I have just received my copy of the (in so many ways) great work of Katell Berthelot, Jews and their Roman Rivals. Pagan Rome’s Challenge to Israel (Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2021). I must still postpone indulging in the book for some days, but here and now I would just like to direct my readers to a website she mentions in the Bibliography of her book (cf. p. 436ff):
“On this website you will find useful resources for studying Roman imperial ideology, or Roman imperial discourses, artefacts and performances, displayed in literary records, epigraphy, numismatics, as well as through monuments, statues and other material artefacts. There is a particular focus on sources connected to the three sub-themes of the project, “Roman Power,” “Roman Law” and “Roman Citizenship”.
You will also find Jewish, Greek, Egyptian and Christian sources documenting the responses of some of the provincials of the Roman empire to the challenge of Roman domination. By “responses,” however, we do not intend only the provincial sources that explicitly mention Rome and address issues such as Roman law courts or grants of Roman citizenship. We also take into account the way the Roman imperial context led provincials to formulate their own conceptions of power, law, and citizenship or membership with a given group.”
“The website Judaism and Rome aims to:
- give access to some important sources, providing as much information as possible: images, original text, translation…
- provide the reader with an original and detailed analysis of each source, a service that is very rarely offered on the internet, and which makes this website comparable to a rich sourcebook
- promote interdisciplinary discussion between scholars working on Roman history, Jewish Studies, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Classics, Patristics, History of Christianity, etc.”
There are multiple ways to perform a search and to find sources that are relevant to your specific interests.
A Great source, indeed!
Casper C. de Jonge, ‘Greek Migrant Literature in the Early
Roman Empire,’ Mnemosyne 75 (2022) 10-36.
Abstract: “This article argues that the concept of migrant literature, developed in postcolonial studies, is a useful tool for analysing Greek literature of the Early Roman Empire (27 bc-ad 68). The city of Rome attracted huge numbers of migrants from across the Mediterranean. Among them were many writers from Hellenized provinces like Egypt, Syria and Asia, who wrote in Greek. Leaving their native regions and travelling to Rome, they moved between cultures, responding in Greek to the new world order. Early imperial Greek writers include Strabo of Amasia, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Nicolaus of Damascus, Timagenes of Alexandria, Crinagoras of Mytilene, Philo of Alexandria and Paul of Tarsus. What connects these authors of very different origins, styles, beliefs, and literary genres is migrancy. They are migrant writers whose works are characterized by in-betweenness, ambivalence and polyphony.”
Berthelot, K. (2022). “The Superiority and Universality of the Torah in Philo’s Life of Moses 2.12–24: The Significance of the Roman Context”. Jewish Studies Quarterly, 2022, 29 (3), pp. 217-241.
Abstract: “In the section of On the Life of Moses that deals with Moses as lawgiver, Philo praises the Torah as the most excellent legislation ever written and emphasizes its universal popularity among Greeks and barbarians alike. This article contends that these two claims are to a great extent novel compared to previous Jewish discourses about the Law. Earlier Jewish authors writing in Greek celebrated the Torah’s superior wisdom but did not compare it to other legal systems. Moreover, previous Jewish reflections on the Law’s universality emphasized its accordance with the law of nature, while Mos. 2.12–24 introduces a new notion: the universal adoption of some of the Mosaic precepts by non-Jews. This paper argues that Philo’s innovative statements in On the Life of Moses, which have parallels in Josephus’ Against Apion, are to be understood in the framework of contemporary perceptions of and discourses on Roman law and jurisdiction.” Doi.