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Chapter 10 - The Sibylline Oracles and Resistance to Rome

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Jonathan J. Price
Affiliation:
Tel-Aviv University
Katell Berthelot
Affiliation:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris
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Summary

The fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE left a nation shattered, its memories bitter and agonizing. The trauma afflicted the Jews for many generations thereafter. In some ways the shadow of that event still hovers now. Military confrontation with Roman power proved altogether fruitless, as would be demonstrated once again by the failed Bar-Kochba revolt in the 130s, with its painful consequences. Physical resistance was no longer realistic. Could there be a different kind of resistance? Did the people of the book in Palestine or the diaspora engage in a form of textual resistance? Could apocalyptic literature serve as “hidden transcript” to convey disguised and indirect critique of overweening power, a subtle undermining of authority that could restore a sense of self-esteem or an internal recompense for loss?1 Could oracular pronouncements about the fiery end of Rome provide a means to steel Jewish resolve in the face of otherwise intolerable tragedy?2

Type
Chapter
Information
The Future of Rome
Roman, Greek, Jewish and Christian Visions
, pp. 189 - 205
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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