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Excursus II: The deliberative speech of Agrippa II

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Chapter Summary

The use of speeches had been an integral part of Greek writing about the past ever since Homer's epics. All of Josephus' major speeches, as the concordance allows the student to discover, are his literary creations: they develop, often in subtle ways, his themes, vocabulary, and rhetorical techniques. Agrippa appears to have set up an artificial context so that he can deploy the full range of arguments against war with Rome. Xerxes, son of Darius Hystaspis and Atossa, became king of Persia (485-465 BCE) when Egypt was in revolt from Persian hegemony. Athens emerged from the Persian wars with proven naval supremacy. It is now part of King Agrippa II's territory, which Josephus as rebel commander will nonetheless claim, along with Agrippa's cities of Tiberias and Tarichea in Galilee.

Keywords: Egypt; Greek; Josephus'; King Agrippa II; Persian; Rome; Xerxes



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