By Frederic Raphael
From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, this is an audacious historical past of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish normal became Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew by myself 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 existence, within the fingers 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 point of view, and a novelist’s mind's eye to this undertaking. He is going past the attention-grabbing information of Josephus’s existence and his singular literary achievements to envision 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 images of Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt expand and light up 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
Both agreed once again to tolerate each other’s religious minorities. 33 Wisely, the Christian community in Persia now decided to separate itself from the church of the Roman empire, and appeals to this church for jurisdiction or support were to be ended. It thus freed itself from the ebb and flow of Roman religious politics and, as far as possible, from suspicion of being a foreign fifth column. The war had been generally inconclusive, but the fact that the two sophisticated monarchies could readily adjust their interests in a treaty which had a good chance of holding, indicated that stability could generally be attained on the Euphrates frontier.
He failed to take Naples and, reverting to his earlier plans, prepared a full-scale invasion fleet to capture Africa. 13 It was the symbolic humiliation of the sack, far more than any concrete damage, which stunned the imaginations of this and later generations. In a culture that tended to see history as great cyclical epochs rather than continuity, this had all the signs of the end of an era. As foretold, an Age of Gold had been followed by an Age of Silver, and eventually an Age of Iron and Rust.
In frustration, Alaric stripped Attalus of the purple (though sparing his life) and put out new peace feelers to Honorius, recognising him again as sole legitimate emperor. The two met personally a few miles outside Ravenna in July 410. Alaric clearly needed a settlement as much as Honorius did and, despite his volatile temperament, this was perhaps the eventual opportunity for a durable peace. After all, later events were to show that a settlement with the Visigothic nation was possible. At this point there appeared Sarus, Alaric’s old Gothic enemy, who had been denied the military promotion he believed he deserved, 24 FORTUNES OF EAST AND WEST and who certainly did not want Alaric reconciled with Honorius and given a high military position.
A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus by Frederic Raphael