PSCO Presentation: 27 March, 2014

“Novelistic Digressions in Josephus' Antiquities 18 and 20:
On the Moral Logic of Triumph and Disaster”

Ra‘anan Boustan (UCLA)


Our fifth meeting of this year’s PSCO will be Thursday, March 27 at 7:00–9:00 pm in the Second Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall. Our theme this year is “Rethinking Josephus’ Antiquities”. Ra‘anan Boustan (UCLA) will join us to discuss books 17–20 (i.e., the death of Herod onward), focusing on the theme of “Novelistic Digressions in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities 18 and 20: On the Moral Logic of Triumph and Disaster.”

Audio Recording

Here is an audio recording of this session.

Suggested Readings

In preparation, Ra‘anan Boustan asks that we read the following.

  1. Jewish Antiquities 18.65-84: the narratives of Paulina the devotee of Isis and Fulvia the Jewish proselyte; compare Pseudo-Callisthenes, The Alexander Romance, book 1.1-22 (in B. P. Reardon, Collected Ancient Greek Novels [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989], 654-68);
  2. [2] Jewish Antiquities 18.310-379: on the Jews of Babylonia and the brothers Asinaeus and Anilaeus; compare 1 Macc 2:15-41 and 2 Macc 8:1-29;
  3. [3] Jewish Antiquities 20.17-96: the conversion of Izates, king of Adiabene, and his mother Helen.

The Pseudo-Callisthenes selection has been posted on the PSCO Facebook page. If you'd like a copy by email, contact Alex Ramos: ().

The bibliographical reference in the presentation was to the following study.

Richard Fowler, “Kingship and Banditry: The Parthian Empire and Its Western Subjects,” in Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Rulers, edited by Tessa Rajak, Sarah Pearce, James Aitken, and Jennifer Dines (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).

Meeting and Dining

All are welcome! As usual, those wishing to dine together before the seminar will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Second-Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall and then go next door to the food court in Houston Hall. Or just meet us in the Houston Hall downstairs food-court between 6:00pm and 6:45pm.

As usual, the PSCO seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. We meet in the Second-Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall.