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A Villain And The Vips: Josephus On Judas The Galilean And The Essenes

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Chapter Summary

Josephus account of the Essenes in Bellum 2.11961 is peculiar and conspicuous in several ways. First, it is disproportionately extensive compared to the corresponding accounts of the Pharisees and the Sadducees (B.J. 2.16266). Furthermore, the insertion of the entire excursus into the record of Judas the Galileans call for insurgency seems at first sight totally misplaced. This chapter examines the narrative function of this famous account of the Essenes within its immediate literary context, and discusses what authorial concerns and strategies it betrays. Moreover, the chapter addresses the corresponding account in Antiquities 18, and finally discusses a few pertinent matters of historical reconstruction that emerges from Josephus excursuses on the threeor fourschools of Jewish philosophy.

Keywords: Bellum 2; Essenes; Galilean; Jewish philosophy; Josephus; Judas



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