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A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus

A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.

 

Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar’s rigor, a historian’s perspective, and a novelist’s imagination to this project. He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus’s life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael’s insightful portraits of  Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.

Review:

"Alternately hailed as the grand chronicler of the Jewish war with the Romans and reviled as a traitorous propagandist for the Roman emperor, the Jewish historian Josephus (37 — c. 100 C.E.) captured compellingly in his two major works — The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities — both the glory and despair of first-century Judaism. With the verve of a good storyteller, novelist and biographer Raphael (Somerset Maugham and His World) recreates Josephus' life and chaotic times: rapid changes in imperial leadership, with corresponding changes in Rome's treatment of the Jews in Judea. After a period of travel in Rome, Josephus became the provincial governor in Galilee. According to his own account in The Jewish War, he tried to mediate a truce with the Romans as they marched into Jerusalem to destroy it, but landing in the Masada fortress, he suggested that all Jews there commit suicide rather than die at the Romans' hands. Fortuitously, he drew a lot that allowed him to escape this fate only to be handed over to the emperor Vespasian, whom Josephus cannily convinced of his value as a court historian. Raphael's page-turning chronicle paints a portrait of Josephus as the first Jew to relate non-Judeocentric world history, yet a man whose Jewish identity remained central to his life even as he assimilated as a means of survival. Agent: Steve Wasserman, Kneerim and Williams." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

US

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.

 

Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar’s rigor, a historian’s perspective, and a novelist’s imagination to this project. He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus’s life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael’s insightful portraits of  Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.

About the Author

Frederic Raphael is the author of more than twenty novels, f ive volumes of short stories, biographies of Byron and W. Somerset Maugham, and five volumes of his personal notebooks and journals. He is also the translator of, among other works, Petronius’s Satyrica and is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307378163
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
Jewish
Author:
Raphael, Frederic
Subject:
World History-Ancient Near East
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Publication Date:
20130131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.53 x 6.63 x 1.36 in 1.44 lb

Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Jewish History

A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus
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$ In Stock
Product details 368 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780307378163 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Alternately hailed as the grand chronicler of the Jewish war with the Romans and reviled as a traitorous propagandist for the Roman emperor, the Jewish historian Josephus (37 — c. 100 C.E.) captured compellingly in his two major works — The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities — both the glory and despair of first-century Judaism. With the verve of a good storyteller, novelist and biographer Raphael (Somerset Maugham and His World) recreates Josephus' life and chaotic times: rapid changes in imperial leadership, with corresponding changes in Rome's treatment of the Jews in Judea. After a period of travel in Rome, Josephus became the provincial governor in Galilee. According to his own account in The Jewish War, he tried to mediate a truce with the Romans as they marched into Jerusalem to destroy it, but landing in the Masada fortress, he suggested that all Jews there commit suicide rather than die at the Romans' hands. Fortuitously, he drew a lot that allowed him to escape this fate only to be handed over to the emperor Vespasian, whom Josephus cannily convinced of his value as a court historian. Raphael's page-turning chronicle paints a portrait of Josephus as the first Jew to relate non-Judeocentric world history, yet a man whose Jewish identity remained central to his life even as he assimilated as a means of survival. Agent: Steve Wasserman, Kneerim and Williams." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.

 

Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar’s rigor, a historian’s perspective, and a novelist’s imagination to this project. He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus’s life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael’s insightful portraits of  Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.

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