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The Second Temple And The Arts Of Resistance

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Chapter Summary

Various kinds of events are perceived as catastrophes by human societies. Some are natural disasters; others are social upheavals. This chapter focuses on the latter type of catastrophe. It once seemed to be obvious that the destruction of the second temple and the city of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE was a catastrophic social upheaval from the point of view of all Jews living at the time, as it so clearly was for the author of 4 Ezra. The chapter considers certain Jewish texts in the context of power relations, namely, the exercise of power and resistance to it. As a client king under the patronage first of Mark Antony and then of the emperor Augustus and his son-in-law Agrippa, Herod named buildings and even whole cities after his patrons. One of his ambitious building projects was the rebuilding of the second temple.

Keywords: arts of resistance; Jewish texts; second temple



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