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By Arnaldo Momigliano

During this vintage research of cultural war of words Professor Momigliano examines the Greeks' perspective towards the modern civilizations of the Romans, Celts, Jews, and Persians. examining cultural and highbrow interplay from the fourth throughout the first centuries B.C., Momigliano argues that during the Hellenistic interval the Greeks, Romans, and Jews loved an unique specific courting that assured their lasting dominance of Western civilization.

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And extra more often than not the seekers of symbols have chanced on a brand new textual content to interpret all alone point. the nature of the ebook and the query of the date are certainly inseparable. yet first I should make it transparent that I percentage the bulk opinion in response to which the Greek textual content is of Jewish, now not Christian, authorship. whilst the minority opinion contains the names of Erik Peterson and Arthur Darby Nock one has after all to continue warily. yet neither of them has relatively argued the case for a Christian novel and not using a Jewish version, to copy the formula of Nock (Essays eleven, 900 n. 14; cf. E. Peterson, Enciclopedia Cattolica, s. v. Aseneth). the easy truth continues to be that the ebook tells the tale of the conversion of an Egyptian woman to Judaism, and all its theology and imagery are unmistakably JewishHellenistic. The ebook of Genesis within the traditional Bible leaves us concerned about the mysterious Aseneth, daughter of Pothiphera, priest of On (Heliopolis), who used to be given as a spouse by way of Pharaoh to Joseph and bore him the 2 sons Manasseh and Ephraim (41. forty five; forty-one. 50-2). How attractive was once Aseneth ? and why did Joseph marry a Gentile ? This was once a very good aspect of departure for a Jew who desired to reassert the outdated ties of the Jews with Egypt and even as make proselytes between his neighbours. Aseneth is gifted as an 117 Greeks, Jews and Romans super attractive convert to Judaism within the such a lot romantic situations. The son of Pharaoh attempts to rape her with the aid of Dan and Gad, yet after all the plot (in which Jews and Egyptians are both responsible) is found. The son of Pharaoh is killed nearly by chance, and Joseph gets the crown from Pharaoh. As Professor G. D. Kilpatrick confirmed in a pioneer paper, Judaism is gifted as a secret faith {Expository occasions, vol. sixty four (October 1952), 4-8). Aseneth is initiated into Judaism by means of participating of a astounding honeycomb - obviously the biblical manna. The proselyte isn't required to suffer baptism via immersion - a ceremony that's presumed within the Mishnah and which created transformations on concerns of aspect among the colleges of Shammai and Hillel, that's, within the first century A. D. (G. F. Moore, Judaism in, 109). there isn't any allusion to international rule or to Christianity. the total surroundings is that of the second one or first century B. C, while the Jews felt good rooted and robust within the land of Egypt. The language, that's such as the LXX, confirms this influence. there have been the entire beneficial stipulations for the robust idiosyncrasies of Egyptian Judaism to turn into spiritual separatism. certainly a few kind of try used to be made during this course, as the excessive Priest Onias or his son, after escaping from Jerusalem to Egypt, based a temple in Leontopolis which was once intended to rival Jerusalem. The schism mainly used to be a failure. ironically, its Palestinian foundation could have restricted its allure for Egyptian Jews. The temple survived until eventually the Romans closed it in A. D. seventy three, yet triggered little hassle. as a minimum the Palestinian Jews skilfully maintained and bolstered their hyperlinks with Egypt, despatched their books to Egypt, and ensured reputation of the hot gala's confirmed in Judaea.

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