Recent research on the textual tradition of Latin versions of the Testimonium Flavianum prompts another enquiry into the original text and the transmission of the famous passage. It is suggested here that the Greek/Latin versions highlight a western/eastern early history of the Testimonium and that in turn directs our attention back to the original circumstances of its composition and publication in the city of Rome in the later years of the first century. Restored to its original historical context, the Testimonium emerges as a carefully crafted attack upon the post-Pauline community of Christ-followers in the city.
This paper offers a reconstruction and analysis of the Herodian family as a presence in the city of Rome over more than three generations. The scholarly tendency to view the Herods as an aspect of a broader governmental system overlooks the workings of the particular relationships that elevated the Herods in their own land as well as at the centre of Roman power. Beginning with the foundation of a lasting connection between the Herods and the Julio-Claudians laid by Herod the Great and Augustus, this paper traces the legacy of that connection and its impact on affairs in both Judaea and Rome. The peculiar challenges of retaining status in both Roman and Jewish contexts are assessed and their importance as a vital aspect of our understanding of first-century Judaean politics is established. Examination, finally, of the development of their aspirations and their negotiation of dynastic change shows vividly the processes of ‘Romanisation’ in the context of an elite family.
This paper examines the process by which leadership of the Christian community in Rome proceeded from claims of apostolic authority to the ultimate tenure of the position of ‘pontifex maximus’ by the bishops of the city. It explores the development over time of the concept of episcopal succession and the way which the idea of a community of bishops was overtaken by the advent of Constantine. The translation of patterns of imperial power into Christian Rome is specifically evident in the encroachment of episcopal authority upon the ancient office of pontifex. The fate of the title of pontifex maximus is to be seen in this general context and the contextualization prompts the revisiting of a famous late antique confrontation between a Christian emperor and the last pagans of Rome.