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Heritage and Hellenism By Erich S. Gruen

Heritage and Hellenism
by Erich S. Gruen

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In this work Erich Gruen draws on a variety of literary and historical texts from antiquity to explore a central question: how did the Jews accommodate themselves to the larger cultural world of the Mediterranean while at the same time reasserting the character of their own heritage within it?
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Heritage and Hellenism Summary


Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition by Erich S. Gruen

The interaction of Jew and Greek in antiquity intrigues the imagination. Both civilizations boasted great traditions, their roots stretching back to legendary ancestors and divine sanction. In the wake of Alexander the Great's triumphant successes, Greeks and Macedonians came as conquerors and settled as ruling classes in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. Hellenic culture, the culture of the ascendant classes in many of the cities of the Near East, held widespread attraction and appeal. Jews were certainly not immune. In this thoroughly researched, lucidly written work, Erich Gruen draws on a wide variety of literary and historical texts of the period to explore a central question: How did the Jews accommodate themselves to the larger cultural world of the Mediterranean while at the same time reasserting the character of their own heritage within it? Erich Gruen's work highlights Jewish creativity, ingenuity, and inventiveness, as the Jews engaged actively with the traditions of Hellas, adapting genres and transforming legends to articulate their own legacy in modes congenial to a Hellenistic setting. Drawing on a diverse array of texts composed in Greek by Jews over a broad period of time, Gruen explores works by Jewish historians, epic poets, tragic dramatists, writers of romance and novels, exegetes, philosophers, apocalyptic visionaries, and composers of fanciful fables--not to mention pseudonymous forgers and fabricators. In these works, Jewish writers reinvented their own past, offering us the best insights into Jewish self-perception in that era.

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Heritage and Hellenism Reviews


"The great range of material with which Gruen deals and the clarity and depth of his analysis make Heritage and Hellenism an excellent introduction to a complex and poorly understood body of literature crucial to unraveling the place Jews made for themselves in the Hellenistic world." - G. Reger, Classical Review "Erich Gruen, distinguished classicist, offers a superb study of the interaction between Jews and Greeks in the Hellenistic period. [His] richly documented study sustains a critical dialogue with a broad range of contemporary scholars. His handling of complex issues is deft and judicious; his treatment of the primary texts is original and insightful.... Under Gruen's guidance [Hellenistic Jewish literature] invariably comes alive in new and fascinating ways." - Harold W. Attridge, The Journal of Religion "This excellent volume focuses on the writings of Jews in Greek and shows clearly that they are not to be seen as apologetic or defensive writings but as evidencing the vitality and creativity of a self-confident Judaism.... A book of broad scholarly interest to both scholars and everyone interested in the development of Judaism." - Robert Doran, Amherst College

About Erich S. Gruen


Erich S. Gruen is Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (California, 1974), The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome (California, 1984), Studies in Greek Culture and Roman Policy (1990), Culture and National Identity in Republican Rome (1992), and Diaspora: Jews amidst the Greeks and Romans (forthcoming).

Additional information

GOR010092486
Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition by Erich S. Gruen
Erich S. Gruen
Hellenistic Culture and Society
Used - Well Read
Paperback
University of California Press
2002-02-26
393
0520235061
9780520235069
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.