[PAST EVENT] ‘The Intersection of Greco-Roman and Ancient Jewish Histories: How You Get There Matters!’

November 16, 2021
12:30pm - 2pm
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
Professor Albert Baumgarten
Professor Albert Baumgarten

 ‘A Humanist rejects authority, but respects tradition’, Erwin Panofsky

20th and 21st century scholarship on Jews in the ancient Mediterranean world has cast them along a spectrum between two poles: as sui generis, sequestered from their Greco-Roman milieu, or as acculturated, fully integrated into that milieu. Prof. Baumgarten contends that this disparity of perspective stems from a disparity of training among classicists, and in this lecture he explores this thesis by tracking the work of two eminent scholars of early Judaism: Hans Lewy (1901-1945), lecturer in classical languages at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Erich S. Gruen (1935-), Wood Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, UC Berkeley.

Albert (Al) is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, Bar Ilan University. He is primarily known for his work on Jewish sects in Palestine during the Second Temple Period. His hallmark monograph is The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era, first published by Brill in 1997, then reprinted by the Society of Biblical Literature Press in 2005. He also, however, nurtures an avid interest in classicists whose work has taken account of the Jews, particularly the distinguished Professor of Ancient History at his alma mater, Columbia University, Elias Bickerman. In 1986 Al edited a volume of Bickerman’s collected works (Brill). And his most recent monograph is a full out biography of him, Elias Bickerman as a Historian of the Jews: A Twentieth Century Tale (Mohr Siebeck, 2010). 

Dr. Baumgarten's lecture will be given in the context of Professor Michael Daise's RELG 315/CLCV 321 course, "Judaism Before the Rabbis". This talk will be given via Zoom and is open to the broader campus and Williamsburg communities, particularly to Classical and Religious Studies faculties and students, as well as to Temple Beth El.


Michael Daise, [[w|madais]]