RelSt 735 Historiography eMail Archive (Spring 2007)

Most recent come first:




Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2007 16:43:00 -0400
Subject: More on Julian

For those of you who would like to see more about "the apostate" Julian from a supportive source, the lengthy funeral oration by Libanius is available on the rich site by Roger Pearse, at

You can also find another translation of Ammianus there

The same site includes the extremely negative assessments of Julian by Gregory of Nazianzus, for balance!

Happy holiday season! Oh spring, where do you hide?


Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2007 12:09:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Aelia and Hagiography

Thanks, as always, for your comments, Virginia. I've added some responses below.

> It seems that we have not solved the problem of the Syriac variant.

Well, assuming that Cureton knew what he was doing in translating the Syriac, that manuscript tradition has somehow transformed Greek AILIA into the Syriac word for "God" (AL or EL stem, as in ELOI or ELI in the Jesus tradition of words from the cross). That might simply be a matter of vocalization, or perhaps of spelling. It could have happened quite accidentally, with the original Syriac translator simply transliterating AILIA, and a subsequent copyist misreading or mishearing (if by dictation) it. Whether at the time of translation Syriac had a well known equivalent to AILIA is worth exploring, as well as whether the extant copy or copies of the Syriac could be expected to recognize that name. Cureton dates the Syriac MS (BM Add 12150) to the early 5th century, when almost certainly AILIA was a well known designation.

> In connection with the martyrologies as sources for the times of persecution,
> Quasten gives the following three classifications in Volume I, Chapter V:

> 1. Official court procedings which contain nothing by the questions addressed
> to the martyrs by the authorities, the answers of the martyrs as they were
> taken down by the notaries public or the clerks of the court, and the sentences
> imposed. These documents were placed in the public archives and occasionally
> the Christians succeeded in obtaining copies of them. Only here do we have
> immediate and absolutely reliable sources of history, which merely give the
> data.

The "Acts of the Pagan Martyrs" (of Alexandria) follows this format, I think. Of course, such documents could also be fabricated, as might have happened with the supposed "Acts of Pilate" relating to Jesus' trial, widely referred to in early Christian sources.

> 2. The reports of eyewitnesses or contemporaries, these are called "passiones"
> or "martyria". [NOTE: Quasten implies, but does not state that these are
> biased and include what is not "data".] Quasten places the Martyrdom of
> Polycarp, and the Letter of the Churches of Vienne and Lyon (Eusebius Eccl.
> Hist. 5.1.1-2.8) in this category

Perhaps the early sources for Jesus' last days also fall into this category, if only we had them!

> 3. Legends of the martyrs composed for the purpose of edification long after
> the martyrdom took place. In some cases they ate a fantastic admixture of some
> truth with purely imaginative material. Others are simply fiction with not
> historical foundation whatever. He later adds "The fact that these Acts are

> unauthentic by no means indicates that these martyrs did not exist, as some
> scholars have concluded. The authenticity or spuriousness of Acts does not
> prove the existence or nonexistence of martyrs, but merely indicates that these
> documents can not be used as sources for history.

Yes, lots of these. The Jesus traditions ("gospels" of various sorts) and some of the "acts" of apostles may fit here as well. Also such things as the Alexander "legends," life of Pythagoras, Apollonios of Tyana, etc. I guess that the distinction between "martyr" and "revered person" who wasn't unjustly killed plays a role in the classification ("martyrology" and "hagiography"), but it is a very blurry line at best. Of course "hagiography" can also be good "history," although probably it usually is not. Is Eusebius doing "hagiography" with Constantine? Ammianus with Julian? Philo with Moses? The 4th Gospel with Jesus? ETC. And what difference does it make?

> It seems to me that much the same criteria can be applied to hagiography in
> general, and that as we look at Eusebius' Life of Constantine, it will be
> helpful to consider these classifications with regard to Eusebius' sources and
> the way he uses them.
> Thanks,
> Virginia

Right. Is "hagiography" something more than eulogy/praise? Must it be distorting? Can "history" be anything but distorting, by definition?

Carry on.


Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 22:36:04 -0400
Subject: Aelia and Next Week

A quick search suggests that Aelia as a name for Jerusalem was fairly normal on into Islamic times (mid 7th century), and there was even an Arabic equivalent which was displaced by the current "The Holy City" designation. Byzantine sources such as the Suda/Suida know that Aelia = Jerusalem, etc.

For next week, the assignment section of the web page will link you to the two main Eusebian texts on Constantine and to Ammianus' brief obituary for Julian ("the Apostate"). They all have strong "hagiographical" elements; look for any attempts to balance the flattery.


Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 12:34:26 -0400
Subject: Class Discussion Tomorrow: Heresy

Since we will focus on Eusebius' treatment of "heresy" tomorrow, I've been revisiting an old essay of mine, written for a quite different context (!), to which I will probably add some further information (in green) if time permits before class. You can find it here:

Not a requirement; just a suggestion for if you tire of reading Eusebius himeslf!


Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 10:27:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism (book)

Great. Sounds worth knowing and maybe even discussing.

> I have the book I mentioned in class, 'Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism'
> (e.d. Harold Attridge and Gohei Hata), in front of me now. I think I will
> bring it into class next week. It has many essays that seem very interesting
> for our class and some of the discussions we have had. It has a whole
> section of essays on Eusebius as Apologist. William Adler wrote the essay
> 'Eusebius' Chronicle and Its Legacy.'
> Stephen Young


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 01:42:23 -0500
Subject: Eusebius Orientation

I came across the following quotes from Robert Grant, in a brief chapter on "Eusebius and Early Christian Literature" in Goodspeed-Grant, A History of Early Christian Literature (University of Chicago Press, 1942, 19662). Perhaps it can serve to set the stage for looking more closely at Eusebius' work and works.

"The Church History is thus useful chiefly because of the excerpts it provides and because of the lost works it lists. It is little more than a literary chronicle. There is no attempt to explain either literary movements or historical events. Indeed, Eusebius' prefatory discussion of his plan shows how limited his range was. He intended to discuss (1) lists of apostolic successions among the bishops, (2) important events and the leaders in them, (3) famous teachers and writers, (4) heretics, (5) the disasters that came upon the Jewish nation after the crucifixion, (6) the war of the [[193]] heathen against the divine word, along with the noble martyrs, and (7) -- a later addition -- martyrdoms in his own time. In addition, he says, he planned to pluck passages from the meadows of Christian literature (thus producing a "florilegium" of anthology) and to "indicate what church writers in each period have made use of which of the disputed books" of the New testament "and what they have said about the canonical and acknowledged books, and anything they have said about those that are not such" (3.3.3)."

[He wrote the Preparation for the Gospel between 312 and 318, after the History, which itself was an expansion of the Chronicle, begun around 303.] "The general excellence of his sources in the Preparation and his fairly full quotations from them present a rather sharp contrast with the mediocrity of his work in the Church History. [194]"

Sounds like fun!


Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 23:39:01 -0500
Subject: Jesus' Tomb discussion

Thanks to Todd Krulak for the following. Meanwhile, a brief article/review from archaeologist Jodi Magness (UNC Chapel Hill) has arrived and appears already on the SBL Forum:

According to the nicely balanced article in the 5 March Newsweek, there were bones in the boxes when they were uncovered during construction work in 1980, and the bones were buried in accord with Israeli practice. The hypothesis that the Jacob/James ossuary came from the same tomb is being argued on the basis of preliminary analysis of the patinas on the various boxes.

Spare us from media interviews! This is a tempest in a thimble.

Have a good break/week!


Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 00:09:49 -0500
Subject: Lucian

I've added excerpts from Lucian's Peregrinus and Alexander to the list of "author intentions" at the bottom of the class page. Interesting stuff. Is he trustworthy? At least he's entertaining (to a point).


Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 10:20:13 -0500
Subject: Jewish Christianity
From: "Stephen L. Young"

Joan E. Taylor's "The Phenomenon of Early Jewish-Christianity: Reality of Scholarly Invention?" Vigiliae Christianae 44 (1990), 313-334 was a very helpful article for me concerning Jewish Christianity in general. In a small space, it covers some major points of the history of scholarship, including Danielou and your review of him, definition issues, sources and types of sources on Jewish Christianity, how other Christian groups regarded them, Jewish Christianities in the context of developing early Christianities, issues and questions of continuity with the early Jerusalem church, etc.

Alan F. Segal's, "Jewish Christianity," in Attridge, Harold W. and Hata, Gohei ed., Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism. (Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1992), p326-351 is another short and interesting treatment. Again, I am not aware of an electronic copy online. He attempts to speculate and to lay out a spectrum of positions on the law within early Christianity and explore Jewish Christianity from there; e.g. Pauline position, James, Peter and Matthew, etc. He then tries to move forward, discussing Roman Christianity, Syrian Christianity, Egyptian Christianity, and then Church documents all in relation to Jewish-Christianity discussion. Then he discusses positions of the Church Fathers, by which he seems to mean Apostolic Fathers, Justin, Irenaeus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, etc. He touches upon some Rabbinic traditions, Ebionite Adoptionist Christology, and 'Other Jewish Christian Practices.' He then spends a page on 'A Provisional Definition.' "Jewish Christianity is a very complex phenomenon. It is found both in a Palestinian as well as a Hellenistic environment. The transition between Jewish Christianity and Gentile Christianity was in places swift, but in other places it was fluid and gradual.The New Gentile church found itself beset by Jewish Christianity's doctrines and, when the reached a majority position, they dealt with it severely. Thus, the theological issues which upset the church fathers may also mask real social concerns.But Jewish Christianity was an important interpretation of the teachings of Jesus and should not be ignored.But like all religions, it evolved over time and responded to the historical environment in which it found itself. The mature but embattled Jewish Christianity of the Pseudo-Clementine literature as a very different character from the unselfconscious Jewish Christianity of the first disciples. What can be certainly abstracted from a study of its history is that the major Jewish Christian interpretation was that Jesus did not come to abrogate Jewish law. Rather, he came to fulfill it. This would place the position of Peter and James squarely within the Jewish Christian movement. Jewish Christianity cannot be said to be merely Christianity practiced by Jews, for Paul himself was such a Christian and his Christianity was equally based on Jewish teaching. Furthermore, Jewish Christianity also includes Gentile converts to Christianity who were circumcised as well as baptized in entrance and who kept the law. Jewish Christianity is not an ethnic designation but a position on the issue of the correct way to carry out the teachings of Jesus. Social and theological issues were parallel. Earlier judgments of Christian scholars that Jewish Christianity was parochial and mistook the universal mission of Jesus were largely based on an unfair reading of Jewish sources. Rather, within the Judaism of Jesus' day, Jews were already discussing, arguing, and developing models for including Gentiles within a world program of salvation. These models were not invented by Hellenistic Christianity, but brought into Christianity by its Jewish adherents, where they underwent development specific to the Christian message." (p347-348)

Lastly, Richard Bauckham's "The Origin of the Ebionites," in Tomson, Peter J. and Lambers-Petry, Doris ed., The Image of the Judaeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature. (Tubingen, Germany: Mohr - Siebeck, 2003), p162-181 was helpful in certain ways as well. He works through a lot of ancient sources on or claimed to be on the Ebionites, his understanding of their characteristics, etc. Interestingly, he has an 8-9 page discussion of the Ascents of James, which, as you know, is part of the Recognitions (however one thinks they are related to the form of the recognitions we have). He interacts a lot with F. Stanley Jones' work. As with the two writings I listed above, I am not aware of an electronic web version of this essay. As this essay by Bauckham is somewhat recent, maybe he might be willing to make an electronic copy he has available to us? I am not sure how such things work, with respect to copyright laws, etc.

So, as far as short treatments go, I found the above to be very helpful in terms of overall general discussions of Jewish Christianity, awareness of various issues involved in understanding it, ancient sources and their complexity, etc. I hope this is somehow helpful.



Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 22:26:32 -0500
Subject: Jewish Christianity query

For some backgrounding in the "Jewish Christianity" discussions, see my old review article of Danielou's Theology of Jewish Christianity, now at

Also the first appendix to Bauer, by Strecker (heavy going at points), "On the Problem of Jewish Christianity"

A very complicated subject, where assumptions and definitions -- and lack of direct evidence -- make the going even tougher.

Forwarded message:
> Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 20:04:20 -0500
> Subject: Jewish Christianity
> With a view to gaining an introductory, usable frame of reference for some of the discussions

> on Jewish Christianity we've been having, could you point me in the direction of any relatively

> accessible intros / primers to some of this material -- or, perhaps, an article or 2 that might

> get me into some of the issues in a preliminary way?
> Michael:



Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 01:39:27 -0500
Subject: Class this week [Gaius Caligula]

As a focus for class tomorrow (today!), let's consider the treatment of Gaius/Caius (Caligula) in the various sources now listed on the class page (Philo, Josephus, Suetonius). All sources are unsympathetic, which shapes their accounts in various directions.

Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 10:46:31 -0500
Subject: Today! [Sparta correspondence]

For today's class, we will look at a couple of sample passages from Josephus' treatment of Kings/Chronicles material, and from 1 Maccabees, at least. You can find them in the file now mislabeled "josephusAnt1-4.html" which is linked from the temporary class page:

An interesting aspect of the Kings/Chronicles example is the quotation from Eusebius, who attributes the reference to the earthquake under Uzziah (see also Amos 1.1-2 and Zech 14.5) to Josephus' knowledge of Jewish "deuteroseis" (literally "repetitions," perhaps referring to what became rabbinic lore).

What was especially interesting to me about the 1 Macc materials is Josephus' treatment of the exchange of letters with Sparta, found in 1 Macc 12. Josephus tells of the second letter in an entirely different context (Ant 12.{4.10.}223ff) and seems to have a significantly different text. When he gets to the first letter (Ant 13.166ff), he also seems to have a fuller and different text, leading to the hypothesis that for that exchange (and probably for other letters that Josephus records), he had another source (a dossier of letters pertaining to Jewish political relationships?).

I apologize to the non-Greeks in class for the fact that I haven't yet added English to the main comparison of this Sparta correspondence. The Greeks might find it helpful in underlining the differences:

I will point out that the "extra" introductory material found in Josephus' version of the initial letter (Ant 13.163ff // 1 Macc 12.1ff) is virtually identical to formulas attested in papyri letters from the Ptolemaic period. We can also brainstorm about what "square" or "fourfold" might mean in Josephus' version of the second letter (Ant 12.227 // 1 Macc 12.19ff).

And if time permits, we will move ahead to some of the parallels between Antiquities and War -- materials still in process here!


Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 17:48:34 -0500
Subject: Jewish Christianity Lecture Monday at Penn

This will be of interest to some of you. It will be held in the "Class of 55"
room on the 2nd floor of the Van Pelt Library, at 5 pm Monday (12 Feb 2007),
University of Pennsylvania. Welcome one and all.

> "Jewish Christianity" as Counter-history?
> Eusebius, the Pseudo-Clementines, and the Place of Judaism in Christian
> History
> Annette Yoshiko Reed (McMaster University)
> What is the place of Judaism in Christian history? For the fourth-century
> historian Eusebius, this question could be answered in terms of a clear-cut
> contrast: the first century CE saw the decline of the Jewish people,
> concurrent with the rise of Christianity and its rapid spread throughout the
> Roman Empire. While a series of revolts catalyzed the increased isolation of
> the Jews, the apostles spread Christianity to Gentiles throughout the
> Empire. Even though Jesus and his first followers were Jews, the Jewish
> mission failed, and so-called "Jewish Christians" remained clustered in
> Jerusalem. When the revolts forced them to flee Judaea, the centre of
> Christianity shifted from the holy city of the Jews to the heart of the
> Roman Empire. Thereafter, Christ-believers of Jewish ethnicity played no
> role in the "mainstream" history of the church. Those who clung to "Jewish
> Christianity" became relics of a lost age, rendered "heretical" by the
> church's "Parting of the Ways" with Judaism.
> This meta-narrative has long been echoed in modern scholarship. For decades,
> scholars of early Christianity have been interrogating Eusebius' views of
> "orthodoxy," "heresy," and "paganism." Studies have increasingly pointed to
> the rhetorical, discursive, and apologetic features of his Ecclesiastical
> History. Nevertheless, in the field of Patristics, the Eusebian
> meta-narrative still shapes approaches to Judaism and "Jewish Christianity."
> For the most part, both are assumed to be irrelevant for our understanding
> of the history of the church after the first century.
> This paper will propose a different approach to Eusebius, "Jewish
> Christianity," and the late antique discourse about Judaism and Christian
> history. I will compare Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History with the
> Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, a fourth-century Syrian novel that is widely
> acknowledged as a rare first-hand source for "Jewish Christianity." Past
> research on the Homilies proceeded from Eusebius' account of the decline of

> "Jewish Christianity," and this late antique text was thus read mainly as a
> mine for earlier sources. In my view, however, it may not be coincidental
> that "Jewish Christian" sources are being collected, redacted, and reworked
> in the fourth century, concurrent with Eusebius' attempts to deny the
> continued place of Judaism in church history and Christian identity.
> Like Eusebius, the authors/redactors of the Homilies draw selectively on
> earlier source materials to remodel the apostolic past in the image of their
> own particular vision of "orthodoxy." In stark contrast, however, they
> retell the story of apostolic history as an affirmation of the radical
> continuity between Judaism and Christianity -- going so far, in fact, to
> resist any distinction between them. This evidence may help to open the way
> for a richer understanding of the late antique construction of "orthodoxy,"
> the contestation over the Christian past, and the history of
> Jewish/Christian relations.

Date:         Mon, 29 Jan 2007 16:49:14 -0500
Subject: Steve Mason on Josephus

I've had a couple of interesting and productive email exchanges with Steve Mason, which I'll excerpt below. If any of you are interested in seeing his pre-publication papers, let me know.

Mason email #1:
That's a great syllabus -- thanks for letting me see it. A couple of things occurred to me as a I read it.

First, the Josephus Bibliography Project at Muenster has been taken over into the PACE. We have considerably extended it and integrated into the text of Josephus (so that you can find biblio from the appropriate tab in situ). Muenster had to stop development in about 2001/2, when their developer passed away -- took his own life, very sadly. Afterwards, coincidentally, their funding disappeared. They (Folker Siegert) graciously gave us the database, which we reformatted for the dynamic use described above and updated with several hundred items -- also adding many abstracts. Further, it is constantly being 'grown' by members. If your students wish to join PACE, they can contribute entries by means of forms, which then become part of the database, accessible from either the biblio module or the text/commentary window.

Second, I wondered whether you knew Sabrina Inowlocki's work -- dissertation on Josephus and other Graeco-Jewish writers in Eusebius. She's now published the Oxford MLitt and Brussels PhD together, it seems, in: Eusebius and the Jewish authors : his citation technique in an apologetic context (Brill 2006). But you must know her already.

FInally, I have some recent things that might be of interest to you on the subject, whether they would be to the seminar or not I don't know. One is the long version of my own talk in the Toronto seminar where you will speak...: 'Josephus as Authority for First-Century Judaea.' It briefly discusses Eusebius on Josephus. The other (Contradiction or Counterpoint?) is from the Review of Rabb. Judaism 2003. Maybe they aren't useful, but the Authority paper at least seems close to your themes.

Mason email #2

 It occurred to me that, although your students are grad students, a paper I wrote for upper undergrads at Bard College, precisely on Josephus and historiography, might be useful. There is some overlap with the Authority paper, especially in the example of Pilate, but that's more developed here in connection with historical method. It's not heavily documented because it was for oral presentation, but the whole may be more user friendly than the others. In case it's of use,

PS: It's already out in a book edited by J Neusner et al, Historical Knowledge in Biblical Antiquity (Deo Publishing 2006).

End of Mason emails.

I've read the Bard paper, and it is an excellent survey of the subject of  Josephus as historian, in a historiographical context (although it has little to say about the Antiquities, interestingly enough). Steve doesn't want me to put it on a puplic web site (like the course page), but I can bounce it (and the other papers as well) to you individually.

Meanwhile, I'm gradually working on the file, now linked to the temporary class page at

with the comparison of Ant 1 to our surviving Pentateuch. Passages in red are what I don't find in our Pentateuchal texts. If any of you want to help with this project, please say so. There is lots that can be done, and it is very revealing with respect to Josephus' procedures, interests, and/or sources.

More to come (undoubtedly!)

Date:         Wed, 24 Jan 2007 00:13:55 -0500
Subject: Keeping up with Scholarship

In the Logan Lounge, near the exit hallway to the stairs, are many copies of the Abstracts from the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association, being given away as extras by the APA office.

This book consists of 349 one-page abstracts of various presentations, and is thus quite daunting overall. I took some time tonight (relaxing after class?) to thumb through it, to glimpse what is going on in "classical studies" scholarly circles. There is no index of topics, or even a listing of titles. Most of the abstracts deal, understandably, with typical "classics" topics of various sorts, but the following caught my attention as more directly relevant to my own work. I present them here, with page numbers, in case any of you want to take advantage of this opportunity.

009 Epitomes and the Epitome of Jason of Cyrene [2 Macc], Rosalind Maclachlan
033 The Invention of Early Christian Sacred Space? Ann Marie Yasin
034 Pagans, Christians, and the Domus Aeterna [burial practices], Stephanie Smith
036 Sociologies of Religion in 4th and 5th century Rome, Kimberly Bowes
053 [on sigla in "actors' papyri"], George Adam Kovacs
054 "Actors' Papyri" and Rhetorical Schools, Sebastiana Nervegna
082 Roman Coins and their 'Audience' [Trajan's buildings], Annalisa Marzano
099 The Derveni Papyrus in the Homeric Scholia, Dirk Obbink
100 [similar title], Richard Janko
116 Out of the Ashes and the Herculaneum Papyrus Project, Roger MacFarlane
131 Halley's Comet and the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, John Ramsey
132 Gentem Iudaeorum domuit: The Inscription from the Lost Arch of Titus, Tommaso Leoni
138-141 [on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Project] Michael Hillen et al.
174 Invisibility Spells in the Magical Papyri, Richard Phillips
219 Ostraka from the Athenian Agora, James Sickinger
239 Messages from Beyond the Grave in Greco-Roman Funerary Inscriptions, Gil Renberg
292 How to Hymn a Chthonic God? Mary Depew
296-298 [on Unicode], Maria Pantelia, et al.
303 How to Abuse a Late-Antique Emperor, Richard Flower
305 Chrysostom's Rhetoric of Mania and its Perils, Paul Kimball
306 Paterfamilias or Priest? Religious Authority and the Domus, Kristina Sessa
322 Greek formularies and amulets containing Christian motifs, Theodore De Bruyn
323 Greek, Egyptian and Biblical traditions in the Cambyses Romance, Philip Venticinque
324 Hymns as acclamations: Ambrose of Milan, Michael Stuart Williams
326 The Daimones of C. S. Lewis, David H. Sick

Now to get back to what I ought to be doing (dissertation drafts, research reports, etc.)!

Date:         Tue, 23 Jan 2007 13:46:40 -0500
Subject: Web Page Problem!

There is a temporary (we hope) web page problem -- the new RelSt page has hijacked all rs listings, including mine.

As a work around, you can get to the class web page at

Sorry for the problem (not of my doing)!

Date:         Mon, 22 Jan 2007 16:00:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Antiquities and Jewish traditions


[Because this topic may be of general interest, I'll send this reply to the entire list, with the understanding that if you choose it as a report topic, it is reserved for you.]

Doug wrote:

I am interested that Josephus highlights Abraham's transmission of astronomy to the Egyptians (Ant. 1.166-168).  Although there is no record of this from the canonical account in Genesis, it does surface in other sources such as Pseudo-Eupolemus (OTP2, pg. 881 from Eusebius' Prep for the Gospel 9.17.2-9) and Artapanus (OTP2, pg. 897 from Eusebius' Prep for Gospel 9.18.1).  I wonder what traditions Josephus is using as he discusses the Abraham story.

Good. I think you may find some answers in tracing the connections in Josephus between "Chaldeans" (ala Berosus), Abraham, and astronomy, on the one hand, and the tradition of long-lived ancestors (Ant 1.106 and the 600 year cycle),  probably also reflecting Berosus, and survival of astronomical knowledge through the flood (Ant 1.69-71). Since Abraham is a renegade Chaldean (see also Philo), the reports of Berosus on the Chaldeans are fair game for Josephus to cite.

What especially interests me is that astronomy and related knowledge is closely associated with Enoch in some traditions that existed in Josephus' day (Enoch cycle, Jubilees), but Josephus almost ignores Enoch in his narrative -- although he does know the tradition of Enoch's being taken up by the deity (Ant 1.84, 9.28) -- but before Enoch had lived for a 600 year cycle!

See you all tomorrow. Check the class web page for an outline of what I'm hoping  to discuss.

[PS from Virginia:
You might also want to look at Jubilees 12.16-21 and 13:10-15.]

Date:         Thu, 18 Jan 2007 16:36:35 -0500
Subject: For next class

Please check the class page for updated information on Josephus (e.g. the online bibliography, the PACE project at York University). If you are able to do so, please look at Thackeray's online "Lecture 4" on "Josephus and Judaism: His Biblical Text,"  which I've included under the "assignments" --

Thackeray barely scratches the surface of this subject, and is especially focused on his work on the Greek texts of Samuel-Kings, which he was editing at the time (1927) for the "Larger Cambridge Septuagint," but he provides useful examples of various phenomena present in Josephus' works (etymologies, relation to Jewish Rabbinic traditions, parallels to Philo, etc.), and a couple of interesting explanatory theories.

Also, play around on the PACE pages, learning what is there and how to use it in your own interests (e.g. searches on topics) --

Later on we will make some use of the "textual parallels" material.

Date:         Wed, 17 Jan 2007 20:50:11 -0500
Subject: Did I mention ... ? [Erythraean Sea]

From the web --

Erythraean Sea: name of unclear origin anciently applied to the Indian Ocean, later to the Arabian Gulf, and finally to the Red Sea.

Date:         Tue, 16 Jan 2007 21:56:18 -0500
Subject: What I should have said ....

If you are the notetaking type, please correct the following:

Polybius flourished in the second century BCE, not the third, dying at 82 years of age (someone claims) in the 120s. I've added some further excerpts from his Histories, not all identified yet as to exact location. Interesting life!

Josephus is often confused or allied with Hippolytus, not Hegesippus [well, actually both!].

On Josephus' use of sources, see Whiston's Appendix; on Whiston's interesting (if very outdated) theories on Josephus' access to biblical materials, see his "Dissertation" 4. I hope to pursue some of his evidence.

Date:         Mon, 15 Jan 2007 18:26:46 -0500
Subject: Update of web page

I've added some materials on the intentions of various authors (quotes clipped from the online translations) at the bottom of our class page.

If you get a chance to browse through them, please do so. We will spend some time on them in class.

//end (start)//