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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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The Empire Writes Back: Josephan Rhetoric in Flavian Rome 1

The Empire Writes Back: Josephan Rhetoric in Flavian Rome 1

(p.315) 14 The Empire Writes Back: Josephan Rhetoric in Flavian Rome1
Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome

John M. G. Barclay

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Against Apion — the most overtly rhetorical of Josephus’ works — and demonstrates how Josephan rhetoric can fruitfully be explored by an analysis of the cultural codes it utilizes. Building on earlier studies that have suggested that his Against Apion was carefully composed for a Roman or Romanized audience, the chapter argues that we should examine the means by which Josephus designs his portrait of Judaism in line with aspects of the Roman cultural tradition, as well as how he deploys Romanized norms for the defence and eulogy of his non-Roman tradition. Josephus’ Roman experiences, both in Judaea and in Rome, and perhaps also in the Jewish diaspora, all coloured his vision of his contemporary world and his sense of his Jewish past. In essence, Josephus transposed Jewish themes into a specifically Roman key.

Keywords:   Contra Apionem, rhetoric, audience, post-colonial theory, Egyptian history>religion, Apion

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