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Immolating Emperors: Spectacles Of Imperial Suffering And The Making Of A Jewish Minority Culture In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Over the past decade, a number of scholars have productively applied Scott's distinction between "hidden" and "public" transcripts to the strategies by which late antique rabbis appropriated, subverted, and inevitably also re-inscribed elements of the dominant Roman (and Christian) culture within Jewish legal and narrative traditions. This chapter seeks to advance the insights of this scholarship concerning the paradoxical impact of religious competition and, at times, violence on late antique Judaism by tracing the historical development of Jewish fantasies of revenge directed at Roman imperial power, in particular as it was embodied in the person of the Roman emperor or the imperial household. It analyzes the topos of the punishment of the wicked ruler or tyrant in early Jewish and Christian writings produced before the late fourth and early fifth centuries.

Keywords: early Christian writings; early Jewish writings; late antique Judaism; Roman emperor; Roman imperial power



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