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The Date of the Fannius Letter: Jos. Ant. 14.233

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The letter of safe-conduct to Jewish envoys in Jos. Ant. 14.233 is widely held, following Niese, to have been written by the consul of 161 B.C.E., C. Fannius Strabo although the letter is placed by Josephus among Roman documents that date to 49 B.C.E. The circumstances of the civil war go some way to explaining the extraordinary nature of this document: the element of danger present on Cos in 49 B.C.E., danger that was not present in the second c. B.C.E., the legend PR on the Asian cistophori of C. Fannius and the meaning of the phrase στρατηγòς νπατoς. The letter is addressed to the archons of Cos, a form of address found in the rst but not the second c. B.C.E. Research from the last three decades provide fresh considerations that argue for an identi cation of the author of the letter with C. Fannius, the governor of Asia in 49/8 B.C.E., a date which accords with the chronological position given by Josephus.


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