This learning set out to understand the seemingly paradoxical juxtaposition of history and fiction, combining historical verisimilitude with a remarkable disregard for historical accuracy, characteristic of a wide variety of Jewish Hellenistic texts. The Third Maccabees, a late Hellenistic text often seen as confrontational, was not designed to nurture the Jews of Alexandria to separate themselves from their fundamentally hostile surroundings, for all its awareness that confrontation could occur. On the contrary, through the fictional story of a persecution happily averted, it sought to construct a model of identity allowing the preservation of traditional Jewish piety while at the same time making possible Jewish involvement in the wider Greek world. Historical accuracy is appealed so far as it supports the didactic purpose of the story, but the author does not hesitate to alter the facts if it serves his purpose, or to forge documents in whatever style will best favor the illusion of authenticity.
California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.