By Frederic Raphael
From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, this is an audacious heritage 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 degree 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 venture. He is going past the attention-grabbing information of Josephus’s lifestyles and his singular literary achievements to ascertain how Josephus has been seen via 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 pics 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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Extra resources for A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus
S of Sallust, and in its spacious courts he might be seen daily exercising himself and putting his horses through thelI paces. All of this was now changed. Diocletian had friends from his early days, but confidence was valllshed, perhaps on eIther side; Dioc1etian had cause to fear that intimacy with thlId parnes might disrupt the artfully contnved hannony WIth his colleagues. Instead of 52 DIOCLETIAN : ADOPTIONS AND REIGN the simple purple with which almost all his predecessors (exceptmg only the mad Emperors) had been content, DIOdetian wore, after 293, silk and gold-embroidered garments, and even his shoes were decorated with precious stones and pearls; upon rus head he wore a diadem, a white band set with pearls.
HIS brother Florian in Tarsus committed the 40 THE IMPERIAL POWER IN THE THIRD CENTURY impludence of assuming the poshue of successor, WIthout consultmg Senate or army, as if the Impenal office were hereditary, even if it were, TacItus' sons would take natural precedence over Flonan. After a few weeks he, too, was killed by the soldiers. In the meanwhile a purely mihtary electIOn had raised the mighty Prohus to the throne. Probus was a compatrIOt of Aurelian, and Aurelian had desigoated him, at least by inference, as his successor.
But when requirements of border defense necessitated the dIvision of Impenal authority, it was impossible that Rome should remain the reSIdence of one of the two or four rulers. Preservation of the Empire's boundaries took precedence over cordial relabons WIth the Senate, which could in any case be mamtained by a prince with true Roman sentiments. MaXImian made his residence'in MIlan, whICh the pressure of the Alemanni, resumed after the death of Probus, had well-nigh made a border post. It was as well calculated to secure Gaul as any position south of t1Ie Alps could be, and at the same time it enabled its occupant to observe Italy or intervene in Africa.
A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus by Frederic Raphael