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Histories of the Jews are a fundamental and polemical aspect of Christian and especially Protestant historiography in the nineteenth century. This article considers, in their context, the five most popular and influential multi-volume histories published in Britain, namely those of Henry Hart Milman, Heinrich Ewald, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Ernest Renan (the one significant – lapsed – Catholic historian in the tradition), and Emil Schürer. It shows how each of these major historians constructs an opposition between Alexandrian Judaism and Palestinian Judaism, a hierarchical opposition which denigrated Alexandrian Judaism as a betrayal or corruption of true religion because it depended on an assimilation of Jewishness and Greekness. The opposition of Greek and Jew was fundamental to nineteenth-century thought for a high intellectual tradition (most famously embodied in Matthew Arnold's categories of Hebraism and Hellenism). The Alexandrian Jews become for these historians an icon of a dangerous hybridity – despite the fact that the Septuagint, the Alexandrian Greek Bible, was the Bible of early Christianity. The article considers the different strategies adopted by these historians in response to this constructed opposition of Jerusalem and Alexandria, and its continuing implications for the historiography of the Hellenistic world.
Simon Goldhill offers a fresh and exciting perspective on how the Victorians used material culture to express their sense of the past in an age of progress, especially the biblical past and the past of classical antiquity. From Pompeian skulls on a writer's desk, to religious paraphernalia in churches, new photographic images of the Holy Land and the remaking of the cityscape of Jerusalem and Britain, Goldhill explores the remarkable way in which the nineteenth century's sense of history was reinvented through things. The Buried Life of Things shows how new technologies changed how history was discovered and analysed, and how material objects could flare into significance in bitter controversies, and then fade into obscurity and disregard again. This book offers a new route into understanding the Victorians' complex and often bizarre attempts to use their past to express their own modernity.