HELLENIC STUDIES SERIES
Cover: Tragedy, Authority, and Trickery: The Poetics of Embedded Letters in Josephus, from Harvard University PressCover: Tragedy, Authority, and Trickery in PAPERBACK

Hellenic Studies Series 42

Tragedy, Authority, and Trickery

The Poetics of Embedded Letters in Josephus

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$24.95 • £19.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674053373

Publication Date: 09/30/2010

Text

225 pages

6 x 9 inches

5 halftones

Center for Hellenic Studies > Hellenic Studies Series

World

To prove his sons’ treachery, Herod embellished a letter. To certify his history of Vespasian’s Judaean campaign, Josephus marshaled epistolary testimony. To alleviate a domestic problem, the Israelite king David sent a missive with a man it marks for death. Arguing for the importance of the first-century historian Josephus to the study of classical and Hellenistic literature, Tragedy, Authority, and Trickery investigates letters in Josephus’s texts.

Ryan S. Olson breaks new ground by analyzing classical, Hellenistic, and Jewish texts’ use of letters, comparing those texts to Josephus’s narratives, a virtual archive containing hundreds of letters. An external voice similar to speeches, embedded letters raise questions of authority, drive and color dramatic scenes, and function at textual and meta-textual levels to deceive their readers. Josephus, contextualized in a complex intellectual and cultural milieu, sustains and develops epistolarity in important ways that will be of interest to classicists, historians, theologians, and comparatists.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Marking the 75th Anniversary of Independence from British Rule

August 14 and August 15 mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of independence from British rule for Pakistan and India, respectively. Inextricably linked to the birth of these two South Asian nations is the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent that tragically accompanied the end of British colonialism.