The Bavli’s editors noted the conclusion of some tractates with an edifying message. For tractates Bava Metzia and Avodah Zarah, they placed stories about Sasanian king Shapur I. In this way, they connected their rabbinic milieu to the Sasanian world in which they operated, and imagined Sasanian authority and approval of rabbinic law.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
The Talmud and Shapur I
DR. JASON MOKHTARIAN: Concluding a Tractate with King Shapur’s Praise and Practice of Rabbinic Law (TheGemara.com).