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Jacob's ShipwreckDiaspora, Translation, and Jewish-Christian Relations in Medieval England$
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Ruth Nisse

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703072

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703072.001.0001

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Josephus, Jerusalem, and the Martyrs of Medieval England

Josephus, Jerusalem, and the Martyrs of Medieval England

(p.19) 1 Josephus, Jerusalem, and the Martyrs of Medieval England
Jacob's Shipwreck

Ruth Nisse

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines a constellation of texts that establish the terms of Jewish Diaspora through competing claims to Flavius Josephus's Greek historical works, which focused interest on the Testimonium Flavianum and the Destruction of Jerusalem or “Pseudo-Hegesippus.” In his treatise On the Instruction of Princes, the twelfth-century historian Gerald of Wales reveals the conflict between Jews and Christians over the authenticity and cultural significance of ancient postbiblical writing as well as the bible itself. He accuses the Jews of a willingness to alter their own scriptures in order to support their claims against Christians in debates. This chapter considers how the various “Josephus” texts shape Diaspora in both the Christian and Jewish imaginations, particularly in ideas about conversion and resistance. It also discusses Sefer Yosippon, a Hebrew version of parts of Josephus's Antiquities and Jewish War.

Keywords:   conversion, Diaspora, Josephus, Testimonium Flavianum, Jerusalem, Pseudo-Hegesippus, Jewish War, Jews, Christians, Sefer Yosippon

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