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Historical fictions and Hellenistic Jewish identity [electronic resource] : Third Maccabees in its cultural context / Sara Raup Johnson.

Author/Creator:
Johnson, Sara Raup, 1966-
Publication:
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
Format/Description:
Book
1 online resource (xix, 253 p.).
Series:
Hellenistic culture and society ; 43.
Hellenistic culture and society ; 43
Status/Location:
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Subjects:
Jews -- History -- 586 B.C.-70 A.D.
Jews -- Identity -- History -- To 1500.
Historical fiction -- History and criticism.
Third Book of Maccabees -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form/Genre:
Electronic books.
Language:
English
Summary:
In this thoughtful and penetrating study, Sara Raup Johnson investigates the creation of historical fictions in a wide range of Hellenistic Jewish texts. Surveying so-called Jewish novels, including the Letter of Aristeas, 2 Maccabees, Esther, Daniel, Judith, Tobit, Josephus's account of Alexander's visit to Jerusalem and of the Tobiads, Artapanus, and Joseph and Aseneth, she demonstrates that the use of historical fiction in these texts does not constitute a uniform genre. Instead it cuts across all boundaries of language, provenance, genre, and even purpose. Johnson argues that each author uses historical fiction to construct a particular model of Hellenistic Jewish identity through the reinvention of the past. The models of identity differ, but all seek to explore relations between Jews and the wider non-Jewish world. The author goes on to present a focal in-depth analysis of one text, Third Maccabees. Maintaining that this is a late Hellenistic, not a Roman, work Johnson traces important themes in Third Maccabees within a broader literary context. She evaluates the evidence for the authorship, audience, and purpose of the work and analyzes the historicity of the persecution described in the narrative. Illustrating how the author reinvents history in order to construct his own model for life in the diaspora, Johnson weighs the attitudes and stances, from defiance to assimilation, of this crucial period.
Contents:
Historical fictions and Jewish self-fashioning. Introduction
Jews at court
Josephus
Artapanus
Joseph and Aseneth
Conclusion
Third Maccabees, a case study. Introduction
Chapter 1:5 : date of composition
Chapter 2:6 : Third Maccabees in its literary context
Chapter 3:7 : authorship, audience and Jewish identity
Chapter 4:8 : historicity and historical ambivalence.
Notes:
Bibliographic Level Mode of Issuance: Monograph
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:
1-59734-655-1
1-282-35639-9
9786612356391
0-520-92843-1
OCLC:
70741110
Publisher Number:
10.1525/9780520928435 doi