Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Rulers

Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Rulers

Hardcover(First Edition)

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This volume gathers sixteen essays on monarchy and power in the Hellenistic period and charts a new approach to Hellenistic history by focusing attention on biblical and Jewish evidence and reading that evidence in new ways. The essays consider the kings, queens, and power figures of the Hellenistic dynasties, as well as ancient Israelite kings, the Babylonian and Persian rulers of the Bible, Parthians, and Romans. The volume also represents a new kind of interpretation of the Greek Bible (Septuagint) and of the Jewish literature of the period, setting them in the context of Hellenistic political thought and practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520250840
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 02/19/2008
Series: Hellenistic Culture and Society , #50
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Tessa Rajak is Professor of Ancient History, University of Reading, and Horace W. Goldsmith Visiting Professor at Yale. She was Codirector of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Parkes Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project. Her many publications include Josephus: The Historian and his Society. Sarah Pearce is Senior Lecturer in History, University of Southampton and was Codirector of the AHRC Parkes Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project. She is the author of The Land of the Body: Studies in Philo's Representation of Egypt. James Aitken was Research Fellow of the AHRC Parkes
Institute Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project and is currently Teaching Fellow in Hebrew and Aramaic at Cambridge University. He is the author of The Semantics of Blessing and Cursing in Ancient Hebrew. Jennifer Dines was Research Associate of the AHRC Parkes
Institute Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project and a former Lecturer at Heythrop College, University of London. She is the author of a classic handbook, The Septuagint.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Tessa Rajak

part one: theories and practices of hellenistic rulers

1. Philosophy and Monarchy in the Hellenistic World
Oswyn Murray

2. The Character of Ptolemaic Aristocracy: Problems of Definition and Evidence
Jane Rowlandson

part two: rulers in greek-jewish texts

3. Persia through the Jewish Looking-Glass
Erich Gruen

4. Ben Sira on Kings and Kingship
Benjamin Wright

5. The Image of the Oriental Monarch in the Third Book of Maccabees
Philip Alexander and Loveday Alexander

6. The Angry Tyrant
Tessa Rajak

7. The Narrative Function of the King and the Library in the Letter of Aristeas
Sylvie Honigman

8. Kingship and Banditry: The Parthian Empire and Its Western Subjects
Richard Fowler

part three: light from the septuagint translators?

9. Translating for Ptolemy: Patriotism and Politics in the Greek Pentateuch?
Sarah Pearce

10. Poet and Critic: Royal Ideology and the Greek Translator of Proverbs
James Aitken

11. The King’s Good Servant? Loyalty, Subversion, and Greek Daniel
Jennifer Dines

12. The Terminology of Government in the Septuagint—in Comparison with Hebrew, Aramaic, and Other Languages
Lester Grabbe

13. The Court Function of the Interpreter in Genesis 42.23 and Early Greek Papyri
Trevor Evans

part four: ideologies of jewish rule

14. The Greek Bible and Jewish Concepts of Royal Priesthood and Priestly Monarchy
Arie van der Kooij

15. Royal Ideology: 1 and 2 Maccabees and Egypt
Jan Willem van Henten

16. Constructing Kings—from the Ptolemies to the Herodians: The Archaeological Evidence
Douglas Edwards

cumulative bibliography
list of contributors
ancient sources
modern authors

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