εἰ δή τις … συκοφαντοίη : Impiety and the fiscus Iudaicus in Josephus, War 1.11

Journal article


Wassell, Blake. (2020). εἰ δή τις … συκοφαντοίη : Impiety and the fiscus Iudaicus in Josephus, War 1.11. Journal for the Study of Judaism. 51(4-5), pp. 525-570. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-12511296
AuthorsWassell, Blake
Abstract

The article discusses the meaning of εἰ δή τις … συκοφαντοίη (“If any critic carps,” or “recklessly impugns”) in Josephus, War 1.11. The overarching problem comprises the accusation the author imagines he may face and his nuanced response to it. The way Josephus and comparable authors use συκοφαντέω is the initial issue. The larger one is if the author might be saying something about the fiscus Iudaicus and its potential maladministration. The proposal is that Josephus denounces the stereotyping of Judean identity in terms of cultic impiety, a stereotype that allowed the funnelling of maiestas accusations through the tax treasury. Josephus’ cynicism toward the Iudaea capta discourse, not least the Flavians’ looting the temple and hijacking its tax, darkens his expression of piety in War’s prologue with irony and vitriole.

KeywordsJosephus; The Jewish War; συκοφαντέω; impiety (maiestas); Flavians; fiscus Iudaicus
Year2020
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Journal citation51 (4-5), pp. 525-570
PublisherKoninklijke Brill NV
ISSN0047-2212
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-12511296
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85096851726
Page range525-570
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online13 Aug 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Oct 2022
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