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Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity – Third Maccabees in Its Cultural Context - California Scholarship Online
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Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity: Third Maccabees in Its Cultural Context

Sara Raup Johnson


This study investigates the creation of historical fictions in a wide range of Hellenistic Jewish texts. Surveying so-called Jewish novels, including the Letter of Aristeas, Second Maccabees, Esther, Daniel, Judith, Tobit, and Josephus's account of Alexander's visit to Jerusalem and of the Tobiads, Artapanus, and Joseph and Aseneth, the book demonstrates that the use of historical fiction in these texts does not constitute a uniform genre. Instead it cuts across all boundaries of language, provenance, genre, and even purpose. It argues that each author uses historical fiction to construct a pa ... More

Keywords: historical fictions, Hellenistic Jewish texts, Jewish novels, language, provenance, genre, purpose, Hellenistic Jewish identity, non-Jewish world, Third Maccabees

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780520233072
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520233072.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sara Raup Johnson, author