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‘Jews as the Best of All Greeks’: Cultural Competition in the Literary Works of Alexandrian Judaeans of the Hellenistic Period

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a potentially high heuristic value in analysing the social imaginary of Alexandrian Judaean authors of Ptolemaic times, as reflected in their literary works. The first concept, 'cultural competition', was recently proposed by Karl Galinsky as an alternative to the traditional pair of 'assimilation' and 'opposition'. The second, 'appropriation', proves to be particularly useful in understanding how polemical arguments stemming from the controversies between Greek philosophical schools were both appropriated and subverted by Alexandrian Judaean authors, in order to portray their criticism of certain Greek values as a quarrel between rival philosophical schools. Finally, the author uses the concept of 'mimetic behaviour' to describe what the author sees as the cultural project of the author of Ar.

Keywords: Alexandrian Judaean; cultural competition; Greek values; Ptolemaic times



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