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Composition and sources in Antiquities 18: The case of Pontius Pilate

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Chapter Summary

The contrast between those who argue respectably for a legitimate cause and those who argue in an unrespectable manner and for an unjustified cause, could not be sharper, and we have no reason to deny Josephus the title "author". This chapter discusses Antiquities 18 and tries to strike a balance between the two poles. It focuses on two adjacent passages in Josephus' account of Pontius Pilate, of which an English translation is given. It emphasizes that when Josephus set to work as an author in these passages, in Antiquities, the result was a very clear and expressive diptych, as opposed to the picture in War, in which the contrasts were not at all so clear. It focuses on the first two Pilate episodes-his introduction of standards into Jerusalem and his use of temple funds for an aqueduct-and asks if Josephus' source or sources can be characterized for these episodes.

Keywords: Antiquities; Jerusalem; Josephus; Pontius Pilate; temple funds



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