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The Panegyris In Jerusalem: Responses To Herod’s Initiative ( Josephus, Antiquities 15.268–291)

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Chapter Summary

Herod founded a festival in honour of Augustus in Jerusalem, probably in the Spring or the Summer of 28 BCE. Josephus calls Herod's festival a Panegyris (Antiquities 15.269), which is the technical term for a combination of festivities: athletic and musical contests, entertainment such as drama, dance and drinking bouts, as well as cultic performances. The seventh-century Chronicon Paschale refers to a second theatre in Jerusalem, erected by Hadrian; the remains could also concern this theatre. One of the intriguing differences between Josephus' reports about Herod's festivals in Caesarea and Jerusalem is, that the Caesarea passages completely pass over how the festivities were received, while the Jerusalem report is mainly focused on the response. Herod's games in Jerusalem, the first of a series of three festivals in honour of Augustus, turned out to be a fiasco.

Keywords: Augustus; Caesarea; Herod; Jerusalem; Josephus; Panegyris



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