By Frederic Raphael
From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, this is an audacious historical past of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish common became Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew by myself within the Gentile world.
Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic tale. His lifestyles, within the palms of Frederic Raphael, turns into some degree of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews looking a spot within the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar’s rigor, a historian’s viewpoint, and a novelist’s mind's eye to this venture. He is going past the attention-grabbing info of Josephus’s existence and his singular literary achievements to check how Josephus has been considered by way of posterity, discovering in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated highbrow, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures within the lengthy centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael’s insightful snap shots of Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt expand and light up the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.
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Additional resources for A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus
And there can be no more effectual means for checking calumny than by affording ample facilities for impeachment, which is as useful in a commonwealth as the other is pernicious. And between them there is this difference, that calumny needs neither witness, nor circumstantial proof to establish it, so that any man may be calumniated by any other; but not impeached; since impeachment demands that there be substantive charges made, and trustworthy evidence to support them. Again, it is before the magistrates, the people, or the courts of justice that men are impeached; but in the streets and market places that they are calumniated.
We should, therefore, be careful how we censure the government of Rome, and should reflect that all the great results effected by that republic, could not have come about without good cause. And if the popular tumults led the creation of the tribunes, they merit all praise; since these magistrates not only gave its due influence to the popular voice in the government, but also acted as the guardians of Roman freedom, as shall be clearly shown in the following Chapter. 35 Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius CHAPTER V Whether the Guardianship of public Freedom is safer in the hands of the Commons or of the Nobles; and whether those who seek to acquire Power or they who seek to maintain it are the greater cause of Commotions.
But we must take it as a rule to which there are very few if any exceptions, that no commonwealth or kingdom ever has salutary institutions given it from the first or has its institutions recast in an entirely new mould, unless by a single person. On the contrary, it must be from one man that it receives its institutions at first, and upon one man that all similar reconstruction must depend. For this reason the wise founder of a commonwealth who seeks to benefit not himself only, or the line of his descendants, but his State and country, must endeavour to acquire an absolute and 54 Machiavelli undivided authority.