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Josephus as a source for economic history: Problems and approaches

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Chapter Summary

No one today would take seriously research on a historical period that does not have at least some presentation and discussion of the economic milieu. Josephus is certainly our most important source for the history of Second Temple Judea. We use him to fill in gaps in our knowledge of Roman History, Hellenistic History, and even the history of the Parthian Kingdom. He even tells us about religious developments in the pagan world. This chapter explores ways to approach the raw material that Josephus provides. A two-phased method is most useful. First we must realize that much of the material in Josephus can be classified according to subjects. The next framework for organizing and utilizing the economic evidence in Josephus: what we will call "detail type".

Keywords: Hellenistic History; Josephus; Parthian Kingdom; Roman History; Second Temple Judea



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