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Nicholas of Damascus

(216 words)

Author(s): Rajak, Tessa
[German Version] (c. 46 bce, Damascus), Greek historian, Aristotelian philosopher and rhetorician. Nicholas was closely associated with Herod (Herod), king of Judea, from 14 bce at the latest, and perhaps from as early as 30 bce. For Herod, he performed various political, diplomatic and advisory tasks, which included defending the status of the Jews of Asia Minor in front of Marcus Agrippa, reconciling Herod with Augustus, and trying Herod’s son Antipater. Much of Nicholas’s work is lost, including almost all of his philosophical…

Josephus, Flavius

(852 words)

Author(s): Rajak, Tessa
[German Version] (37 ce, Jerusalem – c.100 ce, Rome). The works of Josephus, one of the most important Greek historians of Judaism, are the principal sources for the history of the Jews (Judaism) in the period of the Second Temple. Born in Jerusalem as the son of a Jewish priest, Josephus was a descendant on the maternal side from the Hasmonean dynasty (Maccabees). By his own, at times doubted, account, he sampled all varieties of Judaism before following the Pharisees ( Vita, 10–12). Josephus embarked upon a political career in pre-70 Jerusalem. Participation in a delegation to Rome (c. 64 ce…

Diaspora

(2,671 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Rajak, Tessa | Dan, Joseph | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Gerloff, Roswith
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Jewish Diaspora – III. Christian Diaspora I. History of Religions The Greek noun διασπορά/ diasporá derives from the composite verb διασπείρω/ dia-speírō, translated “to disperse, scatter, be separated.” Epicurus, following Plutarch, used diasporá in the context of his philosophical doctrine of the atom in the sense of “dissolution down to the last units, to have become without context.” The Jewish tran…