Josephus' rewriting of the Babel narrative (Gen 11:1-9)

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This paper analyzes Josephus' appropriation of the biblical episode of the tower of Babel. It aims to highlight its originality as well as its purposes. Its methodology is two-fold: firstly, it recasts Josephus' passage in the context of the contemporary Jewish literature in general and of Josephus' writings in particular; secondly, it closely examines its language. This analysis reveals that Josephus was inspired by his own experience during the war in Judaea, and therefore presents the episode of Babel as a political-theological myth. In addition, this study explores the manner in which Josephus used the biblical narrative in order to polemicize against the Greeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-191
Number of pages23
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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