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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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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: 22 September 2021

A Priestly Nation

A Priestly Nation

The Jewish Priesthood as a Model for Julian’s Priestly Program

Chapter:
(p.86) 5 A Priestly Nation
Source:
Specter of the Jews
Author(s):

Ari Finkelstein

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520298729.003.0006

chapter 5 demonstrates that Julian partially draws on Jews to model his highly innovative priestly program. Jewish priests exemplify the priestly life Julian lays out for his Hellenic priests in ep. 89b, and they execute laws laden with theurgic wisdom. Specifically, their observance of the dietary laws and consumption of consecrated food exemplify characteristics of the pagan holy man upon whom Julian models his priesthood. In the Letter to the Community of the Jews, Julian hints that he plans to restore Jewish priests to positions of leadership. The supreme standing of Jewish priests in a restored temple model Julian’s conception of ideal Hellenic leadership. Further, Jews offer Hellenes a model for the financing of priests, as Jewish priests receive the right shoulder of every sacrifice.

Keywords:   priests, theios aner, pagan holy man, Letter to the Community of the Jews, Fragment of a Letter to a Priest

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