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Representations of EmpireRome and the Mediterranean World$
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Alan K. Bowman, Hannah M. Cotton, Martin Goodman, and Simon Price

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262764

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262764.001.0001

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Rome and the Jews: Josephus on ‘Freedom’ and ‘Autonomy’

Rome and the Jews: Josephus on ‘Freedom’ and ‘Autonomy’

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 Rome and the Jews: Josephus on ‘Freedom’ and ‘Autonomy’
Source:
Representations of Empire
Author(s):

DANIEL R. SCHWARTZ

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262764.003.0004

In Ant. 14. 77, speaking of the Roman conquest and dismemberment of the Hasmonean state in 63 bce, Josephus complains that ‘we lost our freedom and became subject to the Romans’. That is, eleutheria and Roman rule are incompatible. Three books later, however, at Ant. 17. 227, referring to the deliberations concerning the status of Judaea following Herod's death, Josephus refers to Jews who ‘desired freedom and to be placed under a Roman governor’. That is, eleutheria goes along fine with Roman rule. It is evident that two contradictory notions of freedom are at work in these passages, and this chapter investigates how Josephus could have written them both.

Keywords:   Roman conquest, Hasmonean state, freedom, eleutheria, Judaea, Roman rule, Josephus, Jews

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