Making History: Josephus And Historical Method by Zuleika Rodgers

By Zuleika Rodgers

The stumble upon among interpretation and heritage within the writings of Josephus presents the conceptual framework for this assortment of essays. The contributions during this quantity, which have been provided at an overseas colloquium entitled ''Josephus: Interpretation and History'' held in Dublin in 2004, are united, now not by way of a unmarried view of Josephus, yet by means of the query of old approach, either old and glossy. those essays absorb facets of an issue easy to all researchers who might use Josephus for historic reasons, particularly: what's the courting among narratives and background? prepared thematically, the amount displays a severe engagement with the texts of Josephus, different literary texts, case experiences of specific occasions, and fabric is still.

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In this article, however, my only aim is to present the language, ancient and modern, that helps historians to know better what they deal with and not to get lost in 2 See the accounts of “noble death” during the Judean war as discussed in this volume by van Henten, Atkinson, and Chapman. A case in point is Gamla (Gamala): speaking of the events there, it may well be that Josephus, being an eye-witness, sees mere panic as voluntary mass suicide. There never was a pit under the town wall such as “seen” by Josephus.

Is there a link between reality and truth? In answer to this I should say that, first, truth is best defined on the level of meaning. Secondly, there are two important terms belonging to modern speechact theory that Aristotle did not know and which are useful here. The terms are these: The reference of a phrase to a thing or to things may be successful; the content of this phrase may be true. ” Whether this is the case and the adaequatio rei et intellectus has succeeded, depends on different sets of conditions concerning references as well as meanings, on which there are elaborate philosophies.

One more definition: A statement found in a text normally has got its context. I mean the literary context or, with another term, the syntagma. The world in which things happen or in which records are written recently came to be called “context” as well, but this is to blur the difference between texts and what they speak of. ” The distinction between object language and meta-language has often been blurred, even programmatically so, in idealistic philosophy. But for most uses of human language, there is a fundamental difference between speaking of words and speaking of things outside the would-be self-sufficiency of language.

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