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Specter of the JewsEmperor Julian and the Rhetoric of Ethnicity in Syrian Antioch$
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Ari Finkelstein

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520298729

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520298729.001.0001

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Emperor Julian’s Jewish Gambit

(p.1) Introduction
Specter of the Jews

Ari Finkelstein

University of California Press

This chapter situates the book within scholarly discourse about the place of Jews in the late antique Roman Empire, a topic of interest to both historians of Jewish and Roman history. The book investigates how the emperor Julian (361–63 c.e.) uses Jews as ethnic Judeans in his hellenizing project to define Hellenic identity and to disqualify and delegitimize Christian ethnic claims. It concludes by summing up the main takeaways of the book for Jewish, Christian, and Roman historians of late antiquity.

Keywords:   late antiquity, Jews, Christians, hellenizing, Julian, Roman empire, theurgy, ethnos

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