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Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish IdentityThird Maccabees in Its Cultural Context$
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Sara Raup Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233072

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233072.001.0001

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Patriarchal Fictions

Patriarchal Fictions

Chapter:
(p.94) 3 Patriarchal Fictions
Source:
Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity
Author(s):

Sara Raup Johnson

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520233072.003.0003

Artapanus intentionally suggests that his work is a sober piece of Hellenistic historiography relying upon the ancient traditions preserved in Genesis and Exodus. It contains many detailed allusions both to its ultimate source, the Septuagint text, and to the Greek historical tradition within which Artapanus was ostensibly working. Each of the fragments of Artapanus takes its starting point from the biblical narrative. Moreover, close verbal echoes of the Septuagint text make it apparent that Artapanus not only used the Greek text of the Bible as his primary source but sought to remind that text in the mind of his audience. Artapanus is careful to invoke elements of the Greek historiographical tradition whenever possible. His title and scope are characteristic of Hellenistic scholarly works seeing to frame a non-Greek historical tradition in terms familiar to an educated Greek-speaking audience.

Keywords:   Artapanus, Genesis, Exodus, Septuagint text, audience

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