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The Influence Of The Greek Tragedians On Josephus

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Chapter Summary

The classical Greek historians so much studied and admired by Josephus, were from the very beginning deeply influenced by the tragedians. That Josephus was attracted to the great Greek tragedians may be seen in his adoption of both their language and their motifs. Euripides became the most popular of all ancient Greek dramatists almost immediately after his death, as Beers bas noted. This may be inferred from the fact that Plato and Aristotle quote from him more often than from any other tragedian. There is very good reason for believing that Josephus was familiar with the works of Sophocles, perhaps being attracted by the same emphasis on heroic humanism in the latter's rewriting of the Greek myths that he, Josephus, highlighted in his rewritten Bible.

Keywords: Euripides; Greek tragedians; Josephus; Sophocles

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