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Recreating Ancient History

Episodes from the Greek and Roman Past in the Arts and Literature of the Early Modern Period

Karl A. E.. Enenkel, Jan de Jong and Jeanine de Landtsheer

The papers in this volume offer examples of how historians, writers, playwrights, and painters in the early modern period used ancient history as a rich field of raw material that could be used, recycled, and adapted to new needs and purposes. They focused on classical antiquity as a source from which they could recreate the past as a way of understanding and legitimizing the present. The contributors to this volume have addressed a number of important, common issues that span a wide range of subjects from fifteenth-century Italian painting to the teaching of Greek history in eighteenth-century Germany. This volume is of interest for historians of the early modern period from all disciplines and for all those interested in the reception of classical antiquity.


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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

. After presenting the general data (Chapter 7) and the main interpretations of 4 Ezra (Chapter 8), I will focus on the guiding thread of the plot, which is the evolution of the protagonist, paying special attention to the denouement in 4 Ezra 14 (Chapter 9). In Chapter 10, I will address three topics

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

los veintidós libros: Nuevas preguntas en torno a Contra Apionem I, 37–45,” EstBib 67 (2009): 653–94. This allows me to present some points concisely, referring to this article for a more detailed discussion. In updating and reworking the material, I have paid special attention to three recent

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

understanding why Josephus speaks of the twenty-two books of the Jews in Ag. Ap. 1.37–45, it is fundamental to present an overview of the point in the argument in which the passage is located. This permits a knowledge of its function and prevents errors of perspective. The first step is to locate the text

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

which contain an eschatologized wisdom. Nothing like this appears in Josephus’ works. Nevertheless, we can ask whether the content of the collection of seventy books—the triumph of Israel, the coming of the Messiah, the end of time, and the like—is present somehow in his works. Certainly, a detailed

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

-two books, so that there would be as many books as letters of the alphabet ( Etymologies 6.3, PL 82:235–236). 4 A millennium later, in 1538, developing elements present in rabbinic literature and in medieval Jewish commentators (R. David Kimchi), Elias Levita goes so far as to say that it was Ezra—in union

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

Before describing the methodology, a caveat is in order. The following paragraphs will present the method as a linear process: formulation of the questions, selection of sources, literary analysis, and proposed explanation. In practice, however, the various stages overlap and influence one another

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

, especially concerning the histories of the biblical canon written in the late nineteenth century that tended to present the formation of the canon as a linear process, teleologically directed, that would have converged in the canon we know today in a natural and almost necessary way. 2 Recent attempts to

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

first words present the protagonist in the following terms: In the thirtieth year after the destruction of our city, I, Salathiel, who am also called Ezra, was in Babylon. I was troubled as I lay on my bed, and my thoughts welled up in my heart, because I saw the desolation of Zion and the wealth of

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

characters to the cryptic or hieratic writing, the use of which is evidenced by various manuscripts of Qumran Cave 4. This could be the background of 4 Ezra 14:42 rather than the supposed allusion to the Hebrew square writing. 22 We can add that the idea of books illegible to the uninitiated was present in