Carson Bay, "Biblical Heroes and Classical Culture in Christian Late Antiquity" (Cambridge UP, 2022)


In this volume entitled Biblical Heroes and Classical Culture in Christian Late Antiquity (Cambridge UP, 2023), Carson Bay focuses on an important but neglected work of Late Antiquity: Pseudo-Hegesippus' On the Destruction of Jerusalem (De Excidio Hierosolymitano), a Latin history of later Second Temple Judaism written during the fourth century CE. Bay explores the presence of so many Old Testament figures in a work that recounts the Roman-Jewish War (66–73 CE) and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. By applying the lens of Roman exemplarity to Pseudo-Hegesippus, he elucidates new facets of Biblical reception, history-writing, and anti-Judaism in a text from the formative first century of Christian Empire. The author also offers new insights into the Christian historiographical imagination and how Biblical heroes and Classical culture helped Christians to write anti-Jewish history. Revealing novel aspects of the influence of the Classical literary tradition on early Christian texts, this book also newly questions the age-old distinction between the Christian and the Classical (or 'pagan') in the ancient Mediterranean world.

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