Get A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus PDF

By Frederic Raphael

ISBN-10: 0307378160

ISBN-13: 9780307378163

From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, this is an audacious background of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish normal grew to become Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew on my own within the Gentile world.
Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic tale. His lifestyles, within the palms of Frederic Raphael, turns into some extent of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews looking a spot within the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar’s rigor, a historian’s standpoint, and a novelist’s mind's eye to this undertaking. He is going past the interesting information of Josephus’s existence and his singular literary achievements to check how Josephus has been considered by way of posterity, discovering in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated highbrow, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures within the lengthy centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael’s insightful snap shots of  Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt expand and remove darkness from the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.

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Ideally, nobility and excellence are indistinguishable: if a man is well-born, he is excellent, and vice versa. Claudius is certainly well-born, though less obviously excellent in intellect, but his body fails to convey his heritage, and thus threatens to expose the entire system as an ideological construct. 50 49 50 Cerebral palsy is the most common explanation; Levick 1990, 13–15 surveys the ancient evidence. As Erwin Cook points out to me, Augustus’ own experience as a sickly youth may also have informed his handling of his step-grandson.

A number of authors connect variations of pace, for instance, with an unstable mind. The poet Horace in his persona as moralizing satirist condemns the inconstancy of a local celebrity: “There was nothing consistent about that man: often he would run about as if he were fleeing an enemy, and just as often he would inch along like someone carrying Juno’s sacred vessels” (Sat. 9–11: nil aequale homini fuit illi: saepe velut qui | currebat fugiens hostem, persaepe velut qui | Iunonis sacra ferret).

One woman swings her sides artfully, taking in air with her flowing tunic, and she haughtily takes measured steps. Another woman plods like the sunburned wife of an Umbrian farmer, and takes huge, straddling steps. But as in so many things, there should be a middle ground here too: one gait is uncultured, the other more dainty [lit. “soft”] than necessary. It is appropriate that Ovid offers the most complete extant example of teaching women how to walk; he offers women a form of instruction akin to that which Cicero offered his son (Off.

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A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus by Frederic Raphael

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