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orion-list which Epaphroditus?
I post this on orion, as it continues a discussion, and on ioudaios, in
case of interesting additional Josephus expertise there.
Josephus dedicated his late works to Epaphroditus. Though it could be
someone else, it seems likely that this refers to one of the two scholars
by that name known to have been in Rome when Josephus was. On orion we had
some posts on the dispute about whether or not Josephus changed his
attitude on Pharisees after War. I'm interested in looking at that question
but also with Essenes and Stoics taken in for consideration.
The death dates of each Epaphroditus have been discussed at length, as has
the death date of Agrippa II. The latter is especially complex, as shown
in, e.g. The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse by
Nikos Kokkinos (1998) 396-99. These dates are part of a calculus for dating
the late works. The walking human Josephus encyclopedia Louis Feldman,
remarked (in Cambridge History of Judaim III) that it is possible that the
endings of Antiquities could be accounted for in more that one dating
explanation (two editions; long composition time...).
What I'm getting to is that is seems to me that the variables of chronology
allow either Epaphroditus as a possibile patron and book-loaner. Several
(e.g. Seth Schwartz, Tessa Rajak...) have argued in favor of Epaphroditus
the grammarian, but mostly on dating grounds.
Steve Mason, in Understanding Josephus: Seven Perspectives (ed. Mason;
Sheffield, 1998) makes an interesting argument for the other Epaphroditus.
This involves Josephus, hypothetically, writing for those who "wish to
enquire further (Ant. 1.25)" about Judaism because they were potential
proselytes. Mason makes some interesting, if speculative, comparisons with
other proselytes during the rule of Domitian. Mix in exlies of philosophers
(and I'd add, the completion of Revelation of John, etc.) and one has--at a
minimum--an interesting story. Mason notes that Hans [actually Heinrich]
Luther in Josephus und Justus (1910) makes a good case for this
Epaphroditus (I've made an ILL req.). But if Mason is right, it may open a
way for more Josephus-evolution than he has seemed to welcome.
So I ask: might not the Domitian-killed Epaphroditus also be more likely as
Josephus' Epaphroditus because he was apparently more Stoic (he freed
Epictetus) than the E.-grammarian? Who would be more interested to hear
from Josephus: a Stoic or a grammarian? Anyway, would it help if we can
know which Epaphroditus and can we know?
best, Stephen Goranson
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