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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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Josephus' Roman Audience: Josephus and the Roman Elites

Josephus' Roman Audience: Josephus and the Roman Elites

(p.37) 1 Josephus' Roman Audience: Josephus and the Roman Elites
Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome

Hannah M. Cotton

Werner Eck

Oxford University Press

In an attempt to elucidate the social and political environment in which Josephus composed his works, this chapter tries to determine the extent to which the Judean writer was ingratiated with the imperial court and the local aristocracy at Rome. Prominent in their investigation is the hitherto unidentifiable Epaphroditus to whom Josephus’ final three compositions were dedicated. After parsing the relevant literary and epigraphic evidence, the identity of Josephus’ patron remains problematic. He cannot, with confidence, be identified as Nero’s a libellis (freedman in charge of petitions) or with the freedman M. Mettius Epaphroditus mentioned in the Suda, despite the fact that he was a grammarian and literary critic. The chapter argues that Josephus was excluded from the inner circles of the Roman elite during the first century CE, especially in the second half of his literary career under the Emperor Domitian.

Keywords:   Epaphroditus, patrons, Roman elite, Nero, career, audience, Roman prosopography, Domitian

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