Philonica et Neotestamentica

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New books

March 2010
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While digging into the library of Luther Seminary, where I am staying for some weeks now, I discovered two new books dealing with the conditions – and especially the socalled ‘pogrom’ – in Alexandria in the late thirties CE.:

Andrew Harker,
Loyalty and Dissidence in Roman Egypt. The Case of the Acta Alexandrinorum
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008),

Sandra Gambetti,
The Alexandrian Riots of 38 C.E. and the Persecution of the Jews: A Historical Reconstruction,
Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 135 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2009).

The first one deals primarily with the Acta Alexandrinorum, but has an introductory chapter that discusses Philo’s presentation of the tumultuous years of 38-41 CE.

The volume by Gambetti, tries to work out a deatiled and consistent picture of what can say happened in these years. She also has a very interesting excurse on the situation of the Jews in Alexandria (pp. 112-120).

Very interesting for me in my present work, is that they both support the view that the Jews in Alexandria did have a ‘politeuma’ institution of their own in Alexandria. This view have been contested in some recent works (esp. Barclay,Jews in the Mediteranean Diaspora, esp.pp. 43,note 73;64-65; Sarah Pearce, “Jerusalem as ‘Mother-City’ in the writings of Philo of Alexandria,” in Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish strategies in the Roman Empire, ed. John M.G. Barclay, (London: T. & T. Clark, 2004), 19–36). But now the older view has gained some strong support.


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