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Parallel Lives Of Two Lawgivers: Josephus’ Moses And Plutarch's Lycurgus

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Chapter Summary

Lawgivers play a crucial role in the revolutionary development of a new society not only with the laws that they promulgate but also by the personal example through which they set the moral tone for their own and for future generations. This chapter discusses the parallels between Plutarch and Josephus in their methods and goals. Since, on the one hand, as Wardman notes, some of the heroes of Plutarch's Lives were known to Josephus through the writings of Greek and Roman historians and since the Lives are, in fact, an offshoot of ancient historiography, and since, on the other hand, Josephus, in his rewriting of the Bible, following in the Hellenistic traditions that appear to go back to the historiographical schools of historiography of the fourth-century b.c.e. Isocrates and Aristotle,focuses on history as biography. Plutarch begins his biography of Lycurgus with a discussion of his date and genealogy.

Keywords: Bible; Hellenistic traditions; Josephus; lawgivers; Lycurgus; Moses; Plutarch



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