Rewriting Ancient Jewish History

Author: Amram Tropper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317247078
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Half a century ago, the primary contours of the history of the Jews in Roman times were not subject to much debate. This standard account collapsed, however, when a handful of insights undermined the traditional historical method, the method long enlisted by historians for eliciting facts from sources. In response to these insights, a new historical method gradually emerged. Rewriting Ancient Jewish History critiques the traditional historical method and makes a case for the new one, illustrating how to write anew ancient Jewish history. At the heart of the traditional historical method lie three fundamental presumptions. The traditional historical method regularly presumes that multiple versions of a text or tradition are equally authentic; it presumes that many ancient Jewish sources are the products of largely immanent forces of cloistered Jewish communities; and, barring any local grounds for suspicion, it presumes that most ancient Jewish texts faithfully reflect their sources and reliably recount events. Rewriting Ancient Jewish History unfurls the failings of this approach; it promotes the new historical method which circumvents the flawed traditional presumptions while plotting anew the limits of rational argumentation in historical inquiry. This crucial reappraisal is a must-read for students of Jewish and Roman history alike, and a fascinating case-study in how historians should approach their ancient sources.

The Aggada of the Bavli and Its Cultural World

Author: Geoffrey Herman
Publisher: SBL Press
ISBN: 1946527106
Format: PDF, ePub
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Essays that explore the rich engagement of the Talmud with its cultural world The Babylonian Talmud (Bavli), the great compilation of Jewish law edited in the late Sasanian era (sixth–seventh century CE), also incorporates a great deal of aggada, that is, nonlegal material, including interpretations of the Bible, stories, folk sayings, and prayers. The Talmud’s aggadic traditions often echo conversations with the surrounding cultures of the Persians, Eastern Christians, Manichaeans, Mandaeans, and the ancient Babylonians, and others. The essays in this volume analyze Bavli aggada to reveal this rich engagement of the Talmud with its cultural world. Features: A detailed analysis of the different conceptions of martyrdom in the Talmud as opposed to the Eastern Christian martyr accounts Illustration of the complex ways rabbinic Judaism absorbed Christian and Zoroastrian theological ideas Demonstration of the presence of Persian-Zoroastrian royal and mythological motifs in talmudic sources

Image and Reality of Roman Imperial Power in the Third Century AD

Author: Lukas de Blois
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351135570
Format: PDF, ePub
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Image and Reality of Roman Imperial Power in the Third Century AD focuses on the wide range of available sources of Roman imperial power in the period AD 193-284, ranging from literary and economic texts, to coins and other artefacts. This volume examines the impact of war on the foundations of the economic, political, military, and ideological power of third-century Roman emperors, and the lasting effects of this. This detailed study offers insight into this complex and transformative period in Roman history and will be a valuable resource to any student of Roman imperial power.

Geopolitics in Late Antiquity

Author: Hyun Jin Kim
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351869264
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Geopolitics in Late Antiquity explores the geopolitical revolution which shook the foundations of the ancient world, the dawning of the millennium of Inner Asian dominance and virtual monopoly of world power (with interludes) that began with the rise of the Huns and then continued under the hegemony of various other steppe peoples. Kim examines first the geopolitical situation created by the rise of Inner Asian powers, and then the reactions of the great empires of Eurasia to this geopolitical challenge. A unique feature of this book is its in-depth analysis of the geostrategies (some successful, others misguided) adopted by China, Rome and Persia to cope with the growing Inner Asian threat. The conclusions and insights drawn from this analysis are then used to inform modern geopolitics, mainly the contest for hegemonic power between the United States and China. Geopolitics in Late Antiquity is a crucial resource for both academic and learned general readership, who have an interest in the fate of antiquity’s superpowers and also for those engaged in current international relations policy-making, who wish to learn from historical precedents.

Rome and Judaea

Author: Linda Zollschan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317392574
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Rome and Judaea explores the nature of Judaea’s first diplomatic mission to Rome during the Maccabean revolt: did it result in a sanctioned treaty or was it founded instead on amity? This book breaks new ground in this debate by bringing to light the "Roman-Jewish Friendship tablet," a newly discovered piece of evidence that challenges the theory Rome ratified an official treaty with Judaea. Incorporating interdisciplinary research and this new textual evidence, the book argues that Roman-Jewish relations during the Maccabean revolt were motivated by the Roman concept of diplomatic friendship, or amicitia.

Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible

Author: Russell E. Gmirkin
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134854587
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible for the first time compares the ancient law collections of the Ancient Near East, the Greeks and the Pentateuch to determine the legal antecedents for the biblical laws. Following on from his 2006 work, Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus, Gmirkin takes up his theory that the Pentateuch was written around 270 BCE using Greek sources found at the Great Library of Alexandria, and applies this to an examination of the biblical law codes. A striking number of legal parallels are found between the Pentateuch and Athenian laws, and specifically with those found in Plato's Laws of ca. 350 BCE. Constitutional features in biblical law, Athenian law, and Plato's Laws also contain close correspondences. Several genres of biblical law, including the Decalogue, are shown to have striking parallels with Greek legal collections, and the synthesis of narrative and legal content is shown to be compatible with Greek literature. All this evidence points to direct influence from Greek writings, especially Plato's Laws, on the biblical legal tradition. Finally, it is argued that the creation of the Hebrew Bible took place according to the program found in Plato's Laws for creating a legally authorized national ethical literature, reinforcing the importance of this specific Greek text to the authors of the Torah and Hebrew Bible in the early Hellenistic Era. This study offers a fascinating analysis of the background to the Pentateuch, and will be of interest not only to biblical scholars, but also to students of Plato, ancient law, and Hellenistic literary traditions.

The Acts of the Apostles

Author: P.D. James
Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 0857861077
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Acts is the sequel to Luke's gospel and tells the story of Jesus's followers during the 30 years after his death. It describes how the 12 apostles, formerly Jesus's disciples, spread the message of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean against a background of persecution. With an introduction by P.D. James

The Bible and Hellenism

Author: Thomas L. Thompson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317544269
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Did the Bible only take its definitive form after Alexander conquered the Near East, after the Hellenisation of the Samaritans and Jews, and after the founding of the great library of Alexandria? The Bible and Hellenism takes up one of the most pressing and controversial questions of Bible Studies today: the influence of classical literature on the writing and formation of the Bible. Bringing together a wide range of international scholars, The Bible and Hellenism explores the striking parallels between biblical and earlier Greek literature and examines the methodological issues raised by such comparative study. The book argues that the oral traditions of historical memory are not the key factor in the creation of biblical narrative. It demonstrates that Greek texts – from such authors as Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus and Plato – must be considered amongst the most important sources for the Bible.