Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The fragments of Artapanus have proven to be enigmatic for most scholars over the years and as such have not been treated in significant detail. Most scholarship has been restricted to two separate lines of enquiry: genre and ethnicity. I suggest that the resonance between Greek colonial poetics sheds new light on Artapanus's literary agenda: namely, that Artapanus is constructing and representing the memory of Jewish cultural and political foundations using broader Greek poetics which were used to describe the civic, cultic and geographic foundation of a colony. In this way, Artapanus is no longer an outlier within the Hellenistic Jewish literature, but another example of Hellenistic Jewish authors appropriating particular Greek literary techniques to meet their own needs. Layered onto this inquiry about Artapanus's literary agenda is the question of the influence ethnic relations had on Artapanus as well as the impact on ethnic relations that his work was intended to have. Artapanus is writing at the intersection of Jewish, Egyptian and Greek cultures and this must be accounted for, as well. In this sense, the question I am asking builds on genre and ethnicity wherein genre provides a structure to narrate ethnic identity and ethnic identity provides the materials to emplot within a given genre. By addressing the resonance with a poetics of colonization, I am adding an additional, third coordinate to triangulate Artapanus’s perception of Jewish history and ethnicity in Hellenistic Egypt.
Harris, Scott, "Artapanus and Greek Colonial Poetics" (2023). Dissertations. 4026.
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