africa, South America and India to modern day Israel.

Keywords:   romanticism, adventure, travel literature, State of Israel

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