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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 July 2021

Patriarchal Fictions

Patriarchal Fictions

(p.94) 3 Patriarchal Fictions
Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity

Sara Raup Johnson

University of California Press

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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