Days and Time:
Daniel Boyarin, Duncan MacRae
The historian Josephus tells us many things about himself: he was a Judean priest and committed to God and his law; a general in the Great Revolt against Rome; a prophet of Vespasian’s rise to the emperorship; an author of Greek historiography; a Roman citizen named Titus Flavius Josephus. But how and why does he tell us all this? Through readings of his Vita and Bellum Judaicum, we will seek in this seminar to understand Josephus’ written self in the context of Greek historiography, Roman imperial history and the history of the Judaean people during the Second Temple Period (and after). As a figure at the intersection of the Greco-Roman world and the cultures of the Near East in the first century CE, Josephus’ complex subjectivity will lead us towards questions of identity (“Hellenization”; “Romanization”) and resistance/accommodation to empire.
We anticipate reading portions of Josephus in Greek; students should have a minimum of one-year’s study of classical Greek.