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

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Pantheon Books, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
10 Reviews

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

User Review  - Goodreads

I could not wait to finish this book because it would mean that it was done. As a history-buff, I was pretty pumped to read this book, however the author's pretentious writing just did not do it for ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Goodreads

I enjoyed Raphael's book—specifically the research and notes. Read cautiously, however; his conclusions reflect his bias more than what can be drawn from the research. A good read! Read full review


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About the author (2013)

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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