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In Pesher and Hypomnema Pieter B. Hartog compares ancient Jewish commentaries on the Hebrew Bible with papyrus commentaries on the Iliad. Hartog shows that members of the movement which produced and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls adopted classical commentary writing and adapted it to their own needs.
The connection between the Qumran Pesharim and Hypomnemata on the Iliad resulted from exchanges of scholarly knowledge across Hellenistic-Roman Egypt and Palestine. Analysing the effects of these knowledge exchanges, Pesher and Hypomnema demonstrates that members of the Qumran movement were thoroughly embedded within their Hellenistic and Roman environment.

Abstract

This contribution explores the way in which Philo of Alexandria responded to the confrontational politics of the Roman emperor Gaius Caligula, who failed to protect Jewish political life in Alexandria from Greek and Egyptian attacks in 38 CE and even threatened to disrupt their religious life in Jerusalem by placing his statue in their temple. It is shown how Philo’s cultural resistance against the Roman emperor takes shape in a rather subtle way, by presenting the Jews as the guardians of traditional Roman values. Whereas the previous emperors, Augustus and Tiberius, conducted themselves as rulers of the global oikoumenē and exhibited a translocal mindset, taking care to foster the stability of the global Roman Empire by allowing the subjected nations to maintain their local ethnic customs, Gaius deviates from the succession of these good emperors, with his self-centred character and lack of virtue distorting the stability of the empire. The Jews, however, through the defence of their ethnic customs, contribute to the empire’s stability. Although polemicising against the figure of Gaius, Philo’s use of a strategy of “glocalisation,” in which he reimagines the Jews’ local identity from within the global context of the Roman Empire, allows him to remain as constructive as possible.

Open Access
In: Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities

Abstract

This chapter discusses the central role that travel, motion, and mobility play in the Acts of the Apostles. Written in the late 1st or early 2nd century CE, Acts uses motion as a topos to describe the early Jesus movement as a global, or supra-ethnic, group in which Judaeans and non-Judaeans come together. After showing how the term “the Way” – by which Acts denotes the Jesus movement – encapsulates a combination of proclamation and physical movement, I demonstrate how the apostles’ journeys and their encounters with local cultures result in the emergence of a glocal movement, in which local traditions are taken up within a global whole rooted in the ascended Jesus. This portrayal of the Way, as I argue in the final part of this chapter, combines the perspectives of Judaean eschatological expectations and Roman elite culture.

In: Mediterranean Flows: People, Ideas and Objects in Motion
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Hellenistic Judea
In: Pesher and Hypomnema: A Comparison of Two Commentary Traditions from the Hellenistic-Roman Period
In: Pesher and Hypomnema: A Comparison of Two Commentary Traditions from the Hellenistic-Roman Period
In: Pesher and Hypomnema: A Comparison of Two Commentary Traditions from the Hellenistic-Roman Period
In: Pesher and Hypomnema: A Comparison of Two Commentary Traditions from the Hellenistic-Roman Period