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Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome$
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Jonathan Edmondson, Steve Mason, and James Rives

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199262120

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199262120.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Spectacle in Josephus' Jewish War

Spectacle in Josephus' Jewish War

(p.289) 13 Spectacle in Josephus' Jewish War
Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome

Honora Howell Chapman

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the importance of vivid narrative in history-writing by probing the importance of spectacle in the Judaean War. It focuses in particular on two spectacles narrated by Josephus: first, his description of his own capture by the Romans at Jotapata, where he makes a historiographical spectacle of his own body, and second, the detailed and vivid account of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, where the temple becomes a central spectacle in his narrative. The rhetorical emphasis that marks these episodes served to focus the reader’s or listener’s attention and allowed the historian to underscore key themes of the entire work: celebrating the power of his Flavian patrons, damning the rebels for their conduct during the rebellion, enhancing his own reputation as general and priest, and finally, highlighting the former grandeur of Jerusalem and its temple, and the tragedy of their destruction.

Keywords:   historiography, Bellum Judaicum, Flavian triumph, Temple of Jerusalem, spectacle, rhetoric

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