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Zerubbabel

(281 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (Ζοροβαβελ/ Zorobabel, LXX). The pseudepigraphic Hebrew Apocalypse of Z. (Apocalypses) was presumably written in Palestine (Palaestina) at the beginning of the 7th cent. AD and reflects Messianic expectations of the Jewish population, which - threatened by anti-Jewish Byzantine law - was hoping for a Persian conquest of Palestine (Persian-Byzantine Wars 604-630 AD; dating of the Apocalypse to the 4th or 5th cent.[1]). Embedded in a frame story, the revelation by Metatron (some MSS:…

Manaemus

(193 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
(Μανάημος; Manáēmos). Greek form of the Hebrew proper name Menaḥem (‘the comforter), attested in the Old Testament (2 Kgs 15:14ff.) and in other Semitic languages. [German version] [1] Essenian, 1st cent. BC Essenian ( Essenes) (1st cent. BC), who foretold Herod ( Herodes [1]) the Great that he would become king and that he would turn his back on godliness and and justice, and who predicted, in a second prophecy, the duration of his reign (Jos. Ant. Iud. 15,10,5). Like M. [3], the son of Judas Galilaeus, he is identified with the scribe M. [1; 2]. Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) [German version] [2] In…

Proselytes

(559 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (προσήλυτος/ prosḗlytos, 'one that has arrived (to join the group)'; Latin proselytus). The first recorded use of the Greek term prosḗlytos is in the Septuagint as a translation of the Biblical concept gēr (a 'foreigner' resident in Israel and enjoying special legal status) [8. 40-45; 9. 51 ff.]. Towards the end of the epoch of the Second Temple (1st cent. AD), prosḗlytos then chiefly refers to a convert to Judaism (Jos. Ap. 2,28) [4. 60 ff.], who enjoyed almost the same rights within the Jewish community as one born a Jew [1. 60-123]. Ac…

Salome

(460 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
(Hebrew šelomṣiyōn, 'Peace of Zion', Aramaic short form šelamṣāh; Σαλώμη/ Salṓmē). [German version] [1] Sister of Herod [1] the Great, 2nd half, 1st cent. BC Sister of Herod (Herodes [1]) the Great ( c. 57 BC - AD 10). Until his death, she played an important role in factional intrigues at the Herodian court: she plotted against Herod's Hasmonaic wife Mariamme [1] I and their sons Alexander and Aristoboulus [4], likewise against her own husbands Iosephus [1] and Costobarus, who were executed (Jos. BI 1,441 ff.; Jos. Ant. Iud. 1…

Gessius Florus

(280 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] The last of seven procurators who administered most of Palestine as a Roman province after the death of Agrippa I in AD 44 under the supreme command of the Syrian governor. Born in Clazomenae, he obviously obtained his office through the links between his wife Cleopatra and the empress Poppaea Sabina (Jos. Ant. Iud. 20,252f.). His rule lasted only two years (AD 64-66) and ended with the outbreak of the 1st Jewish uprising against Rome (Tac. Hist. 5,10). Josephus Flavius whose Bellum Iudaicum is the most important source for Gessius Florus (GF) (cf. Jos. BI 2,1…

Septuagint

(931 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] I. Origin According to the legend of the origin of the Septuagint, which is based on the so-called Letter of Aristeas [2] ([12. 20-37; 15. 677-687; 13]), king Ptolemy [3] II Philadelphus had the Pentateuch translated into Greek for his library by 70 (or 72; 70 = ἑβδομήκοντα/ hebdomḗkonta, Latin septuaginta interpretes, hence the name S./LXX) scholars over a period of 70 (or 72) days. The name then came to refer to the Greek translation of the entire Hebrew Bible including the Apocrypha (Apocryphal literature). This story is prob…

Menelaus

(2,514 words)

Author(s): Visser, Edzard (Basle) | Zahrnt, Michael (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Et al.
(Μενέλαος/Menélaos, Attic Μενέλεως/Menéleos; Latin Menelaus). [German version] [1] Ruler of Sparta, married to Helena A significant character in the cycle of myths about the Trojan War ( Troy: Cycle of myths). A younger brother of Agamemnon, who ruled the most significant power centre in Greek myth, Mycene, by marriage to Zeus's daughter Helen ( Helene [1]; their only child was a daughter, Hermione) M. became king of a region in the Eurotas valley with its capital Sparta and Amyclae [1], which was significant…

Phasael

(532 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
(Φασάηλος; Phasáēlos). [German version] [1] Eldest son of Antipater [4] and Cyprus Eldest son of Antipater [4] and Cyprus, born in c. 77 BC probably in Marissa (Idumaea; Jos. Bl.  1,8,9; Jos. Ant. lud. 14,7,3). In 47 BC, P. was appointed governor  (στρατηγός/stratēgós) of Jerusalem and the surrounding area by Antipater (ἐπίτροπος/ epítropos of Judaea under the high priest and ethnarchos Hyrcanus [3] II), while his brother Herod [1] took on the same office in Galilee (Jos. Ant. lud. 14,9,2; Jos. Bl 1,10,4). Josephus credits P…

Literature

(23,376 words)

Author(s): Rüpke, Jörg (Erfurt) | Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hazenbos, Joost (Leipzig) | Hose, Martin (Munich) | Et al.
[German version] I. General Literary communication is communication by means of texts - stabilized, coherent and substantial statements. These may be written or eventually put down in writing, but they may also remain oral ( Literacy). Since for earlier societies as a rule only written texts can be studied, the term ‘literature’ focusses on such sedimented media of literary communication. Nevertheless, particularly for ancient societies the mainly oral character of literary communication must be emp…

Machaerus

(270 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (Μαχαιροῦς/ Machairoûs, Hebrew Mekawar, Mekabar). Fortress situated east of the Dead Sea in southern Peraea, on the border with the Nabataean kingdom ( Nabataei) which Alexander [16] Iannaeus (103-76 BC) had built (modern Ruǧm al-Mišnaqa). According to Plin. HN 5,16,72, M. was, apart from Jerusalem, the strongest fortress in Judea. M. was completely destroyed during the Roman campaign in 63 BC by Pompeius (Str. 16,763) and later by the proconsul of Syria Gabinius [I 2] (57-55 BC) (Jos…

Callirhoe

(335 words)

Author(s): Zingg, Reto (Basle) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
(Καλλιρ[ρ]όη; Kallir(r)hóē, ‘the fair-flowing’). [German version] [1] Daughter of Oceanus Daughter of Oceanus, wife of  Chrysaor [4], mother of  Geryoneus (Hes. Theog. 351; 979ff.; Apollod. 2.106; Hyg. Fab. 151). She appears in the circle of  Persephone (H. Hom. 5,419); also mentioned as wife of Manes or of Poseidon (Dion. Hal. Ant. 1.27.1; schol. Pind. O. 14.5). Zingg, Reto (Basle) [German version] [2] Daughter of Achelous Daughter of Achelous, wife of  Alcmaeon [1], mother of Amphoterus and Acarnan (Apollod. 3.88ff.; Eur. Alcestis TGF fr. 79). Zingg, Reto (Basle) …

Metatron

(323 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] One of the highest princes of angels in Jewish mystical literature. There are several etymological explanations for M.'s name. Odeberg [2. 137 ff.] had already pleaded for the Greek words metá and thrónos, ‘(he who sits)next to the throne (of God)’ (similarly [1]; negatively [5. 75]). In addition, a tradition of 70 secret names is linked with M. [3], including ‘Youth’, ‘Servant’, ‘Yahoel’ and ‘little Yahweh’. He is given a central role in late antique Hekhalot literature [5]. In the so-called Third Book of Enoch…

Fiscus Iudaicus

(230 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] The special tax of two drachmas per person imposed on the Jewish population after the conquest of Jerusalem (AD 70) by Vespasianus (Jos. BI 7,218). The fiscus iudaicus ( FI) replaced the half-shekel tax levied for the Jewish Temple and was regarded as a punitive measure as it was diverted to the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome. Under Domitianus the FI was collected rigourously as a measure for preventing conversions (Suet. Dom. 12,2) [3; 4; 7], but already under Nerva the collection was eased off [1; 4]. The levying of the FI is attested until the mid 3rd cent. AD …

Pheroras

(228 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (Φερώρας; Pherṓras). Youngest son of Antipater [4], born c. 68 BC probably in Marissa (Idumaea), died c. 5 BC. His first marriage was to a Hasmonaean princess (the sister of Mariamme [1] I, the first wife of his elder brother Herodes [1] I), his second was to a "slave girl" (Jos. BI 1,24,5; Jos. Ant. Iud. 16,7,3). P. was a close comrade-in-arms of his brother Herodes: on his commission he restored the fortress of Alexandreum to the north of Jericho (Jos. Ant. Iud. 15,11,5; Jos. BI 1,16,3), acted …

Matthias

(132 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (Ματθίας/Matthías); variant of the proper name Mattathias, Hebr. Mattityah, ‘gift of God’). Father of the historian Iosephus [4] Flavius, of whom little is known apart from his son's statements in his vita (Jos. Vit. 1). He lived from AD 6 until after AD 70, since Iosephus reports on the fate of his parents during the Jewish War (Vit. 41; Jos. BI 5,13,1). M. was a member of the priestly clan of Yehoyarib (1 Chr 24,7) and his great-grandmother was presumably a daughter of Alexander [16] Iannaeus and therefore a Hasmonean (Vit. 1,4; critical [3], affirmative [2]). Wandrey, Iri…

Onias

(574 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
(Greek Ὀν(ε)ίας/ On(e)ías; Hebrew neḥonyah, ḥunyah, ḥoni); personal name, which was widespread in ancient Judaism ([9. vol. 2, 1394, 1455]; Jos. Ant. Iud. 14,22; 25; 222; Jos. Ap. 2,49; Mishnah Taan 3,8). In the pre-Maccabaean period, bearers of this name included four Zadokid High Priests at the Temple of Jerusalem. The most important historical sources for the lineage of the Oniads are the Antiquitates Iudaicae of Iosephus [4] Flavius and 2 Macc. [German version] [1] O. I. High Priest, father of Simon the Just, 4th/3rd cents. BC (Late 4th cent. BC). Son of the High Priest Jaddu…

Iosephus

(1,520 words)

Author(s): Bringmann, Klaus (Frankfurt/Main) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Berger, Albrecht (Berlin)
(Ἰώσηπ(π)ος; Iṓsēp(p)os, Ιώσηφ(ος); Iṓsēph(os)). From Hebrew yosep yosipyah ‘may God add (further children)’, a prevalent Jewish name in memory of the biblical patriarch Joseph (Gen. 35; 37-50), e.g. in the Herodian family. [German version] [1] Uncle and brother-in-law of Herod [1] the Gr. Uncle and brother-in-law of  Herod [1]  the Great (Jos. Ant. Iud. 15,65; 81). He acted as his deputy for the duration of Herod's journey to M.  Antonius [I 9] in 34 BC. He became involved in the intrigues surrounding Queen  Mariamme, his wife Salome pr…

Magic, Magi

(7,505 words)

Author(s): Wiggermann, Frans (Amsterdam) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz) | Et al.
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. General The magic of the ancient Orient and of Egypt is based on a view of the world that runs counter to that of religion. In the world-view of magic, men, gods and demons are tied to each other and to the cosmos by sympathies and antipathies, whereas in the religious world view everything is created by the gods for their own purposes; the relations between men and the cosmos are the result of deliberate actions of the gods. In the practice of religion, however, b…

Caiphas

(193 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (Και(α)φᾶς, Cai(a)phâs). Joseph, with the epithet Caiphas (from Aramaic qayyāfā), was high priest of the Temple of Jerusalem (AD 18-36) and therefore the leader of the Sanhedrin ( Synhedrion), the highest Jewish authority for civil and political issues during Hellenistic and Roman times. As son-in-law of the high priest Ananus (or Annas, Hannas; AD 6-15), he belonged to one of the important families of priests that regularly occupied this office (Jo 18,13; also mPar 3,5 and tYev 1,10) [4. 234]. He was appointed by the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus (AD 15-26), …

Phasaelis

(207 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina (Berlin)
[German version] (Φασαηλίς/ Phasaēlís, Φασηλός/ Phasēlós, modern Ḫirbat Faṣāil). City founded by Herodes [1] I in memory of his elder brother Phasael [1] to the north of Jericho in the fertile Jordan rift valley, probably after 30 BC (Ios. Ant. Iud. 16,5,2; Ios. BI 1,21,9). Inherited after Herod's death by his sister Salome (Ios. Ant. Iud. 17,8,1; Ios. BI 2,6,3), after her death P. became the property of Livia [2], wife of the emperor Augustus (Ios. Ant. Iud. 18,2,2; Ios. BI 2,9,1). P. was known for it…
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