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Flavius Josephus and the Gentes Devictae in Roman Imperial Discourse: Hybridity, Mimicry, and Irony in the Agrippa II Speech (Judean War 2.345-402)

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Abstract In Judean War book 2, Agrippa II is purported to have delivered a speech in Jerusalem on the eve of the revolt, which includes a gentes devictae list. Such lists are attested in imperial propaganda, and are intended to display Roman domination of the known world by naming the conquered nations at the furthest extremities of the empire. But Josephus’ Agrippa goes further, and attributes the expansion of the empire to the Jerusalem deity, not to the deities of Rome, which seems consistent with a key aspect of colonial mimicry, according to Homi Bhabha. The speech reveals Josephus’ hybrid posture as conquered Judean and Roman citizen.

Affiliations: 1: University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, floor 3, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


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