A Jew Among Romans

A Jew Among Romans : The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus

By (author) Frederic Raphael

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From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37-c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world. Joseph ben Mattathias's transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar's rigor, a historian's perspective, and a novelist's imagination to this project. He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus's life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael's insightful portraits of  Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.

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  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 35.56mm | 657.71g
  • 22 Jan 2013
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • 0307378160
  • 9780307378163
  • 534,571

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Author Information

Frederic Raphael is the author of more than twenty novels, f ive volumes of short stories, biographies of Byron and W. Somerset Maugham, and five volumes of his personal notebooks and journals. He is also the translator of, among other works, Petronius's "Satyrica" and is a regular contributor to the "Times Literary Supplement."

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Review quote

"Frederic Raphael's probing, reflexive essay on the life and legacy of Joseph ben Mattathias aka Flavius Josephus brilliantly straddles several mental and political worlds at once, situating--not always comfortably or comfortingly--its subject between Judaea and Rome, and us between a deeply troubled Roman middle east of the first century C.E. and several scarcely more serene hotspots of the modern western world." --Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge ""A Jew Among Romans" is a truly immense achievement by any standards. I hope it gets the large readership it deserves." --William Lyons, emeritus professor of philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin

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