Daniel R Schwartz, "Ancient Jewish Historians and the German Reich: Seven Studies" (de Gruyter, 2024)


Apart from an opening survey of modern study of ancient Jewish history, which emphasizes the foundational role of German-Jewish scholars, the studies united in Ancient Jewish Historians and the German Reich: Seven Studies (de Gruyter, 2024) apply philological methods to the writings of four of them: Heinrich Graetz, Isaak Heinemann, Elias Bickerman(n), and Abraham Schalit. In each case, it is argued that some seemingly trivial anomaly or infelicity, in a publication about such ancient characters as Antiochus Epiphanes, Herod, and Josephus, points to the way in which the historian constructed, and revised, his understanding of the Jews’ situation under Greeks or Romans in light of his perception of the Jews’ situation under the Second or Third Reich. The collection also includes a study that focuses on a Jewish medievalist, Philipp Jaffé, and unravels the indirect but inexorable process that led from a scholarly feud about the editing of medieval Latin texts, in the 1860s, to the “Berlin Antisemitism Dispute” (Berliner Antisemitismusstreit) of 1879–1881, which is commonly viewed as the opening act of modern German antisemitism.

Your Host

Ari Barbalat

Ari Barbalat holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of California in Los Angeles. He lives in Toronto with his family.

View Profile